Surviving The All-Nighter Cram Session

We’re usually the first people to say it – don’t pull an all-nighter! After all, a lack of sleep impairs your focus and memory recall. But no matter how many times you hear it, sometimes deadlines suddenly sneak up on you and you’re left with no other option. If that’s the case, no worries – we’ve still got your back! Check out our best tips below.

Squeeze in some nap time.

We know, this post is supposed to be about staying awake. But staying up an entire night can do more damage than good. You don’t want to be so tired that you can’t even focus on the big exam you stayed up studying for, right? A nap or two here and there will do you good.


Load up on snacks, but choose wisely. 

Healthy snacks, like fruit and protein bars, can give you boosts of energy throughout the night. Just try to avoid anything that’s too heavy or loaded with carbs and sugar. Those snacks will leave you sleepy!


Drink caffeine – sparingly!

Coffee is going to be your best friend here. Definitely feel free to grab a cup, but don’t over do it all at once! Try to space out each cup so that you don’t end up with distracting jitters. You may also want to avoid energy drinks. They’re loaded with sugar that will only make you crash!




Take regular breaks. 

The idea of an “all-nighter cram session” might have you thinking you should study non-stop the whole night. That’s not the case! In any situation, taking regular study breaks actually helps you retain information. Use this break time to get in a good stretch and some physical activity, or try using this time for a short power nap.


Chew gum.

Studies actually suggest that chewing gum can help you focus for longer periods of time. Why not give it a shot? It’s simple!


Do you have any tips for pulling an all-nighter? Share your ideas with our readers in the comments below.





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  1. Professor Martin says:

    Generally very good ideas! I prefer to plan ahead, but not all students are geared that way….they think they can do anything with no sleep and no food! At 67, I know better. Professor Martin, Humanities

  2. Mike Dizzle says:

    I put tobasco in my eyes like the Navy Seals, works every time! It hurts so bad that I can’t go to sleep, and studying distracts my mind from the pain. Win-Win situation in my eyes. (Pun intended).

  3. Emily says:

    The key to a successful all-nighter is to stay hydrated! Coffee dehydrates you, and if that’s all you consume during an all-nighter you’re going to feel gross the next day. Drinking a lot of water helps the next day transition, and cold water helps wake you up. It’s a win-win.

  4. Roger Peaksquellette says:

    I really like this. I never thought about the sugar sleepiness. Something I’ve found extremely helpful is to take a wicked hot shower at around 1 or 2 in the morning, or whenever you feel yourself hitting the wall. Soak in the hot water for as long as you like, and if you can, take a partial nap while standing there (just don’t fall over). When your time is up, or when you start to run out of hot water, turn it EXTREMELY cold. This will wake you right up! It also has many health benefits which I won’t mention here. Jump out of the shower and you will be able to go for a little longer, depending on your level of energy in the tank. My problem is I always end up falling asleep and not finishing my projects, so if you’re like me, do this. It’s extremely refreshing and it gives you a chance to relax and rest. Aside from that, if you decide to take naps, which I would suggest taking at around 7 or 8, take them in bulk early, so you have continuous sleep. One two hour nap will do you more good than four or five twenty minute naps. The REM sleep is what counts. Continuous sleep rests your mind and body better. Also, set an alarm. Don’t assume that you’ll get up on time without it, because most of the time you won’t. I know this is a long long “comment” (more like an article), but I am an all-nighter veteran. Not really something to be proud of, but it has its advantages. God bless you, and merry Christmas!

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