So, You Need To Pull An All-Nighter?

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All-Nighter Tips from

All-Nighter : Staying awake all night to finish tasks or complete homework that you have put off for days, weeks etc.


Everyone knows that pulling an all-nighter is a bad idea in general, but sometimes you have procrastinated too long and an all-night work or study session is unavoidable.

There are things you can do to make staying up all night easier and more effective, such as taking a shower, changing the temperature of the room, exercising and taking B vitamins.

As a public service, and because a large portion of our site’s users are college students, Online Clock thought it’d be a good idea to compile some of the best tips for effectively pulling an all-nighter.

So, take a long pull from a glass of ice water, turn up that loud, fast rock music, and enjoy our list of 9 Tips for Pulling An All-Nighter!

Take a Shower

Showers are great for helping you wake up in the morning, and they are also good for keeping yourself awake during an all-nighter. If you are really sleepy, taking a shower will wake your body and mind, especially if you use scented shampoo and soap that smells like citrus. The scents will invigorate your body and help stop you from feeling sleepy. After your shower, try spraying energizing scents around the room to boost the effects of the aromatherapy you started during your shower.

Anatomy Of An All-Nighter

Anatomy of an All-Nighter by Jorge Cham / PHD Comics

Eat the Right Foods

You may crave carbohydrates late at night, but eating foods rich in carbs will make you feel sleepier. Foods that contain large amounts of protein are a better option when you are trying to avoid sleep. Eat a small snack such a few slices of cheese or drink a glass of milk. Apples are also a great snack because they help to stabilize your blood sugar so that it doesn’t crash suddenly and make you drowsy. No matter what you eat, avoid eating a large amount of food at once, because it may make you feel bloated and sleepy. It is also a good idea to eat a light meal that contains lots of vegetables for dinner before your all-nighter.


If you don’t feel like eating, taking a small amount of B-vitamins might be an OK way to increase your energy level. You can buy a b-vitamin complex or b-12 capsules at most grocery or drug stores. Try taking a b-vitamin pill  to increase your energy level and ability to focus. Many commercial energy drinks also contain b-vitamins, but they also contain caffeine and other stimulants. Drinking energy drinks may make you feel jittery and unable to focus on the task you must complete during your all-nighter.

Drink Water

Drinking caffeine will probably help you stay awake all night, but it is also likely to cause a major crash the next day. It is better to drink ice water to stay awake. The temperature of the water will give your body a jolt that will wake you up, and you will not stay asleep very long if you drift off because you will have to run to the bathroom. Try drinking at least one glass of ice water every half-hour for maximum benefit.

Take a Power Nap

If you are having trouble staying awake and nothing is working, sometimes it is best to give in to your tiredness and take a nap for 10 to 30 minutes. Make sure you set an alarm that is loud enough to wake you up so that you still get your work or studying done before morning. Many people feel almost as awake after sleeping for 15 or 20 minutes as they feel after sleeping for hours.


One of the easiest ways to avoid falling asleep during an all-nighter is to keep moving. Many people fall asleep if they sit in one place for too long, but moving will keep them awake. You could try running in place, doing jumping jacks, or dancing to your favorite band. It doesn’t really matter how you move, as long as you avoid sitting still. It often works best to take a movement break for five to ten minutes every hour. Make sure to set a timer so that you don’t get so caught up in moving that you forget to go back to studying or working. Exercise is great for reducing tension when you are stressed. It also releases serotonin and endorphins into your bloodstream, which will help you stay awake for hours.

Avoid Distractions

When you are pulling an all-nighter it is best to stay on task as much as possible so that you can get the things you were procrastinating done and get some sleep. Social media, video games and television are all distractions that will not help you reach your goals. Staying up all-night doesn’t help you if you waste your time instead of using it productively.

Pulls An All-Nighter : Misses Exam

Pulls An All-Nighter : Misses Exam

Switch Subjects Often

If you are bored with the task you are doing, you are likely to fall asleep. Try to switch tasks at least every hour so that you aren’t doing the same thing over and over. Your brain gets bored quickly, especially if you are already tired, so switching subjects gives you a mental break and allows you to break up the work you are completing into small chunks. Making a list of everything you need to complete before morning and checking things off the list will help keep you motivated to push through the tiredness and get your work done.

Keep it Cool

Opening a window will ensure that the temperature in the room you are working in never gets too warm. Most people are likely to fall asleep in a warm room, but they will have difficulty sleeping if the room is too cold. Any breeze that enters the room through the open window will also stimulate your body and keep you awake.

All-Nighter : Come At Me !

All-Nighter : Come At Me !

Still awake?

We hope so…and we think you are, as long as you followed several of our Tips for Pulling an All-Nighter listed above.

Just remember: staying awake all night is not healthy, and certainly not recommended, unless absolutely necessary.

If you do have to pull an all-nighter, make sure that you take time off the next day to let your body and mind recuperate fully.

Try to minimize the number of all-nighters you’ll have to go through each year and be sure to avoid any substances which might have a negative effect on your well-being.

For further details and to be on the safe side, be sure and consult your family physician!

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