Whether it's to enjoy the night to the fullest or to study for the final exams, turning the night away is not as easy as you think. If you're really willing to take on this challenge, prepare in advance, eat right, and stimulate your mind and body for the task.
Method 1 of 3: Planning Everything
Step 1. Get plenty of rest the night before
It will be much easier to deal with a sleepless night if it is followed by a good night's sleep. So it's worth getting as much sleep as you can the night before.
- Sleep late the day before. If you wake up at midday, it will be easier to stay overnight.
- Avoid sleeping too early the night before. For example, if you go to bed at 9 pm, the next day your body will start to show signs of tiredness at that time.
- If possible, take a nap a few hours before the night starts. That way you will have more energy and disposition.
Step 2. Try taking a nap in the afternoon
So you will have more energy at night. If possible, take a two to three hour nap and limit the number of distractions during that time. Set the alarm not to overdo it.
- If you get really tired, take a nap during the night, but no longer than twenty minutes. If you don't turn on, you might just wake up the next morning!
- Take off your contact lenses if you are in the habit of wearing them. Leaving them in your eyes can hurt your eyes and prevent you from sleeping properly.
Step 3. Eat well during the day
It is very important to eat three balanced, nutritious meals before your night out. Otherwise, your body will soon get tired because of poor diet or lack of nutrients. Here are some food suggestions for the day before:
- Have a hearty and healthy breakfast. Whole grain bread and cereals, yogurt, lean proteins like turkey breast and white cheese, as well as fresh fruits and juices, will give you the energy you need to keep your metabolism running smoothly.
- Have a healthy lunch. The important thing here is to nourish the body without leaving that feeling of a heavy stomach and the softness of early afternoon.
- Prepare the right dinner for the turn. This is the last meal before the night marathon, so go ahead. Avoid fatty and heavy foods that will feel bloated and limp. Go for grilled chicken or fish, wholegrain pasta, salads, soups or steamed vegetables. It is essential that the meal has carbohydrates for energy and lean protein for satiety.
- Avoid foods and drinks that are too sugary or high in caffeine. If you spend the day drinking coffee and eating sweets, by the end of the day your body will be gone after dinner.
Step 4. Stock up on healthy snacks to snack on in the evening
They must be practical. The goal is to always have something nutritious to eat when hunger strikes. Check out a list of suggestions below:
- Healthy vegetables. Carrot and celery pieces are excellent options, just wash, dry and store in the fridge.
- Super practical fruits. Apples and bananas are easy to carry in your backpack or purse and are a sure source of energy.
- Snacks that nothing! Instead, go for cashews, almonds or walnuts. They are a delicious source of protein and minerals.
- If you're staying overnight at home, it's handy to have whole grain bread, white cheese and turkey breast for a light snack. You can also make some soup and freeze it in pots for sleepless nights. Or maybe a freshly prepared salad of leaves with cheese and stored in the fridge or sushi.
Method 2 of 3: Staying Alert
Step 1. The body needs stimulation
There are tricks to encourage you to stay up all night. The chances of falling asleep are greatly reduced if you move your body.
- Stretch yourself. Stretching your arms, legs and wrists will feel more agile and flexible.
- Draw a circle in the air with your shoulders. First forward and then backward. Rotate your head from side to side, trying to rest your chin on your chest.
- Try massaging your hands.
- Tap your feet on the ground.
- If you're falling asleep, pinch yourself or lightly bite your tongue.
- Gently pull your ears.
- Chew gum or suck on peppermint candy to keep your mouth busy.
- If your eyesight is tired, look away. View the landscape through a window overlooking the street or simply look at some distant object or place.
- Stimulate the senses. Keep the lights on pretty bright and have music playing in the background (but not disturbing the neighbors or the people in the house who are already sleeping) to give your senses a jolt.
Step 2. Stimulate the mind
This is just as important as stimulating the body. To do this, you need to alternate what you are doing from time to time. Here are some tips:
- Watch. Notice everything that is happening around you, and if you are in a study group, ask questions.
- Make conversation. If you're in the middle of a last-minute study session, it's easy to chat with those around you. If you're alone at home, call a friend who gets up early in the morning or chat online in the chat rooms.
- Keep your mind active. For example, if you're watching a movie, ask questions about it to make sure you understand everything that's going on.
- Don't let yourself be distracted. If you're watching television or chatting, try to stay focused on what you're doing and saying rather than starting daydreaming.
Step 3. Take breaks
So that energy and motivation don't burn out, create a routine for your sleepless night: for example, work for 40 to 55 minutes and take breaks of 5 to 20 minutes. Even a walk in safe and bright areas of your city is very useful.
