How not to pull an all-nighter (and stay sane if you have to)

Finals time: The grueling rite of passage before that sweet, sweet summer freedom. Whether it’s a ton of exams or a lengthy research paper (double-spaced, thankfully), it’s enough to bog down any chica. Luckily, we’ve compiled our tried ‘n’ true study tricks to keep ya from pulling the dreaded all-nighter. But don’t worry, procrastinators. Just in case ya do have to work through the wee hours of the morning, here’s how to stay sane on little to no sleep. Whew!


To avoid the all-nighter…

Break up the workload. Sure, you’ve heard this from your teachers a dozen times. But think of it this way: You can easily spend an hour a day (at least) scrolling through Instagram’s cutest pups and kitties. That’s easy note-reviewing time right there. So, if your project’s due date is a week away, put the timekillers on hold. Instead, use that time as manageable study seshes. Hello, stress-free studying!


Remind yourself. Once you’ve figured out which days to study what, write it or type it out as many ways as you can. On your wall-calendars, email calendars, phone alarms, your hand—anything! The more times you’re reminded about your work, the less likely you’ll forget or put it off.


Reward yourself. Study time doesn’t mean cutting off all playtime completely. With a five-minute break every hour or so, your mind has time to reset. Plus, you’ll be more likely to finish faster with a prize at the end of the line. 1D gossip time, here we come!


Don’t beat yourself up. If you missed a study sesh, try not to focus on what you didn’t do. That just revs up the dread factor. Instead, turn your focus to something more positive and constructive. Say, rearranging your workload so that you can fit all your must-do items before the due date. Next finals week, give yourself a few extra buffer study seshes so that it won’t feel like lost time.


Review your notes. Each night the week before your test, look over all your notes before going to bed. In fact, make it at least a half hour before to give your brain time to lock in any key info.


The next morning… Go the extra mile and wake up 15 minutes early for a quick refresher.


To stay sane during all-nighter…

Sip on caffeine. Coffee or tea is the obvious choice for staying awake. Just make sure not to overdo it, or you might have a hard time hitting the sack if you finish your workload early. For small amounts of caffeine, dark chocolate is a last-ditch resort. Not a caffeine drinker? No problem! Try these tricks on for size...


Crank up the tunes. Clearly, no laid-back lullabies on this playlist. Upbeat yet not-too-distracting songs will keep ya energized, sans a Starbucks run.


Get out of your comfort zone. Usually study on your cozy bed? Not during crunchtime. Anything warm and inviting will take you to snoozeville before you finish memorizing the periodic table. Pick a chair that makes dozing off tricky. And on that note…


Keep good posture. Ever fall asleep during a movie or (gasp!) class? Your bod doesn’t go from upright to sprawled out in a second. Lotsa slouching happened in the process. So, to curb that drooping, make a conscious effort to keep your back straight.


Stay cool. And, no, we don’t mean just your stress level, though that certainly helps. Try cranking up the AC. Cooler temps keep ya more alert. That means fewer mistakes made on your essay and more facts for your test memorized. Win-win.


The next morning… Dress to impress. Seriously! You’ll feel less groggy if you picked a spiffy ensemble. Best part? Your teach probably won’t tell you were up all night.


Need more procrastination tips? Head HERE.


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by Karmen Fox | 2/1/2016