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How to Pull an Allnighter

Staying up all day following a sleepless night.

Whether you were up all night finishing a college paper, studying for a final, finishing up work for a client, or just out all night partying; the fact is you now need to stay up all day. So what do you do?

Being a graduate student, freelance writer, and just a guy who likes going out at night; I’ve had to sometimes go without sleep and stay up all night. Of course we all know that staying up all night and then attempting to stay up all day is not good for our minds and bodies. It can be a rough experience and all you may want to do is find the nearest bed and pillow, but hopefully these tips will help you make the best out of your day until you can finally experience the glorious feeling of your bed and pillow once again.

Fuel up – If you’ve been up all night, your body has been using a lot of energy to keep you going. That means you are running on empty come morning and need to fuel up on a filling and healthy meal. Get yourself a glass of milk, a glass of orange juice, a bowl or two of a healthy cereal, and a daily vitamin. It is easy to prepare, you don’t have to worry about nodding off into the frying pan trying to cook eggs or pancakes.

If you drink coffee or tea, have a cup or two with this meal. Also consider having a bagel with peanut butter (if you aren’t allergic to peanut butter!). It is loaded with protein and carbs and will give you much needed fuel for your day.

Shower up – You don’t need to shock your body with a cold shower, but a nice cool shower will help wake up your senses and get you feeling clean and fresh. After all, if you’ve been up all night you’ve probably been in those same terrible smelling clothes for the past day or two.

Keep moving – Any chance you have to sit down will be a chance for your body to tell you it is time to go to sleep. Keep moving throughout your day so you don’t get tempted to sit down to ‘rest your eyes’.

Snack time – By the afternoon, many well rested people still get that sluggish feeling that comes a little after lunch. Imagine the feeling that time of day when you are running on no sleep. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed a good energy filled lunch such as peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread, grilled chicken, or some other protein filled food.

But a little while after lunch (and maybe after breakfast too) you are beginning to feel very tired and a little sick too. It’s time to break out the power snacks to keep going. Granola bars, health bars, peanut butter crackers, all natural smoothies, yogurt, bananas and similar snacks are great for their energy value and health value. You’ll get protein, vitamins, and energy out of these foods which make good snacks too.

Hydration – You’ll need to make sure you drink plenty of water throughout this day after no sleep. Your body will be working harder then ever so you need to avoid dehydration and keep drinking H20 throughout the day.

Caffeine – By now you were probably wondering when I’d mention caffeine as a key tool to keeping awake on this rough day. Caffeine is great for keeping you awake and alert, but the crash that comes with it will leave you feeling worse then before. Not to worry though, on this sleepless day you’ll drink caffeinated beverages to keep you up when you really start to nod off towards the end of your day.

Energy drinks have B vitamins and caffeine which can help you keep sharp and alert. They also tend to have less sugar and less calories then sodas so they may be a bit kinder to your waistline. Sugar free or lo-carb energy drinks can give you a buzz without the sugar crash later, but you shouldn’t consume more then one or two of these in a day.

You may also get your caffeine fix through coffee and tea, but at this rate you might be so tired it doesn’t matter where you get your caffeine from. Keep in mind you might experience a crash a few hours after your caffeine intake, consider sipping on an energy drink or large coffee throughout the day to keep a consistent buzz going.

Sleep – You’ve reached the end of your day and you may have felt like a zombie throughout this hard day after no sleep. Make sure you stop your caffeine chugging a few hours before you know you’ll get to experience glorious sleep once again. This way as soon as your head hits the pillow, you’ll be out like a light. Try to get a full night’s rest at the end of your day, your body and mind will thank you for it.