A good night’s rest can be the key to an energized morning and maximum productivity. However, there are times when staying up all night may become necessary. This may be due to a sudden night shift at work or another task that takes sleep out of the equation. This article is about hacks to stay awake all night.
How do you stay awake all night without falling asleep?
It’s important to find ways to inhibit the likelihood of nodding off if you’re serious about staying awake all night. These steps should be able to fool the brain into thinking it’s still daytime to prevent the release of hormones that calm the mind, lower body temperature, and induce sleep.
To ensure that your body can last the whole night, you may need to write down these tips:
- Taking a long afternoon nap
- Keeping the thermostat up
- Taking a cold shower
- Sleeping with the lights on
- Brushing your teeth
- Putting your feet in a basin of cold water
- Undertaking light exercises such as walking around
- Staying glued to your smartphone
1. Taking a Long Afternoon Nap
A long afternoon nap is a proven way to get through a night of drinking. If you’ve been spending a good 7-8 hours in bed every night so far, a sudden sleep deprivation can have a big impact on your health.
Fatigue will likely set in at some point and cause you to fall asleep. Also, your body’s sleep clock follows the same trend based on your habits. Therefore, some sort of interruption increases your chances of success.
We recommend napping towards the end of the afternoon, as this can increase your body’s energy levels at the time you wake up. Getting through the night unscathed should be much easier.
2. Take a Cold Shower
Cold showers are a powerful weapon for an all-nighter. This is because they can wake the body up from the deepest slumber. The cooling effects of the water can put the body into a higher state of alertness, allowing you to focus on work or other activities that need to be done overnight.
Cold showers can also reduce CO2 levels in the body by forcing you to take deeper breaths, which can improve your ability to concentrate.
In addition, a cold shower in the evening, when temperatures may not be as comfortable, can increase your mental strength. This is especially true if you have access to warm water but choose cold water instead.
With this higher level of willpower and concentration, you should have little trouble keeping up the effort to stay up all night.
3. Keep the Thermostat Up
It’s no secret that a low thermostat increases the likelihood of falling asleep because the human brain associates low room temperatures with nighttime. Therefore, it begins to start the necessary processes to induce sleep as soon as the temperatures begin to drop, especially in the second half of the day.
Keeping the thermostat high can trick the brain into thinking it’s still daytime. This can delay the release of the hormones that put you to sleep.
Also, we all find it hard to switch off when the temperature is medium to high. Try to keep the room temperature at a normal level, and you are less likely to fall asleep, even if your body is quite tired.
If you don’t have central air conditioning, you can always turn off the air conditioning in your room or keep it at a relatively high temperature setting. If you regularly sleep with the fan on, turning it off or at least lowering it can keep the body awake throughout the night.
4. Sleep with the Lights On
Sleeping in the dark is one of the best ways to have a happy night, according to National Sleep Foundation. Why do you think parents enforce light-off times at home for their children?
So when the lights are bright and on, it can promote the ability to stay awake all night. Remember, the presence of light also tells the brain that it is still daytime. So the brain continues to send signals and release hormones that keep you awake to increase productivity, rather than releasing sleep-inducing melatonin.
This can reduce the risk of nodding off when you have important work to do. In addition to direct lighting from a light bulb, make sure that your surroundings receive as much direct sunlight as possible.
Avoid drawing blinds and curtains, which can block natural light.
I turn on Amazon’s Miroco LED Bright White Light Therapy whenever I need to stay up all night. It provides the medically recommended 10,000 lux of illumination, which mimics the energizing power of a bright sunny day and improves my ability to concentrate.
5. Brush Your Teeth
Have you noticed that regardless of how sleepy you feel after a bad night, the effects wear off immediately after brushing your teeth in the morning? That’s because brushing your teeth has the power to increase your concentration level.
Most toothpastes on the market contain active ingredients such as peppermint and cinnamon that help boost your body’s concentration levels. The art of brushing your teeth, rinsing your mouth with water and washing your face can also bring you back from slumber land.
