Tips to Stay Awake After an All-Nighter
A lot of people from time to time have to change their sleep patterns and stay awake all night long for some reason. This situation can knock a person out of the right track for sleep. Fortunately, there are methods that can make a sleepless night productive, and the day after it less difficult. You will learn about those methods in this article.
In life, there are often situations where a person has to stay awake all night. It might be for a job, preparations before exam, a long relocation – the list is endless.
Whatever the cause of the all-nighter, the question remains – how do you survive with maximum vivacity and minimal losses? What to do if you were forced to stay awake the all day, and there is no soft bed awaiting you, as there are important things which cannot be postponed. This is very useful information for young parents, employees with deadlines approaching, students, and many others. Of course, a person who does not get enough sleep is significantly inferior in the speed of reaction and productivity as compared to someone who has rested all night. After continuous wakefulness for 24 hours, a person becomes distracted, as if he was totally drunk. Fortunately, this condition can be improved. The following tips will help you to safely survive after wakeful nights.
Preparation for a Sleepless Night
If you know for sure that in the near future you will have to work all night without sleep or go somewhere, you can take steps to make this night easier. Of course, a sleepless night will affect a person’s condition, but after elaborate preparation, the consequences will be less noticeable and easily eliminated. In addition, many troubles caused by a lack of sleep can be prevented. Prepare for wakefulness each time, and sleepless nights will not become highly stressful for you.
Of course, no preparation can completely neutralize the stress by lack of sleep, so do not arrange sleepless nights many times in a row, if there is a possibility of avoiding this.
Get Some Sleep Ahead
There is an opinion that it is impossible to sleep for the future, but a full night’s sleep nevertheless gives a cumulative effect. Studies have shown that people who sleep nine or ten hours a day for a week are much more easily able to endure a sleepless night. On the contrary, if you do not get enough sleep and get tired for a long time, then a night vigil can become a real hell. It is important not only to sleep enough on the eve of a sleepless night but also to do so at the right time. The most useful, deep, and restoring sleep can be obtained in the dark night hours. In this case, the room should be fresh and not hot, and all the irritants should be absent. Provide for yourself calm and comfortable rest during sleep, and then you can “stock” it up for a sleepover, sleepless working night, etc.
Take a Nap
Does person stay awake much longer if he takes a power nap during the day? Some people think that short sleep will make things worse and not bring you rest. This is not at all true if you choose the right duration. You can sleep less than 20 minutes or between an hour and an hour and a half. Choosing such intervals of time, you will wake up in the fast phase of sleep, which means that you will avoid feeling sleepy and broken. 3 hours of sleep is optimal. If you have a chance to take a nap, do not deny yourself this – short sleep is better than its total absence. It is especially important for those who are forced to avoid sleep for 48 hours or more to take breaks in order to nap. Such long breaks can make you sick, but a short rest will help to greatly reduce the excessive weakening.
Tips for Staying Up All Night
You prepared for a sleepless night, and now it has come. It is only beginning, but you’ve already admitted to feeling tired as well as the irresistible desire to go to sleep, but it is impossible because you are doing important things. What can be done in such a case, in order to prevent you from falling asleep and maintain effective brain work? If a person stays wide-awake all night, then he will certainly benefit from the tips given below. They are quite simple, and they are easy to implement in most cases.
Bring on More Lights
A man by his nature must sleep at night and stay awake during the day. Human biorhythms cause the production of melatonin (a sleep hormone) in the dark. That’s why you need to sleep at night, and thus, during daytime naps, it is desirable to close windows with heavy curtains. If you cannot sleep for some reason, you need to minimize the production of melanin. The bright light of a table lamp perfectly copes with this task. It will also relieve eye strain, which usually makes it difficult to maintain concentration in the event of an all-nighter.
Also, there is a sense to pay attention to the source of color. Warm and soft light from filament lamps relaxes and creates a feeling of coziness. Despite the brightness, it can relax a tired person, and drowsiness will always sneak up on a person. LED lamps of the cold spectrum will be optimal. They keep the body toned and cause slight mental stress. This will help to make wakefulness easier and keep you from feeling tired.
Control Room Temperature
If a person is tired, a comfortable temperature in the room will prevent him from staying up. In a warm or hot room, the lungs work worse and the brain begins to get less oxygen, which causes severe drowsiness. Deteriorated brain work does not allow you to work at a full strength. In order for a sleepless night to be fruitful, lower the temperature of the air to 75-65 degrees. This will be enough to feel cheerful and fresh. The room should be well-ventilated – so you will improve your mental abilities.
Cold water also helps to maintain a high work capacity and help to refresh, as it makes you energized just as much as a cup of strong coffee. You can wash your face and hands with cold water, but it’s better to take a cold shower, if possible. A cold shower is quite unpleasant, but it is very useful, and in this situation – especially. If you cannot wash your face or take a shower, you can use a cold drink or eat ice cream. It is not as effective but it will give a positive result, too.
