So, it’s currently 1 a.m., and I’m cramming for a test and a quiz that I am not nearly prepared for. (So, naturally, instead of studying, I get on tumblr and write a blog for freshmen, right? Smart, Ari, very smart.) So, when you’re in for a late night, what do you do? If you don’t fuel your body, you’ll fall asleep on your laptop and miss your 8am test. But if you don’t sleep at all, you might as well be sleeping through it because you’re not going to have any brain power left to coherently take a test.
First, you need to make the important decision: caffeine or no caffeine. I’m a no caffeine kind of girl. Water works best to keep me awake (I read online that water is better than coffee. And everything online is true, so I believe it!) If you’re going to choose coffee, I’d limit it to one or two cups, and finish it before 11pm. That way, you can stay awake for a few more hours, but you’ll also be able to get well-needed rest.
Next, fuel your brain and body. It’s easy to munch on Sour Patch Kids and Nutella all night, but then you’re going to get even more hungry because your body wants actual sustenance. Eat some fruit or cereal instead of sweets. They’ll keep you up longer, help you avoid a sugar crash, and ward off the study munchies.
Sometimes, when I find myself staring at a wall instead of studying, I take a break. I give myself a 15 minute rest to walk around, watch a YouTube video, or look at Twitter and Instagram. Breaks are useful to recharge, but don’t let them get out of hand. it might sound lame, but setting a timer can really help, especially at night when your bed and busy Facebook feed are so tempting.
Consider waking up early instead. Sometimes, (like right now) I decide that I’m too tired to absorb information, so going to bed will benefit me more than pointlessly studying. I like to wake up and give myself a few hours before a test to review and eat a good breakfast. It also helps to prepare your body to take your test instead of forcing a still-asleep brain to remember all of, say, the verb conjugation rules that have ever existed in the Spanish language.
Sleep. I’ve already said it multiple times, but sleep is one of the most important processes that your body needs to recharge. Without it, all of the information you cram into your head during a long night of studying will vanish, and you will have wasted precious hours of work (and maybe even a precious grade!) Sometimes, you need to realized that the whole world is asleep, and you should be, too. And let’s face it…if you don’t know the information by 3 a.m., are you ever going to know it?
Unfortunately, being in college is synonymous with late nights, so I’m surprised I’m not used to it at this point. But I use these steps to help me through long nights. Just always remember that
sleep is for the weak sleep is smart. Go to bed.