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All-Nighter Advice

Exams approacheth, and with such a daunting time on the horizon, the likelihood of all-nighters in your near future is increasing. Burning that midnight (or 5 a.m.) oil is never fun, but sometimes it is necessary. Here are a few tips to get you through any long nights dedicated to seven-page essays or semester reviews. Good luck!
Keep the lights on
We’ve all heard Simon and Garfunkel’s hit song, but when pulling an all-nighter, darkness is not your old friend. While your laptop or phone may blind you during midnight Google searches, they’re not enough to keep you awake and alert late into the night. If you have a roommate who can’t sleep with the lights on, then try camping out in the hallway or even the bathroom (that uncomfortable tile floor will definitely keep you from falling asleep).
Play some music
The best way to drive off the exhaustion that comes with the silence of nighttime is to play some bouncy, jammin’ tunes. If you’re one of those people who can’t focus when music with lyrics is playing, then test out some movie scores by John Williams or Hans Zimmer. Another option might be to listen to a song in another language (MIKA is good for people who like the sound of French). However, if you’re lucky enough to be able to analyze Faulkner while listening to a singer crooning about love and heartache, then find an energetic Spotify playlist and crank it. The top songs from the mid 2000s are particularly great; they’re generic enough to not be distracting, but exciting enough to keep you awake. And for those of you who have a roommate, please be considerate and use earbuds!
Drink your stress away
Don’t throw away your shot to succeed — be sure to drink while you’re at the grindstone! One of the best ways to keep yourself alert without resorting to a cold shower is through drinks. Iced water would be the best way to go about it. The cold temperature will keep you awake, and the water will keep you hydrated and healthy through the night. If you really need that coffee or soda fix, then just be sure your stash will last you throughout the entire night. You do not want to have a caffeine crash at 4 a.m.
Change Positions
If you’re on your bed, then get off. The bed is a relaxing place of sleep and serenity, and that is not what you need as you frantically attempt to finish an assignment the night before it’s due. Maybe find a lounge or even a spare square of carpet to camp on, but don’t stay there all night. Give your mind a break every now and then by just shifting your setup, how you’re sitting or where you are. New atmospheres foster new ideas, so feel free to wander and look for a new place to work every few hours before getting back to business.
Take a break
Listen to Renèe and Phillipa’s advice and take a break every once in a while! Obviously don’t treat yourself to a full movie or 40-minute Netflix episode, but a YouTube video or two never hurt anyone. Getting your focus off your work for a bit can do wonders, allowing you to reset your mind and feel a bit less stressed. Take a break and watch a cute DIY video or even dance around your room for a bit. Just be sure to limit yourself to only one or two videos or songs, and then get back to work when your self-imposed break ends.
Take a nap 
Sometimes, when five-minute dance parties just aren’t cutting it, desperate measures must be taken. Naps, used sparingly, can be the saving grace for all-nighter students, as long as you follow certain rules. The optimal time for nap taking is between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. If it’s too early, you won’t even be tired, and if it’s too late, chances are you’ll just turn off your alarm and go back to sleep. Therefore, these two hours are the best times to nap away your exhaustion. Just be sure to not go over 30 minutes and to actually get up when your alarm goes off.
Set alarms and a schedule 
Just as you would use an alarm to wake yourself up from a power nap, use alarms to help keep yourself on track. Set times for when you aim to finish a certain paragraph or unit review, and then set an alarm to enforce that time. Studying by a schedule will not only provide a bit of structure for your hectic night, but if you end up ahead of schedule, you might even be able to snatch a bit of sleep before class.
Avoid all-nighters to begin with
Finally, the best advice you can get: don’t put yourself in a position where all-nighters are necessary. It’s an objective fact that all-nighters suck, and you can usually avoid them if you just make yourself a study schedule that plans out the week before an exam or an essay. It’s not fun, and odds are you’ll have to give up on going to a party or two, but when finals week arrives you’ll be well-rested and not stressed, it’ll be so worth it.

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