So, keeping your toothbrush and toothpaste handy during the night shift can come in handy when you eventually start nodding off.
6. Put Your Feet in a Basin of Water
To stay awake throughout the night, you can use a lot of unconventional hacks, and one of the most effective is dipping your feet in a bowl of water. Unlike a similar trick of putting your feet in water for about 15 minutes before going to bed, this trick requires you to keep your feet in the bowl while you continue to work.
This trick is more effective if your shift work involves sitting down and the steps are as follows:
- Get a bowl of water and put some ice in it while it is still warm
- Take off your shoes and socks
- Place your bare feet in the bowl
- Continue to work as your feet remain in the bowl for as long as necessary
- If you need to get up, put your feet back in the basin as soon as you return
7. Undertake Light Exercises
Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your mind sharp and active. If you do shift work or have to stay up for any reason, incorporating light exercise into your workday can be a smart move.
Whether you take the stairs instead of the elevator or do a few repetitions of push-ups or sit-ups every few hours, the idea is to not be stuck in one place to avoid the temptation of nodding off.
If you hate working out, it can help to stay on your feet and find ways to walk around regularly. You can simply go to the bathroom and wash your face every time you notice signs of nodding off or feel stuck.
This is even more critical if you have to stay seated most of the night, as sitting increases the risk of falling asleep
8. Stay Glued To Your Gadgets
Do you own a smartphone or gadgets like iPads and laptops? Staying glued to them is perhaps one of the most tried and tested ways to succeed on a boozy night. But how does technology affect sleep in the first place,
Well, these devices emit blue light, which inhibits the brain’s production of melatonin, the main sleep-inducing hormone. Therefore, playing with an electronic device can make it difficult to fall asleep even at your regular bedtime.
Second, the act of reading emails, checking social media feeds, and watching YouTube videos can keep the brain at a high level of alertness. Technology accomplishes this by delivering the need to stay awake to the brain at constant intervals.
Finally, as long as these devices are around, you will continue to receive notifications that can keep the brain from falling asleep. From new Facebook friend requests to new emails and Instagram posts, there are a whole host of updates that are constantly rolling in.
9. Get your caffeine – Drink your coffee!
Do you thrive on the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning? A cup or two can help you get through the night.
Caffeine, the active ingredient in coffee, inhibits the body’s ability to sleep by suppressing adenosine, a powerful neurotransmitter that sends signals to the brain to release sleep hormones.
Caffeine also increases the body’s production of adrenaline, which keeps the mind alert and maintains productivity throughout the night. This can reduce the chances of falling asleep during the night.
The good news is that the effects of caffeine can last up to 6 hours, so another cup halfway through the night shift should help you stay on track until morning.
Also, caffeine is a diuretic, which typically causes dehydration in the body. This can cause you to need to go to the bathroom more often, which means a lower risk of falling asleep during the night.
Have you read the article How To Sleep After Overdrinking Coffee? Click on the link to discover some sneaky tactics that can put you to sleep in minutes.
10. Write it Down
Have you noticed that writing makes it harder to fall asleep? That’s right. A notepad and pen can be one of the antidotes to staying wide awake all night.
You have a task before you in the morning? Plan it all out by writing it down on your notepad. Are there important pieces of the puzzle you need to remember? Is there something you need to get done in your personal life? Just write it down.
Writing keeps your mind sharp and alert, which further reduces the risk of falling asleep.
11. Eat Properly
Eating a heavy meal is counterproductive if you’re trying to stay awake all night. Instead, stick to eating light meals at regular intervals, as the combination of cravings and the production of insulin after eating can help keep you awake.
The trick is to focus on sports bar foods like chips, mozzarella sticks, and potato chips. Other foods that can help you stay awake are:
- Cured meats: meats like bacon, pepperoni, and sausage secrete good amounts of tyramine, an amino acid that produces a stimulant called norepinephrine, which helps the body stay awake.
