Stephanie Buffamonte is a student at Loyola University Chicago. She is majoring in broadcast journalism. She is currently interning at CBS 2 Chicago and hopes to become a Television reporter in the near future. She is involved with many journalism organizations on campus including, The Society of Professional Journalists. In addition to her path in journalism, she is a trained tap dancer and violinist.
We’ve all had that moment where we just have to CRAM. It’s 8 p.m. and you still have Spanish homework, a political science presentation, a philosophy paper, and a blog post due. There’s no way you can get sleep, right? The best decision is to divide your work so you don’t have to do it all in one night, but sometimes, that’s just not an option.
We all need sleep—that’s a fact. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that people ages 18-25, should have at least seven to nine hours of sleep each day. This definitely, appears to be impossible when dealing with the elements of college life.
But, be aware, sleep deprivation can cause slowness, poor reasoning skills, gaining weight, forgetfulness and a decrease in your sex drive. Unfortunately, yes, these are inevitable factors from a lack of rest.
We diligent college students can all agree that sometimes it feels as if there’s not enough time in the day. So pulling an “all nighter” seems immensely important as it comes down to the wire. When it’s the middle of the night and there’s drool unconsciously slipping from your mouth, here are some tips on how to survive through these tough moments:
1-Drink coffee or a caffeinated beverage: Several studies show that 100-200 mg of coffee (one or two cups) can improve alertness and help you from feeling tired. But, keep in mind that it’s a short-term fix. One medical writer, Stephen Braun, described it as, “Putting a block of wood under one of the brain’s primary brake pedals.”
However, having too much coffee might be a hazard zone for the healthy. An Institute of Medicine report showed that too much coffee, about 600mg, could make you feel jittery and irritated, and no one wants to be that guy.
2-Take a nap: A 20-30 minute nap will help bring back your alertness and focus. The National Sleep Foundation advises students to go to a quiet place, so you can fall asleep right away. This may be in the stacks at the library or underneath a desk somewhere, and most importantly, don’t forget to set alarms.
Quick Tip: Coffee often takes 15 minutes to kick in. You can drink coffee before your nap and when you wake up you’ll have a burst of energy.
3- Don’t eat junk food: Too many carbohydrates could make you sleepy, instead eat foods with proteins. Here are some easy options that you can easily throw in your bag before you head to the library: almonds, string cheese, Greek yogurt, or peanut butter.
4-Work in a lit area: You can trick your body’s biological clock when working in a bright light. With manipulating your internal systems, you’ll be up for a longer period of time.
5-Take a walk around the library: When you feel your eyes slowly start to close and your body start to descend into a sloth-like position, just get up and take a walk around. I, personally, even run up and down a flight of stairs a few times to reenergize myself.
While it’s not recommended, hardworking college students are sometimes forced to pull “all nighters”. A last bit of advice would be to plan ahead! Divide your studying and assignments or ask your professor for an extension to avoid having to experience the dreaded “all nighter”.