Sometimes, it’s inevitable – whether you have a 20-page term paper due or a huge project for work, an all-nighter can be the only way to make your deadlines. If it makes you feel any better, you’re in good company here in New York City. And if you focus less on the fact that you’re sacrificing beauty sleep, and more on those valuable hours you’ll have to work in peace, dawn will be here before you know it. Here’s how to successfully pull an NYC-style all-nighter (just don’t make a habit of it!).
Get the caffeine ready.
One mistake some people make while pulling an all-nighter is loading up on the coffee too early. Drinking too much too soon can lead to an energy crash shortly after midnight, or the jitters due to too much caffeine. Pace yourself and try not to start drinking caffeine before midnight. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water! The more hydrated you are, the more energetic and awake you’ll feel.
Turn up the AC.
If a successful all-nighter is important, then it’ll be worth the extra few bucks on your Con Ed bill. Working in a cool (or even cold) environment helps you stay awake and focus much better than a room that’s too warm and cozy. If it’s winter, skip the AC and open a window. Those chilly NYC wind gusts will definitely knock the drowsiness out of you.
Use a sugar rush to your advantage.
Pulling an all-nighter can be rough, so make it fun by using it as an excuse to treat yourself to a sugar rush. After 2 a.m., it’s all about the instant jolt of energy, so go ahead and splurge with a treat. There’s always a local diner or bodega open 24 hours in NYC, so you might as well take advantage of it. I’ll admit that Midnight Express Diner’s brownie sundae has helped me successfully stay awake through the night on more than one occasion. That, and vanilla whoopie pies from Whole Foods.
Move around during your breaks.
To prevent eye strain, step away from your work every one to two hours. Get a good stretch, walk around the apartment, or even go for a short walk outside – anything to keep the blood circulating.
Grab the concealer.
This one is for the ladies. In a perfect world, you’ll be able to finally sleep – or at least take a lengthy nap – once your all-nighter is over. But if you’re due in class or at the office and you haven’t had a wink of sleep, then turn to your favorite concealer to cover up those under eye circles. With enough coverage (and a natural-looking pair of false eyelashes), nobody will know that you’ve been awake for the past 24 hours.
Do you have any other tips for pulling an all-nighter?
Brownie sundae photo via Midnight Express’s Instagram.