Foods and Snacks to Stay Awake
A lot of people in the struggle with lack of sleep are eating sugar, candies, and other sweets. They cause a sharp increase of glucose in the blood and a release of insulin, which for some time gives a feeling of vivacity. After this vivacity rush, the recession comes quickly and the person is again forced to eat sweets. Of course, after a sleepless “sweet” night there can be the significant deterioration of well-being – this is a great overload on the nervous and endocrine systems.
What to eat to feel good at night? To supply your body with the energy necessary to maintain activity at night, choose products that contain a large amount of protein. This can be dairy products, peanut butter, various seeds, and nuts. They are slowly digested, permanently remove hunger, and for a long time nourish the body with energy. However, fatty and greasy foods, on the contrary, can cause drowsiness. For their digestion the body needs a lot of energy and blood flows to the stomach, so there is no energy for brain activity.
Before start pulling an all-nighter, give up your heavy dinner. It is better to eat less food several times during the night. This will allow you to avoid energy starvation and not overload the digestive and endocrine systems.
Stay Hydrated and Drink a Little Amount of Coffee
For most adults, it is safe to drink four cups of coffee a day. This is approximately 400 mg of caffeine. Such an amount of the active substance is sufficient to maintain vigor during the day. Still, if you plan to work with no sleep, it is advisable to drink only one or two cups of coffee. Four cups will be superfluous, since after the second cup people become too irritable and unable to focus on mental work, and this is extremely undesirable.
In addition, excessive “nervousness” in combination with the lack of sleep can lead to a nervous breakdown and insomnia in the future. It is important not to buy an instant kind of coffee because it contains less caffeine. You can also do without caffeine if you drink a lot of water. The human brain is 80% water, so for its unscheduled night work, a large amount of liquid is needed. Drinking water is desirable every hour, as with that, you will be able to work full-time all night. Do not forget to eat light protein snacks with you during night shift – they will help you to be focused at work and not become tired quickly.
Ironically, chewing gum can help person if they decided they are spending a night not sleeping. Chewing gum is simple action that excites the brain and makes it easy to survive a sleepless night. Chew gum every time when tired, will return strength. The strongest invigorating effect is provided by gum with a pronounced mint flavor, so give preference to them. Menthol expands blood vessels, indirectly improving the work of the brain and nervous system. The pleasant taste of chewing gum will lift your mood, which is also important when a person has to spend a long time without sleep. Also, chewing gum shall help a person not to eat too much. Of course, the effect of chewing will not last for a long time but it still can improve your condition significantly.
A person who has been without movement for a long time may have bad blood circulation, which can lead to premature fatigue, headache, and worsened mental activity. To avoid such effects, take a short walk every 45-60 minutes to normalize blood circulation. With the same purpose, you can perform several light physical exercises.
While working in a sleepy state, it’s easy to forget about the need to move. A large amount of water will solve this issue. With abundant drink, you will have to visit the toilet at least every hour – this can also be considered a small walk. It will be good if you have the opportunity to go outside for a few minutes and get some fresh air. This will help to cheer you up and restore strength.
Survive the Next Day
You worked or studied the whole night without sleep and now you can be proud of yourself. If all the above tricks helped you, then the night was fruitful. If you do not have the opportunity to immediately go to bed and recover, then you need to think about how to pull off the next day. There are some simple tips which help you with this. In any case, even if your state of health is very good, do not plan any difficult physical and mental events for this day (but if you have an exam, you still have to go to it). Try not to conclude contracts and deals on such a day, and try not to make any serious decisions.
Don’t Get Behind a Wheel
A person who has not slept 24 hours experiences the sensations the same as if they have mild alcoholic intoxication. He has a delayed reaction (it can be slowed and not adequate) and absent-mindedness. In addition, many sleepy people become very irritable and have poor control over their emotions.
There can be cases of spontaneous short-term falling asleep. If this happens to you, you must not drive or control any complicated and dangerous equipment. Of course, this is not prohibited by law, but this can be dangerous for both the sleep-deprived person and other people. Take care of your safety in advance. Arrange with friends for them to take you to work or study. At the same time, it is enough to sleep for at least four hours in order that the coordination of movements and reactions come back to normal.
Above it was mentioned that bright light helps to fight against drowsiness and gives vivacity. Its use is relevant not only for a sleepless night but also the next day. If you have the opportunity to be in the sun for some time, do this. A bright light will wake up your body, raise your spirits, and add energy. But do not go on the beach or take too long to sunbathe – a large amount of ultraviolet is a great stress that can cause drowsiness even in a person who rested all night. So be moderate in sunbathing. If it’s summer, the best will be to do this in the morning, not getting under the hot midday sunrays.
