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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 July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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