If that day hasn’t come for you, hopefully it never does. But in the meantime, here is a quick guide to avoiding the all-nighter, and doing it right if you’re left with no choice:
Sometimes the only thing prolonging your workload is the pressure you’re putting on yourself. Take short breaks to reassess your work, but keep them short and simple – a stretch or walk outside – and you’ll be less likely to psych yourself out.
Limit the damage
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can be as bad as not exercising or not eating right. If you know an all-nighter may be looming, make avoiding it your number one priority. Prioritize what can be left for the morning, which assignments have more leeway with your professor, or what subtopics are the most important when you know you can’t hit them all.
Keep your eyes on the prize
Rather than wasting your time posting to Facebook about your impending study binge or going to the store for a fancy energy drink when a simple coffee would do, just study. Use your desire to get the work over with as your motivation and you just might end up getting some sleep.
The next day, make it a point to be as relaxed as possible; it has been proven that a lack of sleep can hinder your decision-making and memory in the coming hours. Don’t do anything too intense and focus on recovering so that you can keep up better the next time.
Decide how you can avoid it next time
Make note of why you had to go on that six-hour study binge to prevent it from happening again. And if the long night and lack of sleep isn’t enough to discourage you, a college study has shown that students who don’t ever rely on all-nighters average a GPA of 3.1 compared to the 2.9 of those who do.