How to Stay Awake at Night

There are times when one has to pull an all-nighter. The reasons could be many like you need to finish a book before tomorrow's book club meeting, you have to complete an article that needs to be submitted the next day, or you are simply determined to finish that video game that you have stuck on forever. All these reasons are completely valid and you should not be judged for them. But you always have this vague fear that you will fall asleep without completing your goal. Here are plenty of ways that can help you keep awake all night.

How to Stay Awake at Night

Have you ever tried to stay up all night but ended up falling asleep? Here are some ideas on how to go about it:

1. Take a nap

If you already know that you have to stay up all night, try taking a nap in the afternoon if possible.

  • Try not to nap too close to your regular bed-time. 6-7 hours before your bed time is ideal.
  • A 30-minute catnap is the best. A nap longer than this can put you in a deep slumber and make you groggy on waking.
  • In case you have been up many nights regularly, a nap of about one-and-a-half hours will help.

2. Get Caffeinated Drinks

A caffeinated drink helps you stay awake. Drink it at such a time that'll help you keep awake between 4-8 am which is the time when most people fall asleep.

  • A cup of coffee takes about 15 to 30 minutes to work and its effects last for 3-4 hours. So take a new cup of coffee every 3-4 hours.
  • Once you stop drinking coffee, you will crash heavily. So spacing coffee drinks or using other stay-awake methods to avoid this.
  • If you are not in favor of caffeinated drinks, drink very cold water or munch on ice chips. This coldness helps you be awake.

3. Stay Cool

How to stay awake at night? Just stay in cool environment because warm surroundings make you sleepy. Change the temperature in your room by turning on a fan or an air conditioner if possible, or open the windows. If your surrounding environment is too hot and there is no way you can cool it down, take a cold shower. It will help you be alert and awake. You can also apply cold compresses to your head and wrists.

4. Take a Break and Move Around

Take a break and move around for a while as it improves your blood flow and keeps you awake.

  • If you are at your computer for long, your eyes get strained. Relax your eyes every hour by closing them or looking at something else for a while.
  • Exercise is a good option. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes. This increases your energy levels which will help you keep awake. Whenever you feel sleepy, you can go for a short brisk walk or do some jumping jacks exercise.

5. Give Yourself a Task Switch

Doing the same thing over and over for a long time can be monotonous and make it difficult for you to stay awake. When you realize that you are feeling sleepy, give yourself a task switch. Take up a task that is much more difficult than the one you are already working on. This new task will require greater concentration and hence will keep you alert and awake. This perfectly solves the problem of how to stay awake at night.

6. Have Healthy Snacks

Low blood-sugar levels also make you sleepy, foggy or groggy. This can be dealt with healthy snacks which keep your energy levels up. You can choose healthy snacks like fresh fruit with granola and yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables for carbohydrates, and peanut butter on whole wheat crackers for protein.

Although sugar gives you immediate energy, it is best avoided because it wears off quickly and makes you more fatigued and foggy than before consuming that sugary snack.

7. Have Healthy Meals During the Day

How to stay awake at night by having healthy meals in the day? When you know in advance that you have to be awake at night, eat at least 3 healthy meals and avoid caffeinated drinks during the day.

A big healthy breakfast is recommended. You can include healthy carbohydrates like oats, wheat cereal, fruits and vegetables. Have some proteins like eggs, lean meat, cottage cheese or yogurt. Eat a healthy lunch of a whole grain sandwich or a salad. Eat a dinner of whole grains, lean meat, fruits or veggies.

8. Bring Bright Light to Help

Bright light can affect your internal clock. It can fool your body into thinking that it is not time for bed yet. Your biological clock is connected to your eyes and bright light can help reset that clock. Make sure that your room is well lit or use light boxes to help you stay awake all night.

9. Other Ways of Staying Awake at Night

Here are more tips on how to stay awake at night:

  • Do some arm and calf stretches
  • Give yourself a massage
  • Keep your mouth active by chewing a gum or sucking a mint
  • Watch your favorite TV series or listen to some music for a while
  • If you are too sleepy, you can pinch yourself awake or bite your tongue a bit
  • Hold your ear lobes gently or tap your foot
  • Keep yourself busy and have company if possible
  • Spend 30 minutes in sunlight and fresh air during the day
  • Drink lots of fluids during daytime

Watch the video to know 8 more ways to help you stay up at night: 

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