- Looking at the clock can take your attention away from work.
- Short breaks are especially important if you are working on a computer. Breaks help to avoid headaches and eye strain.
Step 4. Keep switching activities
To be able to stay awake all night, you need to alternate tasks so as not to fall into sameness and autopilot, in addition to preventing your body from "crashing" from sleep. Check out the tips below.
- Change activities every half hour. If you're watching a movie, go to the bathroom to wash your face or brush your teeth once in a while. It's also worth getting up from the sofa and heading to the kitchen to have a snack. If you're studying, try alternating your notes with cards where keywords or drawings are written that help memorize the content.
- Change your air. Changing environments will help you stay active. If you're studying, go from bedroom to living room, living room to kitchen, kitchen to balcony, and so on. If you're landing at a friend's house, suggest everyone to switch environments from time to time.
- If you have to spend time in the same environment, change your location. For example, if you're falling asleep during your friend's New Year's party, try going from the living room to the kitchen and talking to different people. If you have to stay seated, try changing your seat on the sofa or changing your chair.
Step 5. Bet on light exercise
Intense physical exercise increases fatigue, but ten minutes of light exercise can wake up the body and warn the mind that it's not time for bed yet. Some suggestions:
- If you're at a party and the house has two floors, try using the upstairs bathroom. So you move up there.
- Take a brisk ten-minute walk, either inside or outside your current location.
- If you're alone at home, try making 30 jumping jacks.
Method 3 of 3: Getting the Feed Right
Step 1. Have your coffee on time
Although caffeine ends up increasing tiredness after some time throughout the day, it can help if consumed late at night, when the eyes are already quite heavy. Tips on how to get an emergency caffeine fix:
- To start with, mate or black tea is recommended. The side effects of these drinks are less than those of coffee.
- If you already drink a lot of coffee every day, a cup or two is a good start.
- Take an energy drink if you are very sleepy. Examples are Monster, Red Bull and Burn. Avoid drinking more than four cans a day. The energizer will boost your energy levels for an hour or two. The problem is that after the power surge comes intense fatigue. Ideally, you should have previous experience with energy drinks to see how your body reacts to them.
Step 2. Have strategic snacks
When facing the challenge of going through the night, you should have small snacks to keep you going. Avoid stuffing yourself with food so your stomach doesn't get heavy. Even after eating three healthy and balanced meals, you can bet on smart snacks to kill the early morning hunger.
- At home, you can cook an egg or make a fried egg.
- Try eating a handful of almonds, cashews or walnuts.
- Eat something crunchy like an apple, celery, or chopped carrots. The crispiness of these light, healthy foods will awaken your senses and help keep you more alert. Bananas are great for those who stay overnight because they help keep you active longer and are great sources of vitamin B1 and potassium.
- A toast with a little ricotta is tasty, light and crunchy.
- If you're in the mood for a full meal, try combining whole-grain carbs with lean protein (whole-grain bread sandwich with turkey breast, whole-wheat pasta with tomato sauce and strips of white cheese, etc.). If you want to order food, go for endive pizza with sun-dried tomatoes and ricotta or Chinese/Japanese food (meat with vegetables, sushi, etc). Anyway, look for low fat options.
Step 3. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated helps a lot in staying awake. Try ice water to give your body that shake. Drink hourly to stay hydrated and more alert at the same time.
In addition to hydration, water will make you have to go to the bathroom several times. This back-and-forth will help keep you from falling asleep
- Wash your face with cold water. If it's cold outside, open the window a little to let cool air into your room. You can also take a walk on the balcony. Getting cold will wake you up.
- Don't forget to drink ice water. A dehydrated body is a body that tires very easily.
- Taking a walk outside helps wake up and also stretches the body and relieves headaches.
- Look for ways to keep yourself busy and active.
- You can download a mobile game to pass the time.
- Remember why you have to stay up all night. Final exams? Finish a report? Staying focused helps provide motivation to stay steadfast in the challenge.
- Walk around the house and do light exercise to stay awake.
- If you have Netflix, you can watch lots of movies or sitcoms that help keep you from falling asleep. It is recommended to watch horror movies in a language you don't understand. So, you have to pay attention to keep up with the subtitles.
- Try to eat healthy things. Processed foods use up your energy.
- If you stay awake too long, the side effects will start to take their toll. One lost night's sleep is enough to mess up your sleep pattern for the entire week! You may even start to hallucinate. It's better not to go through the night too often.
- Avoid energy drinks as much as possible. They affect the heart and will make you feel twice as tired later on.