Is there a worse feeling than looking at the clock in the early hours of the morning realizing you still have hours of work to do? Ideally pulling an all-nighter only happens once in awhile, but when it does it still feels terrible. There is no way around feeling poorly after not sleeping, but there are also ways to make the day after less taxing. In fact, the actions you take the day after can help you bounce back from an all-nighter and will help you avoid ruining the rest of your week. Here’s what we suggest!
- Bank sleep ahead of time.
- Take a nap.
- Hydrate hydrate hydrate.
- Don’t workout. Really.
- But definitely stretch it out.
- Eat properly.
- Here’s What Happens to Your Body And Brain When You Pull an All Nighter
- 4 Tips to Get Back on Track After an All-Nighter
- 10 Ways To Stay Awake At Work After A Sleepless Night
- 1. Stay Hydrated
- 2. Eat Well (And Don’t Binge On Sugar!)
- 3. Drink Coffee
- 4. Turn up the AC
- 6. Listen to music
- 7. Get a little sunlight
- 8. Take a power nap
- 9. Get moving
- 10. Sleep early
- How to Stay Awake After an All-Nighter
- Drink water
- Use caffeine
- Optimize your diet
- Supplement to destress your system
- Keep your gut bacteria in check
- Get sunlight
- Move your body
- Recover the right way
- Join over 1 million fans
- The Fix
Bank sleep ahead of time.
If you know that an all-nighter is coming your way, prep for it. During the days leading up, try and get plenty of sleep. If you are skimping on sleep on the regular, you will feel the effects of an all-nighter much stronger.
Take a nap.
You probably won’t argue with us on this one. If you can find time for a nap take one, but don’t sleep too long or you will find yourself groggy when you wake up. A nap as short as ten minutes can be beneficial—as long as you don’t go over 45 minutes. By sleeping too long you will experience sleep inertia, which is what happens when you wake from a deep sleep, and it can be difficult to shake off that feeling. A quick power nap will recharge you, helping to power you through the rest of the day.
Getting a little extra sleep the following days is also a good idea. For a few nights after, go to bed early so your body has a chance to restore itself. Try to let yourself sleep as much as you need, and wake up without an alarm if possible.
Hydrate hydrate hydrate.
What do you drink when you are tired? Coffee, tea or soda, most likely. Try water instead. A study from Tufts University found that mild dehydration at a loss of 1-2% of body weight in water was enough to impair thinking, which can easily happen if you drink a lot of caffeine. Water may not give you a rush (like a shot of espresso can), but it will help you feel better in the long run—especially during a day of sleep deprivation.
Don’t workout. Really.
As tired as you are, an energy-boosting workout may sound like a good way to perk up. But doo not, we repeat do not, workout when lacking sleep. Without enough sleep, your coordination will be affected and working out is potentially dangerous. Take it easy and wait a day to hit the gym.
Source: Style Caster
But definitely stretch it out.
While an intense workout is not a good idea, a little yoga can do you a lot of good. When you stretch and strengthen your muscles you massage the internal organs, which causes toxins to be rinsed from the body. The breathing aspect of yoga helps too, because when you breathe deeply your blood receives waves of fresh oxygen, which increases energy levels and revitalizes your entire system.
Do a little research and find a few poses, designed to increase energy and focus, that you are comfortable with. No need to do yoga for an hour, five to ten minutes will be enough for a quick pick-me-up. Most likely whatever kept you up all night wasn’t great for your stress levels, so yoga will also help you relax.
When you are tired, reaching for sugary treats, soda, or starchy foods is appealing…really appealing. Refrain from eating processed food and eat whole foods that are designed to give your body energy. Food is energy for your body and carbohydrates are an obvious choice as they easily provide ready-to-burn fuel for your body. One problem with carbohydrates? Simple carbohydrates break down fast so you will have a short-lived energy burst, but then are left with low blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, complex carbohydrates like whole grains provide steady energy. Supplement complex carbs (such as brown rice and quinoa) with lean protein like fish, chicken, and nuts as well as fruits and vegetables. Eat three meals a day of roughly the same size and keep healthy snacks nearby for when energy levels start to drop.
Source: My Domaine
You didn’t think we completely forgot about caffeine did you? Caffeine can be your best friend after pulling an all-nighter, but only in moderation. Excessive consumption of caffeine may cause energy but also along with irritability, headaches, jittery feelings, and restlessness. It can also make it hard to fall asleep when you do finally get the chance. Beware of caffeine crashes caused when the adrenaline and dopamine brought on by caffeine start to drop off. Indulge in a few cups of coffee throughout the day, but take it easy or you may end up feeling worse than before you indulged.