- Fermented foods: sour cream, yogurts and aged cheeses contain tyramine, an amino acid that stimulates brain activity. This means increased mental alertness and the ability to stay awake.
- Sugary foods: cupcakes, mayonnaise, and ketchup give the body an extra dose of energy, which can increase the ability to not sleep all night.
- Chocolate bars: contain a mixture of sugar and caffeine, which means increased concentration and decreased fatigue.
- Fried Foods : Fried rice, fried chicken wings, and other common fried foods increase acidity in the brain. This can lead to an elevated environment that keeps you awake.
Did you read the article we wrote about Why You Should Never Sleep On a Full Stomach? Click the link to read it now and gain some important insights.
12. No Alcohol
Drinking a glass of wine can help you relax and fall asleep. However, if you are serious about staying awake, it is important to keep the alcohol in check. You don’t want the brain to react by releasing hormones that can put you to sleep, do you?
Plus, a long night of drinking can lead to drowsiness. Not only can this affect your ability to stay productive, but it often stimulates the brain to release melatonin. Since this hormone has a strong sedative effect, you’ll soon find yourself dozing off to sleep.
Avoiding alcohol eliminates the risk of drowsiness and allows you to stay awake for as long as you need to.
13. No Energy Drinks
If you’re trying to stay awake, energy drinks should be one of your best friends, right? Well, no, not exactly! Sure, energy drinks can contain excessive amounts of caffeine, which keeps your mind alert.
However, once the effects wear off, you can feel even more tired, which increases the need to drink larger and larger amounts. Also, energy drinks can be very addictive, causing you to drink several cans or bottles in a short period of time.
This can quickly cause you to exceed the recommended daily amount of caffeine of 400 mg, as the average can of energy drink contains 120 mg of caffeine.
Therefore, it may be worth it to stay away from energy drinks, especially for those who need to stay awake on a regular basis.
14. Switch on the TV
Need an easy way to stay awake all night? Why not just turn on the TV? Televisions can help you stay productive at night in countless ways.
First, the light emitted by TV can inhibit the brain’s production of melatonin, which regulates sleep. This means a high level of alertness during the night to focus on what you are doing.
The sounds and scenes of the television can entertain the brain even when you are not fully alert. It’s no secret that an entertained mind stays awake, which allows you to focus on tasks for the night.
The trick is to switch to a channel that allows you to multitask so it doesn’t clash with your school or work obligations.
15. Chew Gum
Many people chew a piece of gum when they are in an environment where they easily lose concentration or feel sleepy. This is because this is an effective method that has been used for years.
Chewing gum keeps the facial muscles active, which results in increased blood flow to the area in question. Since chewing requires effort, it can keep brain activity at a high level, which forces the brain to focus and stay alert, albeit at a low level.
The good news is that you can chew a caffeinated gum during your nighttime session, as it will give you the dual benefit of exercising your gums and getting caffeine. You’ll be amazed at how easy pulling an all-nighter can be.
Amazon’s Military Energy Gum is my go-to option every time I have to work a night shift or study all night. It gives an instant energy boost for maximum focus until morning.
16. Listen to Music
Listening to music can be a great way to keep your mind alert. Does that mean you should log on to Apple Music or your favorite streaming service and start listening to any song on your playlists? The answer is no.
Listening to music with a slow tempo can only make you sleepy. Instead, choose music with a fast tempo that sounds sharp in your ears and beats out every ounce of sleepiness. The good news is that you can find this type of music in any genre.
The trick is to choose tracks that play close to 120 beats per minute, which is twice as fast as the average person’s heart rate at 60 beats per minute. You can make it easy to keep your brain active for as long as you need.
It’s hard to feel sleepy when you’re engrossed in stimulating conversation. This is the reason why many night shift workers engage in gossip whenever they get the chance. Instead of keeping to yourself all the time, you can stay engaged by having a conversation with third parties whenever possible.