Schedule Your Power Nap
Daytime sleep is that which a person really wants after a sleepless night. Still, experts recommend not succumbing to the desire of immediately falling asleep for half a day. This will restore the body a little, but it can reset sleep cycle: after getting enough sleep in the day or in the morning, a person cannot fall asleep in the evening and at night, and the regime of his sleep will be ruined. To prevent this from happening, go to bed for 60-90 minutes several times a day. A little sleep will help maintain vivacity but not affect the quality of a night’s sleep. It is optimal if daytime sleep coincides with biological energy minima. For example, 2 p.m. is a time when each person feels a little tired and depressed. It would be great if you could go to bed at this time. At 3 p.m. you will feel rested and look fresh. Make a schedule for a daily sleep in advance – this will allow for the saving of a familiar rhythm of life.
Have a Healthy Meal
A healthy diet improves well-being in all cases, but after a night without sleep, it is especially important. Heavy, fried, fatty, or sweet food overloads the stomach, creating a great burden on the endocrine system. The exhausted body works slowly, which affects a person’s health, performance, and appearance. Therefore, choose foods that are digested over a long time, that are rich in protein, but not heavy on the stomach. These include porridge, fish, a small amount of low-fat meat (poultry), and vegetables. Sweets can be replaced with fruits, as they do not create a big load for the pancreas. If possible, give up snacks for fun, and split your meals into five or six parts during the day. Do not forget to drink plenty of water.
It is likely that next morning you will not want to move and do anything, but small physical exercises are necessary. You can skip a long training session in the gym, replacing it with a few simple exercises throughout the day. Yoga is an excellent option for this purpose. It will improve blood circulation, make the brain work better, and relieve pain in the back and muscles. If you are jogging, then you can take a short run. A walk in the fresh air also will be very handy – it saturates the body with oxygen. Physical activity will not only make you feel good without energy drinks, but it will also make the night sleep strong, healthy, and restoring. It is even better if you can walk with friends – this combines the benefits of walking with an emotional lift.
Drink no Alcohol and Eat Less Food
Food is a source of energy that improves the condition after a sleepless night. Therefore, overeating is very likely on such a day. It is very important to drink plenty of water, eat healthy food, and control your appetite since excessive amounts of food can make you feel really bad. On such days, bananas, nuts, or apples will be much more useful than fast food. Choose the healthiest foods.
If a person often relieves severe stress with alcohol, then it is likely that the next day after awakening, he will want to drink an alcoholic beverage. Alcohol relaxes the nervous system and disrupts the brain, but its effect on a sleepy person can be much stronger. In a lack of sleep state, it is extremely undesirable to drink alcohol, as it can cause severe drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired coordination. The drunk and sleepy person can become aggressive or depressed, since it is very difficult to control emotions in this state.
Create Exciting Workplace
If you are forced to stay at work after having spent a night without sleep, then in the morning, clean up your workplace. If on normal days a mess on the desktop does not bother you, now every extra detail will hamper your normal work. A person with a lack of sleep is characterized by at least some absent-mindedness, and for him is difficult to concentrate, and his gaze will cling to every extra detail that is nearby. By removing excess things from the workplace, you remove the overload from your thoughts. Take care that the lighting is bright and the position of the body is comfortable, since any discomfort can cause nervousness and irritability. Open the window in order for fresh air to saturate your workplace with oxygen – thanks to that the brain will work better and everything will be OK.
Consider Your To-Do List
For optimal performance, it is desirable to free the brain from unnecessary actions in order that it can concentrate on main tasks. To do this, you need to properly deal with organizational issues:
- make a to-do list;
- write a break schedule with an exact time;
- write down “reminders” – calls, meetings, checking information, etc.;
- make a list of purchases after work, if you plan to go to the store.
All this will help you to keep less information in your mind and not to forget anything. You can stock up with colored stickers and place them in the workplace – they can also help. Do not forget to put a bottle of water near you to drink at least half a cup of liquid every hour.
Breaks in work are always needed, but they are especially necessary if you are struggling with drowsiness. Try to change your activity for a few minutes: walk, breathe fresh air, and your forces will return to you. Small breaks effectively combat drowsiness and low productivity.
Music can also raise your spirits and boost your morale. Download your favorite songs and listen to these tracks between working hours.
A lot of people use breaks for smoking. The cigarette is also a good way to distract and switch your thoughts to another channel, but for the weakened body it is hard to cope with the effects of nicotine and tar. Therefore, it is also desirable to refuse a large number of cigarettes if you have had an all-nighter.