Here’s What Happens to Your Body And Brain When You Pull an All Nighter
There are times when it’s unavoidable – a dissertation is due, a family member is in the emergency room, it’s make-or-break for your company – but you should be aware of just how damaging pulling an all nighter is to your body.
Neuroscientists from Norway looked closely at the potential repercussions on our health, and it’s not pretty (as you might expect if you’ve ever suffered a sleepless night).
They recruited 21 healthy young men to undergo a series of diffusion tensor imaging (or DTI) tests, which indicate water diffusion in the body and thus the health of the nervous system.
The volunteers stayed awake for 23 hours, and to provide some control conditions, they weren’t allowed to consume alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine during the study, and they couldn’t eat anything before a DTI scan.
The 2015 report pointed to “significant” changes in the white matter inside the brain after a night with no sleep, finding that “sleep deprivation was associated with widespread fractional anisotropy”.
In other words, a degradation of the ‘connectivity’ networks inside the brain – something you might have felt first-hand if you’ve ever tried to collect your thoughts after a sleepless night.
Changes were noticed throughout the brain, covering the corpus callosum, brainstem, thalamus, fronto temporal and parieto-occipital tracts.
What’s not quite as clear is how permanent this damage is: could a long sleep the next night repair all the damage that’s been done, for example?
There’s also the question of how far other factors contribute to these shifts in the makeup of our neuronal tissue.
“My hypothesis would be that the putative effects of one night of sleep deprivation on white matter microstructure are short term and reverse after one to a few nights of normal sleep,” says the report’s lead author Torbjørn Elvsåshagen in a blog post.
“However, it could be hypothesised that chronic sleep insufficiency might lead to longer-lasting alterations in brain structure… remains to be clarified.”
Two of the test subjects didn’t show the same brain pattern behaviour as the others, indicating that perhaps some of us have bodies that are better protected against the effects of sleep deprivation.
It’s a small study so we need to take the results with a grain of salt. A follow-up study could potentially add additional scans at shorter intervals of time and take the activities of participants into consideration (something that wasn’t done this time around).
Plenty of other researchers are looking at the same question: sleeplessness has been shown to interfere with our genes as well as our brains, so it’s a pretty big deal.
Earlier this year, researchers in Italy found the brain literally starts eating itself when it doesn’t get enough sleep.
The research was published in PLOS ONE.
This is an updated version of an article that was first published in May 2015.
4 Tips to Get Back on Track After an All-Nighter
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase through our links. Please read our full disclosure here.
As the end of the semester nears, many college students sacrifice personal care to tend to pressing matters such as final exams, papers, and projects. During this time of year, sleep is often one of the first activities students give up, either by sleeping irregular hours or not enough.
While many students believe they will simply reclaim this lost sleep over the weekend, regular all-nighters can lead to chronic sleep deprivation, which can negatively affect the body’s ability to catch up on sleep. The symptoms of sleep deprivation include sluggishness in class and work, difficulties concentrating, and greater levels of irritation.
But what do you do if you just can’t avoid the all-nighter? How can you transition back to a healthy sleep schedule as easily as possible when an all-nighter is your only option? Here are some ideas to make all-nighter recovery as easy as possible.
1. Realize that all-nighters are not a way of life – use them only when necessary.
I’m a natural night owl, so staying up and taking advantage of my most “alert” period of the day always seems logical to me. However, when I wake up the next morning, I usually find myself completely useless until at least 10 am.
So while it may be appealing to put things off till the wee hours of the morning, doing so on a regular basis is ultimately damaging and sets a poor precedent. After all, if you are regularly staying up until 3 am doing normal homework, you’ll probably have stay up until dawn to finish a final paper.
2. Have less caffeine and more water, vegetables, and fruit.
While many people turn to caffeine to keep them going after an all-nighter, this could make your physical state even worse.
I have written previously about the dangers of caffeine and these negative symptoms peak when your body is at its most vulnerable, such as after an all-nighter.
Though it may seem like a reasonable idea to drink a couple cups of coffee before heading to class, it would often be better to put something healthy in your body first. Very cold water can keep you awake and hydrated, and fruit and vegetables can give you the natural boost of energy needed after a long night.
