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10 Ways to Stay Awake After an All-Nighter

10 Ways to Stay Awake After an All-Nighter

It is never ideal to go without sleep, just as it’s not good to sleep too much. The benefits of regular sleep cycles have been consistently touted by doctors. Lack of sleep may contribute to low sperm counts and other attributes of unhealthy lifestyles, such as obesity and heavier smoking and drinking. There is also the threat of poorer decision making, and 24 hours of being awake can impact drivers in much the same way as though they had a blood alcohol level of .10%.

However, sometimes, we must grind out that overdue assignment or odd work demands. For when you are facing consistent issues, I wrote an article on changing schedules to maximize productivity. I could argue that with enough foresight an all-nighter is never necessary. However, I have found myself staying up all night more than a few times. For those instances, there are numerous things that can help you to push through the day.

1.Eat Well

Junk food, like chips and chocolate sound appealing in a state of weariness and help out initially, but the effects wear off quickly, leading to a major crash. Eating healthier foods, such as those with natural sugars, like bananas, will not come with a crash and will also help combat the multitude of other negative health consequences of staying up late. A high protein breakfast is the best start to any day, especially after being awake all night. High protein snacks at intervals throughout the day are indispensable.

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2.Exercise

Take frequent breaks and make sure they include sufficient body movement to keep blood flowing. Yoga breaks are also extremely beneficial for accessing more energy.

3.Take Aspirin

Lack of sleep typically comes with pain, particularly headaches and moodiness. Nip that in the bud right after breakfast and alleviate the pain that will inevitably come with aspirin or some other pain-killer to miss the distraction and lethargy that comes with the pain.

4.Drink Water

Dehydration leads to more fatigue. Staying hydrated is the best way to stay alert and maintain brain and body functions. Eating ice is also a great strategy to maintain hydration, and the chewing aspect keeps the body active. Splashing cold water on the face is hydrating as well.

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5.Dress For Success

Putting on a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie will only make you feel more like going to bed and will turn others away from wanting to interact with you. By dressing like the day is important, you set yourself up with the right mentality. Looking alive and feeling alive go hand in hand.

6.Caffeine and a Nap

Coffee or soda are common things used to combat weariness. However, they are only quick fixes that lead to dehydration and crashes after the effects wear off. When using caffeine, it takes 15-30 minutes for the effects to kick in. The best strategy is to take the caffeine and then nap for 30 minutes to wake up feeling refreshed.

7. Get Important Things Done Early 

There is only so long a person can hold out. Get the important things done while at your most alert stages and try to go home early.

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8.Take A Video Game Break

Video games keep the mind active, which is why it’s so easy to stay up all night playing them. They also take the mind off the mundane activities that can make it so easy to fall asleep. Even five minutes of a simple game can put your mind back into the right gear.

9.Listen To Music

Having headphone on with something catchy and fun can keep you bopping along with some zest. The music shouldn’t be too complex or too soothing or else it will just put you to sleep. Anything too thought provoking might cause you to lose focus and become more worn out.

10.Keep All-Nighters To A Minimum

The best tricks only work when used sparingly, so don’t overdo things. Pulling an all-nighter multiple times in the same week will be harder than once a year. Besides, if the reason for staying up all night is for school or work, there is more harm being done by staying up than by getting at least a few hours of sleep. It also helps to get more sleep in the days before pulling an all-nighter, if at all possible, to reduce the cumulative effects of weariness.

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Featured photo credit: At work/Mårten Vennelin via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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