Surviving College All-Nighters: 3 Tips for Staying Awake

A lot of you coming to college or for those who have already started college may have never pulled an all-nighter in all your years as a student. However, for most of you, there will be a point at which work just becomes too much and too overwhelming to the point where you find yourself in need of staying up all night in order to finish it!

Now contrary to popular belief, junk food is not the best way to keep yourself peppy and energized. I’m here to give you just a few tips about different foods/drinks you may want to have or try for the dreaded all-nighters.

  • Tip #1 – Make sure you actually do EAT.

I’m sure a lot of you have been told by your parents, nutritionist or doctor that it’s really not healthy to eat any time after 10 pm. This alone is a contributing factor to students gaining weight in college.

Eating late at night is usually very unhealthy because it’s around the time that your body is winding down and getting ready to ‘hit the hay’ and therefore your body’s metabolism slows down and it’s more likely that you’re body will keep more of whatever fat or carbs you intake since you’re not doing anything active.

Okay, so you get the point. It’s not good to eat so late at night. Now I know I said at the beginning of this section to “make sure that you actually do EAT” and I’m about to explain why it seems like I’m being the biggest hypocrite right now.

It’s true that one should never usually eat after the hour of 10 pm. HOWEVER, (notice how that was a big however) when knowing for a fact that you’re going to have to stay up all night, or at least several more hours to finish up work, then you don’t plan on your body winding down anytime soon.

You’re determined to keep your mind active and focused throughout the hours that you need to work and therefore it is perfectly okay to eat something. You’ll need the sustenance and the energy to keep your body going.

  • Tip #2 – Drink plenty of WATER.

When thinking about your desperate need to stay awake and focused to do all the hours of work you have ahead of you, you and probably everyone else you know probably only has one word that comes to mind: CAFFEINE.

Yeah, it’s true, caffeinated drinks do have the ability to give you energy. I’ll let you in on a little secret, about a drink that will give you tons of energy. An exotic and powerful substance that you can surprisingly get within minutes. I call it WATER. Maybe you refer to it as H20, aqua or that clear stuff that comes out of your bathroom faucet.

I know, for most of you college kids, this so-called “water” is very foreign to you. You’re used to coffee, tea, soda, chocolate milk and other unhealthy drinks that I won’t even dare to name!

Water is much more magical than you think it is. What a lot of people don’t know is that a huge part of being sleepy is being dehydrated. Most of your body is made of water anyway and it’s clearly craving for more at the end of a long day. So give your body what it wants!

Not only is it healthy, no calories and hydrating but it’ll give you way more energy than any RedBull or espresso drink and that energy will last longer too You’ll find yourself more focused and way more refreshed to keep working late into the night.

  • Tip #3 – Get plenty of FIBER in your diet.

Now a lot of you boys may like this part since I’ve heard sandwiches are a big thing with you. MAKE A SANDWICH or just make some toast. Whatever! (I would just like to point out, however, that this isn’t me giving you permission to go and eat some chunky bagel with pounds of cream cheese or butter on it.)

Get something nutritious with whole-grains. More fiber = more focus. Most people forget how much energy a lovely piece of whole-grain bread can give you. Grains are already an important part of a balanced diet so why not give your body the fiber it needs to stay balanced and stay energized.

Why not make a sandwich with some cheese or turkey? Or perhaps even just peanut butter? Hey, I’m just giving you suggestions here. Both of which are mixes of fiber and protein. Always good brain food for any struggling college student!

I pray that this helps all of you with those dreaded sleepless nights you may be dealing with or you predict will happen in the near future. I keep all this in mind with me throughout the year and I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me!

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Nina Reichenberg, a junior at Syracuse University spent her first two years in the Communications Design Program but is now currently working towards a degree in Computer Art & Animation. Whilst at school, Nina spends most of her time animating, watching films, and working as a design intern at SYR Outside of SU, she enjoys traveling, singing, dancing, spending time outside and collecting thimbles.

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