I think it’s safe to say that by this point in the semester, whether you’re a freshman or a seasoned veteran of Monash’s rigorous curriculum, you’ve had to pull a couple late nights to get sh*t done.

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If you’re a night owl…

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that’s completely fine, but for the rest of us…

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THIS turns into a humbling reality.

So if you’re looking to avoid the sleep-deprived ‘hangovers’ in the morning, why not read on and try some of these techniques, all tested and proven by yours truly!

It’s 11 pm. Procrastination hour. I’ve got a report of 14 (million) questions due the next day at 2 pm and I’m staring at a hopelessly blank Word document. Cracking my knuckles, I take a deep breath and dive into a ten-minute long internet wormhole of ‘ways to not fall asleep’ and then get to work.

1. Caffeinate! But also, hydrate! [12 am]

Alright, so studies have shown that taking caffeine in moderate doses keeps you alert and helps you concentrate but that too much will do the opposite, leaving you shaky and jittery. I’m not the hugest fan of coffee so I downed a sugary drink and kept working. Either of the two work, in moderate amounts I guess. If you do like coffee though, aim for small doses as you go because too much caffeine in a shot will probably end up giving you gastric acid. Yikes.

2. Get up and move! [1 am]

Your body produces energy as you exercise, so getting up and pacing or just moving around leaves you just that much more energized. Sure, it isn’t a massive difference, but getting a bit of air isn’t too bad either. If you don’t have that much space where you are, just chuck in some headphones, blast your favourite song and dance around for a couple of minutes! It’s kinda goofy but it works, and it’ll definitely take the edge off of things.

3. Bright, bright lights [2 am]

The human body’s circadian clock is a strange thing. Give it enough bright, blue light (like the ones from your computer screen) and you just might be able to convince it that it’s not the middle of the night. You’ve probably already been staring screens for ages though, so do take a break and rest your eyes, lest you fry them dead. At this point, I tried keeping myself up with the weird side of Youtube. Nothing like sending cold shivers down your spine to keep the drowsiness at bay!

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(for the uninitiated)

4. WATER [3 am]

You won’t fall asleep if you’re constantly dashing off to the toilet. Well, probably. Continuously drinking water is a dangerous balancing act between feeling bloated and refreshed, not to mention that too much will actually kill you.  I sipped ice water whenever my eyelids started to droop and powered through my questions.

It’s 4 am and my brain feels like it’s transcended time, space and the English language. That report might not be completely done, but my brain sure as hell is. Lights off, and I’m out like a light.

5. Bonus! [The next morning]

If you’re getting up early the next day and you want to avoid the groggy, bleary feeling of not sleeping enough, trick your brain into thinking you’re going down for a nap by sleeping for 3 to 4 hours. It might not work, but it’s worth a shot!

Hope you’ve enjoyed coming along with me on this decaf midnight adventure! Seeya in the next article and until then, stay hydrated x

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