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Mrgelastic's avatar

What is the best thing to do the day after an "all nighter"?

Asked by Mrgelastic (508 points ) December 8th, 2009

I am a new college student, and i’m realizing that doing homework and what not at the appointed times are not as easy as i thought. i was recently introduced to all nighters, i was successful in my tasks but i realized the day after was absolute hell.

what are some things i can do, eat, drink to keep my self sustained throughout the day?

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32 Answers

peedub's avatar

I should first say don’t do it (aka get a full night’s sleep), but who am I trying to fool.

Master the power nap.
“take a 90 minute power nap before your big event. Harvard researchers found that napping for exactly 90 minutes (no more, no less) can refresh you as much as a night’s sleep. Sleeping for six to eight hours at night helps your brain retain and process visual information. If for some reason you can’t get that much sleep, take the power nap. The researchers found that people who mastered a visual recognition task on a computer performed just as well after a 90 minute nap as they did following a full night’s sleep. Deep REM sleep was sufficiently attained at that length. Take your 90 minute power nap about 3 hours before the important event. You’ll be sharp and rested like you just had a good night’s sleep.” (Discovery, July, 2003)

Whether you apply this to the night before or day after, it’s important to get some sleep. No sleep at all is very bad. That’s how you make errors.

I’ve heard that keeping your feet elevated while napping is even better.

Xilas's avatar

Plenty of fluids – water and Gatorade – and make sure you get some carbs for energy.
but when its all said and done, get high and goto sleep for 2 days.

avvooooooo's avatar

In the early morning hours, like 3 or 4, find some real food and then take a nap. It doesn’t need to be long nap, but something to recharge a little. The real food also helps with this since by that time your body is ready for some kind of sustenance and eating more snack food isn’t really going to cut it. I used to end up at Waffle House at 4 in the morning getting something to eat and continuing to read while I was doing it, going back home and sleeping from 5 to 6. I then got a shower and got ready for the day and only then hit the caffeine. You can shower and dress in a semi-comatose state and the time before you get back into the fully awake mode is helpful. :)

DancingMind's avatar

Yes, take a shower…
and have some coffee/tea, and have carb & protein (but avoid sugars that’ll crash you even more) meals for energy
and try to keep moving, and stay pumped up/excited, talk yourself into energy, tell yourself you feel great!... even if you feel like crap
drink more coffee/tea
And find times you can take mini naps throughout the day…
also plan when you’re going to crash, finally, so you have a goal to push for

peedub's avatar

A bottle of Pediatlyte will help set you straight. It works wonders for hangovers too, but that’s for a different thread.

Xilas's avatar

b12 for hangovers – Pediatlyte has an ample amounts of that.

but remember that sleep deprivation lowers your immune system by 60%

live_rose's avatar

I drink monster . . . energy drinks will keep you awake but you will crash if you don’t keep drinking one after another.

avvooooooo's avatar

@live_rose Drinking energy drinks one after the other is extremely unhealthy, possibly dangerous, and even potentially deadly. Not only do you not need to be doing this, you might also not want to recommend it to other people.

live_rose's avatar

I’m not suggesting that he should to that every day ( i do but you’re right it is unhealthy) Im just saying its a quick fix.

Miles's avatar

I second the power naps. Some people can handle all-nighters better than others, and I’m one of those who really can’t hack it. I’m anemic, and the day after an all-nighter I am freezing all day, even if it’s hot outside. And I fall asleep all over the place. When I had to do an all-nighter for a project, I would only go to class to turn it in, and to whatever classes had an attendance policy. I figure you’re going to be pretty much useless trying to take notes in a huge lecture hall. I also used to do something called a caffeine nap. My freshman studio art class had a starbucks right next door. I’d run over, get a coffee, drink it as I walked back, and then take a quick 10-minute nap on the couch outside the class while we were on break. I woke up surprisingly refreshed.

avvooooooo's avatar

Here and here are some things on energy drinks.

This is a pretty cool tool for checking out the danger level of different products.

live_rose's avatar

that person had epilepsy (I have epilepsy so I can attest to the fact that caffine can effect you if you abuse it) and heart problems so yes you need to figure out how your health will be affected by the large amount of caffeine but drinking 3 or so energy drinks over the course of a day (im not saying pound 11 rapid fire) isn’t necessarily a death sentence.

CMaz's avatar

After an all nighter I have always had an all dayer.

