Pull an all-nighter: How to study all night without sleeping

study at night

Though staying up all night is a bad idea, sometimes we must pull an all-nighter. It can be for any reason, like an exam or an assignment, or it may be your only choice. In that situation, you must stay awake and do your work without considering its harmful effects. But you shouldn't do this very often, because it can badly affect your mental and physical health. 

I only study a whole night once a week, and it's for additional studies. I once had a crazy feeling about working full nights continuously for a few days. You know? crazy…I think I wasn't able to do that at least for 3 days as I became weak and I also had to take doctor consultants. In this article, I included some medical tips from my doctor.

I became too weak because I didn't follow the healthy tips to keep my body healthy. Many mention not pulling all-nighters unless you don't have other options as it has some harmful effect on your body. 

If you stay awake for a whole night, you must do it more safely. This article will look at some tips to follow when going awake an entire night to do it safely.

Tips to study all night

1. Have a light dinner

Having light food for your dinner is much better if you stay awake at night because taking a heavy meal makes you sleepy, and your mind will tell your brain, "what you are doing. Go to the bed now". The other important thing is you have to finish your dinner early, maybe by 8pm. Don't try to stay awake without taking dinner because, without food, you don't have the energy to function. And also, when you're working with an empty stomach, you may end up with something like gastritis.

2. Take a nap 

take a nap before start studying

Some experts say you should take a 20min to 30min short nap before studying. But I am not agreeing with that because I can't have that type of nap. If I sleep after dinner, I will definitely wake up in the morning, not after 30mins. But my friend is an expert in having short naps, believe me, she is sleeping at the school also. And also, I know some of you can do this, so give it a try. If you can take a short nap after dinner, it will increase alertness while you study. 

3. Take a shower

Also, try to take a cold or lukewarm shower before your studies. If you're not willing to take a shower at night (neither I), you can try washing your face with cold water or brush your teeth so it can make you feel so refreshed.

4. Plan before start 

Another good tip for studying all night is to plan your work and have a routine before you start it. Otherwise, you'll waste time thinking about what tasks you're going to do and making a mess in your studying place, which may distract you from your studies. And It will make you procrastinate. So to be productive throughout the night, you have to plan yourself. Because success does not only depend on how much time you work but also on how much focus you have.

5. Take short breaks

Not only studying at night but every time you study, taking short breaks can improve your memory. If you work for 30mins, you can have a 5min or 10min break. You can listen to a song, talk to a friend, watch a funny video or drink a cup of tea during that short break. You will not get tired when interacting with these activities, and your sleep will go away. And some of my friends take short naps or meditate during these short breaks. So the choice is up to you; you can do anything that can fight your sleep. But I think short naps can destroy your dream about working all night.

6. Study with friends 

study with friends

When we study at night, it's boring to keep working alone for a long time. So it is essential to learn with friends who are passionate about studying. You can talk to them during your study breaks because it benefits both of you. But don't try to co-operate with friends who waste time without studying. Otherwise, it may ruin your motivation too. You can also use your chatting time to learn. For example, you all can tell what you learned and share your short notes. Or you can use the chatting time as a fun break because it will forget about the sleep. 

I usually work with my best friend, which is so interesting. The most remarkable thing among us is we come with challenges like we'll see who will have the highest marks in the next exam. We always help each other, discuss theories and papers, make short notes, and working with her is so interesting. Do you have such best friends? Don't forget to share this article with them, which are willing to study all night with you.

7. Walk around

When your body is active, you will not be dozing off. So try to walk inside or outside of your home. When you're outside, you can look at the night sky and concentrate, and you won't feel sleepy when it's cold. So make sure you at least walk around in your study area.

8. Drink more water

a girl drinking water

Hydration is one of the most important things if you study all night. So you have to drink lots of water during the whole night. And also, drinking water boosts our memory. Don't try taking beverages like coffee because though it keeps you awake temporarily, it can be harmful to your health by drinking too much. So water is the best to keep ourselves hydrated as it can help us stay awake significantly and has no side effects. Whenever I'm studying, I always have a lukewarm water bottle on my table. Drinking lots of water will make you go to the bathroom often. But it is also beneficial because it prevents you from dozing off when walking often.

9. Use a bright light 

Keeping our work area well lighted helps you get rid of sleepiness quickly. Having a bright light in our room doesn't let our brain feel the difference separated from daytime when we're spending a night. It's better if you can have a LED bulb that can simulate sunlight, so the brain tends to stay awake. If your study room is dark, you won't be able to stay awake for the whole night as it puts a lot of strain on your eyes and makes you sleepy. Because darkness cues your body to release melatonin, a hormone that makes you tired.

10. Stay away from the bed

If you study in your room, place your study table on the opposite side of the bed so you won't see the bed. Because if you see your bed while you work, the bed seems to be talking to you, "Come here, feel my comfort and sleep with me." So you'll try to nap in your comfy bed, and you won't know until your mother wakes you in the morning. Trust me, one day, I woke at 11 am because my mother thought I was studying all night and slept after that. But the truth is I slept for over 11 hours. Have you had any experience like this? Let me know in the comment section. After that, I used another room to study to continue my work without any mental distraction.

11. Study in different ways 

If you can, give it a try to change the way you're studying. For example, you can read by walking instead of sitting. It's enjoyable when you make some funny short songs with lessons. Also, try to teach what you are studying to an imaginary person (it's better if you can use a whiteboard) and ask questions yourself. I usually use that teaching alone method when learning new facts and theories because it helps me understand new concepts and remember them easily. If you can teach things you've learned to your friends, it will be more effective than doing this alone. 

How to Make any Boring Subject Interesting and Enjoyable

12. Keep windows open

Work with windows open as the cold air can make you stay awake. But it can be different from person to person because maybe warm air causes you to stay awake while the cold air makes you sleep. So choosing what's best for you is up to you. Most of all, don't try this if it's not safe for you to stay with windows open at midnight.

13. Listen to music

a girl listening to music while studying

Also, try listening to music like EDM while in your 10 or 5min break, which makes you energetic with a rhythm. When I'm pulling all-nighters, it's one of the best things that keep me awake. Well, I'm crazy at EDM; Its beats make me dance. When I dance, my sleep runs away. So if I feel sleepy, I pause my work for 5 minutes, search for EDM from my favorite artists, and dance like a crazy guy. But don't try this among your studies because it may distract you. Really I can't be sure about that because, according to many psychologists, some people are comfortable studying while listening to music, but some are not. So you have to recognize what your mind is in favor of. If you want to dig into it, feel free to read my article on studying with music.

14. Do an exercise 

Activities such as squeezing your ears, stretching your legs, pushups and jumping jacks, or doing simple exercises can keep you warm, which helps you to stay awake. But do not overdo it, because if you feel tired, you will fall asleep quickly. 

list of study break exercises by tyrolead.com

15. Try to Meditate 

Meditation is another essential good exercise for your mind that you can practice, which helps to improve your mental health. Meditating for at least 10 minutes makes your mind so relaxed and claim. Practicing meditation as a habit will make you focus on your work. I usually do this at night, and when I become so stressed, it helps me a lot to relax my mind and concentrate on my work.


I'm repeating you don't try to make it a habit to stay awake for whole nights, though, to be productive or show off how much you work hard.

If you're going to try out these tips while you're pulling an all-nighter, I'm sure you're going to kick your sleepiness mind and continue your work. Leave us a comment and let us know what your favorite activity you do in your study breaks. Also, don't forget to share these tips with your friends who like to study passionately. If you motivate your friends to learn at night, you will not be alone when working at night. Try to learn with friends co-operatively like the way my best friend and I do. 

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