3. Some sleep is better than none.
While it is probably not a good idea to take a nap during the middle of the day, as it may further disrupt your sleep schedule, if you can get an extra two or three hours of sleep before you need to get up for class, take advantage.
Your sleep schedule may remain just as disturbed by sleeping for those two or three hours, but the extra sleep is likely not going to make things much worse. Besides, there is little doubt that there are more benefits to getting some sleep than getting none.
4. Try and go back to your normal schedule the following night.
While it might be tempting to just take advantage of your newfound ability to stay up later than usual, it will likely make things more difficult for you in the long run. Doing so may make your one-time all-nighter into a regular habit – which, as we discussed before, is not what you want.
Instead, I recommend trying to reset your sleep schedule after an all-nighter. To do this, don’t go to sleep as soon as you get back from class. Instead, put off sleep until your “normal” bedtime if you can. You may find yourself so exhausted that you could pass out before dinner or, in contrast, so used to staying up late that it is difficult to sleep before 2 am, but try nonetheless. The sooner you make the first step towards regaining your healthy schedule, the better.
What do you think?
Do you ever pull all-nighters? What do you do when you’re trying to recover from them? What works best for you? What doesn’t seem to work at all? Leave me a comment and let me know!
10 Ways To Stay Awake At Work After A Sleepless Night
Did you pull an all-nighter because you were finishing a presentation? Or did your neighbor keep on shrieking into that microphone until 3 a.m.? Whatever it was, you couldn’t get enough sleep, and now you’re wondering how you’re going to make it out alive for the rest of the day at the office. If it can’t be avoided, there are still ways to stay awake and alert in the office, at least for that day alone.
Just like going into a battlefield, in order for you to survive, you need a good strategy. Here are 10 ways you can amplify your energy and boost your brain power. Just follow these easy steps. (But of course, we don’t recommend that you do this all the time)
1. Stay Hydrated
One way to keep those eyes from shutting is to keep yourself hydrated. Meaning drink lots of water, ideally, 8 glasses throughout the day. Being dehydrated adds to your fatigue and makes you sleepy.
However, don’t drink energy drinks! They might get you a quick fix to stay awake, but as soon as the high (and the buzz) dies off, you’ll feel the crash and be more tired than you were in the first place.
2. Eat Well (And Don’t Binge On Sugar!)
While you might think stacking your system up with sugar will keep you awake the whole day, it doesn’t. It will only give you a momentary boost, but like energy drinks, as soon as it dies down, you will feel sluggish, more tired, and sleepy. It’s best to eat energy-boosting food like eggs, fish, leafy greens, beans and nuts.
3. Drink Coffee
Before you head out to work and when you arrive in the office, drink your daily dose of steaming hot brew. Caffeine can help kick-start your energy, and boost your memory too! Don’t overload on it though because it might give you a headache, and if you drink to much, you’ll suffer from a caffeine crash.
Also, don’t drink coffee late in the afternoon if you’re planning on sleeping early that night. Caffeine stays in your body for about 5 hours, and if you’re body is still brimming with energy because of the caffeine by bedtime, you’re not going to get the restful sleep you need. There are many alternative to coffee which you can consume for the healthy energy boost but without the side effects of caffeine.
4. Turn up the AC
A warm stuffy environment will accelerate mental fatigue, so putting the air-conditioning on high will help you from shutting your eyes.
The reason why the cold helps us stay awake is that our body responds to it and is working to keep us warm. It will do everything in its might to regulate the body temperature so to keep our internal organs functioning.
6. Listen to music
Spotify playlist on set. Headphones plugged. Press play.
Listening to your favorite tunes helps stimulate your brain making you feel more alive. You can either hum, sing along, or maybe dance to the beat. Don’t worry if you’re out of tune — your officemates will understand. Well, maybe.
7. Get a little sunlight
Trick your body into believing it should be awake when it feels tired by soaking yourself in the sun. Not only that, the sun will help get your circulation going and help you feel more energized throughout the day. Go for a quick walk outside, get some air, and just savor the heat after being chilled inside the office.
8. Take a power nap
Big companies like Google, Procter & Gamble, and Huffington Post allow their employees to get a little shuteye while in the office (they even have sleeping pods!). This is because a 15-20 minute rest can actually increase your alertness by a mile!
Take a nap during your lunch break or sometime between 1 to 3 in the afternoon. You’ll feel fully alive afterwards.
