The art of pulling an all-nighter

Nov 20 • Opinion • 145

There never seems to be enough time in the day. Just as soon as you think that you have a moment to relax, a whole laundry list of issues pop-up.
The dishes need done, that paper needs finished, the toilet is clogged again and floor needs swept. For many college students there seems to be one solution to all these issues. Stay up all night.
I am personally writing this at 3:30 a.m. whilst in the middle of an all-nighter myself, and I feel that I am pretty qualified to speak on the art that is successfully pulling an all-nighter. And yes, it is an art.
So the first thing you have to think about is why you want to burn the midnight oil in the first place. On this particular occasion, I noticed that I have been sleeping very poorly.
Given that I have a rather erratic sleep schedule, this comes as no surprise. Regardless, spending a week tossing and turning and waking up in the middle of the night for a snack can get anyone in a pretty foul mood.
So, as a tried and true remedy, I am giving my circadian rhythm a hard reset and staying up. Now you may ask, “How aren’t you tired after getting such horrible sleep and not resting for many hours?” The answer there is coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
Caffeine is your best friend during an all-nighter, and at the moment, I can’t even count the amount of cups I’ve had. Keeping me wired and focused, I have been in a manic state of cleaning and organizing for the past couple hours, and am loving every moment of it.
Tonight alone, I have done up all the dishes, deep-cleaned the kitchen, deep-cleaned the bathroom and deep-cleaned my bedroom.
My levels of productiveness are at an all-time high, and the satisfaction of getting all these jobs done is fanning the flames of my work ethic to a degree I haven’t experienced in a while.
Along with drinking coffee, it is incredibly important to keep eating food. I cannot speak for everyone, but if I drink too much coffee on an empty stomach, it will start to give me a lot of issues.
For this reason alone, I find it helpful to almost continually snack. After all, it would be a shame to plan to get a lot of work done and then be defeated by an upset stomach.
Now that we have kept ourselves awake, it is important to stay busy. The difference between pulling an all-nighter and not being able to get to sleep is what you plan on doing.
I find it very helpful to make a list of all the things that need done and a rough guess at how long each item will take. This way, whenever I feel slightly drained I can refer to my list and see what else needs done.
Without this, it can be very tempting to just go to bed, and then you’re going to be running on very little sleep the next day. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but I guarantee that the day after a night no sleep is much more pleasant than the day after a night with only a couple hours.
Now that we have successfully stayed up all night and gotten all the work done that we wanted, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.
When the body has been deprived of the sleep that it is used to getting on a daily basis since birth, it comes back in full force the next night.
I personally can’t wait for tomorrow night, because I know it will be the best sleep in a while. I can’t recommend pulling all-nighters often, but I am a firm believer that one every now and again never hurt anybody.

BENJAMIN HAYLETT
haylett001@knights.gannon.edu

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