Tuesday, November 27, 2012

how to pull an all nighter

i don't have a sleep schedule. i'm all over the place and always have been. this has gotten me into a great deal of trouble with jobs, social events etc. one of the ways to try to ensure you can get up early when you're not used to it is to just stay up the night before. i do this all the time but the pattern never seems to hold...
there's lots of other reasons to stay up all night of course: to study, to work, to talk to that awesome new person you just met, or just because you're not tired but don't want to sleep through the whole next day.
since i've done this entirely more often than i'd like to admit, i present to you some tips for doing this when you need or want to:

-sleep late the day before. ok, this might be the reason you're not tired now. that said, if you're planning this in advance, try to sleep as late as possible the previous day or take a few hours nap.

-do not lay down for a "power nap" at any point once the night of wakefulness has begun. you'll tell yourself you'll only sleep for 20 min. you wont. you'll sleep for 9 hours. and then wake up panicking

-if possible, get some exercise right around your normal bed time. not so much that you're tired, just enough to get the blood flowing. jog around the block. do a sun salutation. dance in your underwear.

-don't start the caffeine until you really really have to. once you start you will be dependant upon it until you go to bed, lest your caffeine high come crashing down and take you with it. wait until you're starting to drag and then spend 15 min making the perfect cup of coffee. savour it. have another.

-keep yourself occupied. if you're awake to work, then do so. if you're just resetting your pattern you can indulge your internet addiction, have a marathon of an exciting show that will keep you up, clean your house, talk to your friend in australia, cook something elaborate, write a blog post, you get the idea

-once you start with the caffeine, be sure to also monitor your water intake. dehydration will make you tired and counter the affect of all that lovely coffee. aim for at least the same amount of water as the caffeinated beverage, if not more. i said WATER, not juice or soda or anything else. just. water. yes this will make you have to pee every 30 min. that keeps you awake too.

-remember to eat something every few hours. not a heavy meal that will give you food coma. opt for slow burning carbs (apples, whole grains) and protein. your body needs fuel. you can deprive it of food or sleep but not both.

-crank up the music. silence is sleep-inducing. put on energetic music that makes you want to move

-cool off. go outside, have a cool shower, splash cold water on your face. cold tends to wake you up. if you're one of those strange people that get tired in the cold but can't sleep in heat then go put on 2 sweaters and another pair of socks

-once the sun rises, it's a new day. stop thinking about the night before or how long you've been awake. treat it like you just got up early. go about your normal morning routine and stop thinking about how you spent the night, unless you're mooning over the hot person you've been talking to. then go ahead and revel and plan the next talkathon.

-be patient with yourself for being moody. your brain needs rest to function properly and you're running it into the red zone. you're allowed to be grouchy, silly, stupid, slow, or all of the above. at some point i usually reach the stage where everything is irrationally funny. unfortunately that's generally followed pretty quickly by the stage where nothing is funny. ride the wave. tell people you're tired so they'll be patient with you. try to take it easy on yourself as much as possible.

-do not put on any quiet, thoughtful movies. do not crank the heat up. sleepy animals or children are very contagious. do not drink alcohol. do not read a book. do not rest your head on your arm on your desk just for a minnn.vcb,n ..................

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