9. Get moving
All you have to do here is get your body to move. You can walk around, do some wall push-ups, or perhaps a little bit of jumping jacks. You’d be surprised how many mini-workouts you can do at the office. The important thing is just to get your blood flowing, and give your brain some oxygen.
10. Sleep early
So you’ve made it through the day alive! You must be so proud. Now, the next step is to sleep early to make up for the lack of sleep you had the night before.
Bonus: take a warm shower an hour before dozing off. The rise in temperature and cooling off will quickly knock you out. Or if not, a hot shower just sounds like a good idea.
How to Stay Awake After an All-Nighter
- Seeking tricks on how to stay awake after a sleepless night? Sleep is foundational for overall human performance — but sometimes, you have to pull an all-nighter.
- Staying hydrated, using caffeine (responsibly), supplementing throughout the day and getting sunlight can help support your energy levels.
- Running on fumes is less than ideal, but these tips will help you power through your day … until you finally get some sleep.
Need to learn how to stay awake after a sleepless night? Make no mistake, all-nighters do nothing for your health. Less sleep raises blood pressure and adversely affects the levels of your stress hormone, cortisol. If you want to support your health and perform at your peak on the regular, sleep is non-negotiable.
But what happens when you need to burn the midnight oil and still function the next day? Though it’ll take a couple of days to recover fully, these next-day hacks will come in handy when an all-nighter is inevitable. Here’s how to stay awake — and still perform like a badass — when you’ve gotten zero shut-eye.
To be alert and focused after an all-nighter, one of the most important things you can do is stay hydrated. New research has found that shorter sleep duration is associated with dehydration. Your adrenal glands, which produce the hormones that manage your stress, will be also working overtime due to lack of sleep. However, water is vital to help them function properly — so drink up.
Some people will feel more alert if they mix half a teaspoon of high-quality pink Himalayan salt in a large glass of water first thing in the morning after an all-nighter. Salt can wake up your adrenals and get you revved up to tackle the day, regardless of last night.
Coffee is an obvious tool when it comes to staying awake on no sleep. To maintain energy throughout the day, try smaller doses of caffeine (50 to 100 milligrams) peppered throughout daylight hours. Keep in mind, one 8-ounce cup of coffee equals 95-165 mg of caffeine, and most people should max out after about four cups.
I recommend drinking Bulletproof Coffee instead of taking it black or with sugar. This way, you’re adding brain-boosting quality fats to your morning cup that help curb cravings, which can ignite after a sleepless night. Learn how to make Bulletproof Coffee here.
Optimize your diet
Avoid high-glycemic foods
Eating high-glycemic starches like white rice and pasta can make you feel tired. That’s because high-glycemic foods contribute to blood sugar spikes and energy crashes — the last thing you want when you’re trying to stay awake. So, pass on the rice and potatoes … at least until you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep.
Amino acids, aka the building blocks of protein, have been shown to activate orexin cells. Orexin is a neurotransmitter that helps keep you awake. Feed your sleep-deprived self an additional serving of a complete source of protein like red meat, fish, poultry or eggs, which contain all the essential amino acids your body needs.
Boost ketones with Brain Octane oil
Brain Octane oil is C8 MCT oil, the best MCT for maximum ketone production. Ketones quickly cross the blood-brain barrier to support brain power, which means you have more gas in the tank to power through your day. Learn more about MCT oils here.
Supplement to destress your system
I would never pull an all-nighter without Ketoprime and Unfair Advantage, which support mitochondrial cell function. Mitochondria are the power plants that keep your body running. Keep them fueled and you’ll have more energy for everything you do.
The PQQ in Unfair Advantage helps form new mitochondria and boosts cellular energy to keep you running at peak levels. KetoPrime creates new mitochondria to power your cells. With these supplements, you’ll feel ready to tackle whatever the day throws at you. I take three Ketoprime under my tongue, and that has revived me more than once from an all-nighter crash.
Keep your gut bacteria in check
Most people don’t know that gut bacteria have a circadian rhythm. They get stressed when you don’t sleep all night, and subsequently pump out more toxins called lipopolysaccharides that can make you feel inflamed, tired and cranky. Take 1,000 mg of activated charcoal to help move toxins out of your body. Another way to support your gut: Eat more prebiotics, which feed your good gut bacteria. Bulletproof InnerFuel Prebiotic supports healthy digestion and boosts immunity, and it makes your Bulletproof Coffee extra frothy — another big benefit, if you ask me.