Chill with your friends, drink a few beers, play some cards, watch the game.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Coffee solves all problems.

evegrimm's avatar

Recently, I have found that I absolutely cannot handle all-nighters anymore. Instead, I work hard until around midnight or 1, sleep until 6, then get up and finish whatever (essays at this point). It’s not a lot of sleep, but it’s enough that you won’t be completely useless the next day. (Point—I’m usually in bed by 8 or 9 the next night, though…and sleep for 12+ hours.)

Something to consider, if you would like to do this: put the idea of a caffeine nap to use for you! Get yourself some caffeine pills and a water bottle. Set your alarm for 30 minutes before you need to be up. When the alarm goes off, get up, take a pill (or two, depending on your tolerance for caffeine) and go back to bed. In about 20–30 minutes, you will be ready to wake up and work on whatever!

If you don’t normally eat breakfast, be prepared to do so on these days. Toast with PB is good for you and a good choice; eggs are also good (lots of protein). Don’t hit the caffeine too hard or you will crash before classes the next day. (Researchers have found that low, steady streams of caffeine, such as those found in tea, are better at keeping you going + awake than drinking large cups of coffee every now and again.)

Finally, if you need caffeine and head to Starbucks (or similar cafe), don’t get an espresso. There is more caffeine in a brewed coffee or iced coffee than in an espresso drink of the same size.

nebule's avatar

coffee is so man <<just given up and not good for hangovers /all nighters…. sleep is surely the only way to go

flameboi's avatar

zucaritas+red bull keeps the party going… :D

nebule's avatar

coffee is so bad!!...gees what is wrong with me today

stratman37's avatar

Peppermint candy while you’re taking the test – it promotes alertness.

Medlang's avatar

sleeeep and cofffeeee

filmfann's avatar

Hot shower. Hot breakfast. Coffee, and crash when you can.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

As a musician who had to have many “day-jobs” over the years, Imany all-nighters for many years after college. There are many good suggestions on this thread. I will just add from my own experience:

1. Make sure you eat well. I could go for awhile on little or no sleep, or little or no food, but not on little or no food and sleep.

2. Water, fluids, water, hydration, and then more water.

3. Master the power-nap. You will be surprised how much energy even a 15-minute nap can provide, for the short term.

4. Get a good night’s sleep when you can, eat well on a regular basis and hydrate. Sleeping and eating habits you form in the long run will serve you well when you need to go without sleep.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Double espresso shot

stratman37's avatar

Yeah, FOUR of those!

aprilsimnel's avatar

Water. Naps. I used to work a 2nd shift job and if I had an appointment early the next day, that’s what I did. I got as much sleep as I could and then water and naps.

sliceswiththings's avatar

I haven’t done this since high school, but one night in high school I had a big paper. I’d work on it, then take a 20-minute nap on the couch next to the computer. This would be enough to keep me writing for at least 20 minutes. I actually got it done and did a good job, and functioned okay the next day.

As for my college all nighters, I find that company helps. I used to set up camp in the kitchen of my dorm, and others would join me. I made lots of “finals friends” this way, because we’d track each other’s progress and keep encouraging each other. I went on a snowy 5:00 AM walk with one last year, which was really enjoyable! Others, if you know them or not, can congratulate you when you get something done and kick your ass if they see you open facebook. As for the next day, I try to keep going and not take a nap, but rather go to bed early.

sliceswiththings's avatar

Speaking of all nighters, I anticipate many the next two weeks because of finals. If you’re also up (especially for schoolwork!) feel free to shoot me an IM: sliceswiththings
We can encourage each other to get off fluther and hit the books!

smack's avatar

@sliceswiththings I hear you on the finals week – I’ve been in the library past 3 AM for the past 3 nights. It’s such a bitch, and studying is almost as bad as taking the actual test. How am I gonna endure 3 more years of this?!

StephK's avatar

What do I do after an all nighter? Well, being as it’s dead week and next week is finals (and dead week isn’t really dead), I pull another one. Is it the best thing? Nooooo.

But, as has been mentioned, coffee helps tremendously.

Mrgelastic's avatar

Thank you all, i survived today by keeping my hydration up, i didnt feel too tired

sliceswiththings's avatar

@smack Ha two hell weeks a year, you can do it! I somehow made it to senior year.

DrMC's avatar

I used to wake up late enough so that after the test I would then sleep, wake up and take the next test.

I seem to have lost my marbles somewhere in there. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Like all harmful things however it was fun.

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