When deadlines are looming and you haven’t been keeping on top of your organisation, all-nighters seem the appropriate solution. They shouldn’t be necessary but students love the idea of taking part in the romanticised notion of sleep deprivation. However, sleep cycles can spiral out of control until you reach the point where you’re nocturnal.
Personally, I only had one week of my university career as a nocturnal and I hated every second of it. Two deadlines back-to-back turned into two all-nighters. So, on the second day I woke up at 5pm and then worked all the way until 9am for my 10am deadline. You follow?
This sleeping pattern maintained until the following week where I had to stay up all night and day to reset my body clock. It was not an enjoyable experience, here are five ways to avoid become nocturnal at university.
1. Purposefully make plans during the day
This one works well if you’re easy to guilt. Make plans with friends for days after deadline nights. Hopefully the guilt of cancelling on drinks or lunch will encourage you to either finish your work before 4am and get some sleep or don’t be a rubbish human and actually finish your essays on time.
2. Keep your nights dark
If you find yourself wide awake at night, program yourself using the powers of light! Keep away from your phone and laptop and your body should naturally start feeling tired. These blue lights make your brain too alert for sleep.
>3. Head to the gym
Exercise can be used to tire you out, sure, but it can also be used to disrupt sleep. When dawn breaks and you feel the 10am bedtime crawling your way, hit the treadmill. A high-intensity cardio workout late in the day can totally throw off your body’s desire to sleep.
4. Coffee, coffee, coffee
This one speaks for itself. Get wired early and try and ride that wave out until it’s an acceptable time to sleep.
>5. Going forward, limit yourself to one all-nighter a week
Honestly, unless you’re a medic/law trainee at Oxbridge, there’s nothing in your BA that should warrant consistent all-nighters. My aforementioned situation came about because of poor organisation however, in hindsight, I probably didn’t need to stay up all night. Do your work on time and avoid sleeping in the day – university isn’t that hard.