Back on the Right Track
If for some reason, all of the above methods do not allow you to return to the right track, then nootropics can come to the rescue. These drugs are quite safe and very effective. Provigil, Armodafinil, and Modafinil are the most popular and most effective of them. Before taking the medication, read the instructions carefully and make sure that you do not have any contraindications. Each mean is suitable only for adults, not minors, even those who study at school. You need to take the pill every morning so that its action ends in the evening and you can fall asleep normally.
Despite the fact that nootropics are very effective, they have side effects, so you only need to go to them when you have tried all other things that help to get rid of drowsiness (energy drink, active walk, proper food, etc.).
All people know that a night without sleep is very harmful for both the nervous system and the whole body, but when it comes to a necessary all-nighter, we have to forget about the harm. Naturally, if this happens only once, it does not cause any terrible consequences. Still, what if you do not sleep for 2 days or more? Can a chronic lack of sleep compare in danger with all-night work? How does this affect the human body?
How Long Can You Survive Without Sleep?
Any living organism needs full rest during dream time. Studies have shown that the level of stress after a sleepless night is equal to the level of stress that occurs after two weeks of a lack of sleep (if you sleep less than six hours a day). Therefore, do not underestimate the lack of sleep in everyday life. Sleep disturbances can be caused not only by objective reasons, when a person needs to work or study at night, but also by other factors, too. So, excessive nervous excitement, depression, and obsessive thoughts are capable of depriving a person of full sleep and the ability to stay awake naturally. If the lack of sleep was caused by external factors, then you can quickly come back to a normal life. In other cases, a person might find it difficult to cope with the problem alone, and he might need a doctor’s consultation.
Without sleep, an ordinary person can live three-four days, after which he can lose consciousness because his brain is unable to work properly. The world record is 11 days, but we strongly not recommend repeating this.
How to Sleep After Drinking Coffee?
Often, in the desire to keep yourself awake, you cannot stop and drink not one or two, but three or more cups of coffee, with some of them being in the late hours. Of course, there will be the good effects of coffee, but then they can cause a nuisance – inability to sleep. Although the body is tired, under the influence of coffee the brain can still function at full strength. Coffee excites the nervous system, so there may be problems with falling asleep. What can you do if you go too far with this drink? There are a few simple tips that will help solve the problem:
- drink a glass of warm milk. This is effective for both kids and adults. There are substances in milk that cause appeasement and promote good sleep. Besides, milk is harmless (of course, only if you do not have lactose intolerance);
- create a peaceful environment. Give up Internet and TV before going to bed. Sleep in a dark, well-ventilated room;
- tune into sleep. Let the preparations for sleep become a ritual which will help you tune into falling asleep. It can be a warm (not a hot shower), nice music, or a book. You can ask someone to massage you. Do everything that can help you to relax, any ideas will be good.
If none of the above helps and you do not want to resort to sleeping pills, you can refer to the recipes of nature: mint tea, decoction of hops, lavender, or balm. These herbs have a mild hypnotic effect, but they do not depress the psyche. They will help to obtain a successful night’s sleep.
Can You Die from Staying Up All Night?
Insomnia is a frequent companion of people who often disturb the regime of the day, as well as those who suffer from depression and nervousness. Often, problems with falling asleep are the result of the often-happening all-nighter. Insomnia is rarely taken seriously until it begins to be chronic. Scientists recently found that people because of insomnia can not only undermine health but even die.
Directly from the lack of sleep, there have only been a few deaths, and only when it is pathological. Such insomnia is called fatal insomnia, in which a person can fail for a short time in drowsiness, but cannot sleep fully. This condition lasts no longer than three weeks, after which comes coma and death. Nobody shall die from ordinary insomnia, because sooner or later the brain will get tired and people spontaneously fall asleep and survive.
However, the constant lack of sleep significantly worsens immunity and destroys the nervous system, violating mental reactions and the coordination of movements. People suffering from chronic insomnia are more likely to die of a simple cold, get into a fatal accident, etc. Therefore, do not abuse the disturbance of sleep. At the first signs of chronic insomnia, it is advisable to consult with a doctor as soon as possible.
How Can I Refresh My Mind Immediately?
If work does not allow you to fix sleeping pattern, then only coffee cannot cope with the problem of constant drowsiness. How to stay awake all night long, and then feel good if any technique gives no result? In such cases, it is reasonable to use nootropics – they help to start the brain’s work and make it as productive as possible. If you were preparing for an exam all night, in the morning at a crucial moment Modafinil will help you to remember everything that you’ve learned. Thanks to nootropics after a night’s work, you will be able to work all next day. How long does the medicine last? On average, its effect lasts for six hours, but sometimes the duration of the effect can be longer – up to 15 hours. Nootropics are an excellent opportunity to manage your sleep and make periods of activity as fruitful as possible. Also, nootropics can be used to prevent drowsiness after a sleepless night.
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