Related: Losing Sleep Wrecks Your Gut. Here’s What You Can Do About It
To fight grogginess and stay awake, expose yourself to at least 20 minutes of sunlight in the morning following a late night. Sunlight helps regulate your melatonin levels, biological clock hormones that get out of whack with insufficient sleep. If you can’t get sunlight, sit under a 500-watt white halogen bulb in the morning to help your circadian rhythms reset themselves.
Move your body
Exercise should be one of the first activities you do in the morning to stay awake after an all-nighter. It’ll raise your body temperature as well as your heart rate. There are even studies in rats showing that exercise prevents anxious behaviors that stem from sleep deprivation. What kind of exercise should you do? Something that gets you going but doesn’t increase your stress levels — you have enough sleep-stress, and you don’t need exercise-stress, too. This is not the time for a serious high-intensity interval training workout. Aim for a brisk walk instead.
Recover the right way
While you might want to sneak in a nap after your all-nighter, trust me when I say it’s the worst idea. You’ll wake up feeling groggy, and you’ll throw your circadian rhythm off, too. Instead, go to bed early the night after your all-nighter. Typically in bed by 10 p.m.? Aim for an hour earlier. Also, control your light exposure: dim the lights and block the light as the sun sets. Definitely don’t stare at bright screens. You’re going to want to help your body reset its circadian rhythm, and junk light will just set you back.
Related: How to Sleep Better
Join over 1 million fans
Sign-up for the Bulletproof mailing list and receive the latest news and updates!
We’ve all been there.
Insomnia, Netflix, or slightly underestimating the effect of alcohol consumption on your commute home. At some point during your working life, you’ll have to face the absolute hell that is heading into the office on little or no sleep.
It will be horrible. That, we must all accept.
But thankfully, The Science of Us has created a handy video showing us the best way to survive a 9 to 5 after an all-nighter, with SCIENCE.
First up, no snooze button.
Apparently, those extra 5 minutes aren’t helping.
(Picture: Youtube/New York Magazine)
Eat breakfast straight away
Don’t wait ’til you get to the office – eating within an hour of waking up boosts your mood and cognition.
(Picture: Youtube/New York Magazine)
Only ONE cup of coffee in the morning
You need to stagger the caffeine throughout the day
(Picture: Youtube/New York Magazine)
On a hangover: hellish. If you’re just really, really tired, walking into work might be a good idea.
All that sunshine helps.
(Picture: Youtube/New York Magazine)
Once you arrive at work, do all your important stuff first
Sounds like the worst idea ever when you’re exhausted, but your productivity is set to go downhill throughout the day. Do the big stuff now.
(Picture: Youtube/New York Magazine)
Eat a healthy lunch
Don’t give into the carb and sugar cravings.
(Picture: Youtube/New York Magazine)
Fill your afternoon with admin
You’re going to feel rubbish. Do all the mindless stuff for the rest of the day.
(Picture: Youtube/New York Magazine)
Then try to go home early, and SLEEP.
You’ve earned it.
MORE: The 17 stages of surviving an all-nighter to meet that deadline
MORE: 10 scientific reasons your lack of sleep is killing you
MORE: Sleeping in a messy room might be ruining your sleep
The daily lifestyle email from Metro.co.uk.
Find out more
So you’ve just pulled an effective all-nighter to complete that project, but you still need to get things done today. In this video you’ll learn that it’s very possible to have a productive day after an all-nighter and how to go about it successfully.
The video, from the New York Magazine YouTube channel, gives you some tips to help you survive the day, and lays out a schedule for your day that’s supported by science. For starters, if you did manage to get some sleep in, don’t hit the snooze button when your alarm goes off; you’re not going to get any more rested. Instead, hop out of bed and use that time to eat a breakfast consisting of whole grains and protein within one hour of waking up. Follow that up with a single cup of coffee and some exposure to direct sunlight (no sunglasses). You might also want to throw a few simple exercises in there to get your heart rate up.
As soon as you get to work, grab a second cup of coffee and take on the hardest tasks first. Your first few hours of being awake will be your most productive, so don’t waste them. After a few hours, go for a light lunch of grains, veggies, and lean protein, and have your last cup of coffee for the day so you’re not up all night again. Save any busy work you have for the afternoon when you’re starting to drag, and try to call it quits early so you can get home and reset your sleep cycle. Follow these tips and it’ll be like that all-nighter never even happened.
How to Recover from an All-Nighter: “The Science of Us” Episode 3 | YouTubeAfter an all nighter