Even if you stay up all by yourself, a partner or friend may be willing to pick up the phone and have a quick chat every few hours.
Texting on platforms like WhatsApp can also be a great way to have conversations that keep you awake. The good news is that many students and work colleagues now have WhatsApp group chats where a few people are always awake and posting at any point.
Feel free to join the conversations and keep them going. By the time you realize it, it’s already morning and your shift is over.
The benefits of workouts to stay awake are well known, but did you know that regular stretching can have similar effects? Whether you’ve checked off your regular workout routine or not, it’s important to stretch your muscles for 5-10 minutes every hour or so.
Stretching exercises can lead to deeper breaths and associated benefits like increased oxygen delivery to the muscles in question. Also, getting up frequently is a great way to stay active and banish signs of fatigue.
Do well to stretch the areas that are at greater risk for stiffness, such as the thighs and feet, arms and shoulders, neck and waist. Not only will this allow you to focus during the night, but it can also reduce the risk of pain and discomfort in the morning.
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19. Inhale Sharp Scents
Have you ever inhaled a pungent scent while falling asleep? It can cause a quick awakening of your senses. That’s why we recommend inhaling strong scents when you’re feeling sleepy and nothing seems to be working.
There are different types of essential oils on the market, and each can do your level of alertness a lot of good just by inhaling them. Some of the most popular oils that are available in the market are:
There are several ways to diffuse these essential oils, including creating your own mist sprays or using an electric diffuser. However, the easiest way is to open the bottle or container and inhale directly.
This can give your brain a quick jolt and eliminate any signs of sleepiness while you focus on work or studying for the rest of the night. Fortunately, most essential oils are available in small containers that you can easily carry to work in a pocket or purse.
I always take a bottle from Amazon’s ArtNaturals Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils Set if I have to stay up all night. It comes in 8 x 10 ml bottles with 8 different essential oils and inhaling each of them prevents me from getting sleepy every time I sleep through the night.
20. Switch Tasks
Switching tasks from time to time can help you stay awake for as long as you need to, as boredom can make you sleepy. If you keep doing the same tasks over and over again, it’s only a matter of time before fatigue sets in and you start nodding off.
Dr. Neil Stanley, a sleep specialist, says feeling safe and secure is one of the fastest ways for the body to fall asleep. “That’s why it’s common for some people to feel a strong urge to sleep in a low-stress, safe environment like a lecture or a movie.”
The same mechanism works when you’re busy with monotonous tasks. It can get to a point where the brain feels so safe that it doesn’t need any more effort to complete the task. This can reduce the level of brain activity and induce sleep.
However, switching between different tasks keeps the brain active and alert to avoid mistakes and accidents. The result is maximum productivity throughout the night.
21. Use Medication
If you’ve tried all the other tips above and still get little to no results, you may have no choice but to talk to your doctor. There are prescription medications that can stimulate the brain to stay active and keep you up all night.
These drugs promote alertness even when you are extremely tired and need to sleep. Also known as nootropics or smart drugs, these stimulants may be available in the form of amino acids, herbs, or synthetic medications.
Whichever form you choose, it can be a real way to stay awake for several hours without any problems.
Some of the most popular medications for staying awake include:
Be aware that these medications can be addictive if taken long term. They can also cause side effects ranging from breathing problems to long-term sleep cycle disturbances to skin rashes and irregular heartbeat.
Amazon’s Genius Consciousness Super Nootropic Brain Booster Supplement is my go-to solution every time I need to stay awake. It stimulates mental clarity, focus and cognitive performance to ensure maximum productivity.
We just listed the 21 proven ways to stay awake all night. While these tips are effective, you should always try to get the much-needed amount of sleep your body requires. There is no healthy substitute for sleep – either through medication or other lifestyle choices.
Also, make sure you get enough rest the next day after staying up all night. This can be beneficial for your long-term health.