At some stage in every student’s life, an all nighter will be on the cards. It’s inevitable that at some point you will procrastinate enough that sleep will need to be sacrificed and you will need to push through the night, bleary eyed, just to get shit done.
Year 12 was a peak time for all nighters for me. My major work saw me sitting at the kitchen bench in the early hours of the morning while everyone else was tucked up in bed. I fought sleep to memorise essays and you could guarantee that when I had two assignments due on the same day I wouldn’t be getting any sleep the night before.
So, I’m not about to tell you to stop pulling all nighters. For some of us, they’re our only option. Whether you literally just ran out of hours of daylight, or spent all your time watching Netflix instead of doing anything productive, all nighters are how you get through your massive workload. Plus, pulling an all nighter here and there isn’t going to kill you. While you might feel sleepy as fuck the next day, you’re usually right by the time you have a decent sleep or even a solid nap.
It’s when sleep starts becoming a distant memory that you start running into problems.
1. You’ll throw out your sleep pattern
I get it, the whole point of an all nighter is to take advantage of the time your body would normally be dozing to get your work done, but do it too often and you’re really going to throw out your sleep cycle. It’ll be harder and harder to get back into a regular routine and you’ll probably find yourself getting more tired in the long run, even if you’re getting the same amount of sleep as you used to. This throws out your diet as well, so you’ll be getting hungry at weird times and overall feeling a bit shit and sluggish.
2. You’ll struggle to remember
You know that cramming all night isn’t going to put your notes into your long term memory. It’s not a big issue when you’ve got an exam or assignment due the next day- everything you need to know you need to know right now. But, if pulling all nighters is your only study method then you’re eventually going to fall flat. It’s impossible to relearn everything in a single night and you’re not going to be able to consistently pull off good marks.
3. Your going to make shit judgement calls
Just like that night that you had wayyyy too many shots and ended up drunk texting your ex, pulling all nighters will affect your judgement. You won’t be able to think things through and make smart choices because you’ll be too damn sleepy to process everything.
4. You’re going to be moody as fuck
You know when you haven’t eaten all day and every time someone talks to you all you want to do is yell at them? That’s whats going to happen if you don’t get enough sleep. If you find yourself constantly getting shitty, for no apparent reason, it’s probably time to head down for a nap.
5. Micro sleeps
The most dangerous part of constantly depriving yourself of sleep is your body will literally force you to shut down. Those ‘stop, revive, surive’ ads are legit and if you’re over tired and trying to force yourself to do something like drive home, or sit through Maths, you’re probably going to experience them. They can last from a fraction of a second to two minutes, and you probably won’t even be aware that it’s happening (they can happen with your eyes open). You won’t be taking in anything from the outside world, like the fact that your teacher is asking you a question or that a light has turned red, which can be super dangerous.
So with all that said, take this as your sign to go have a nap. Your work can wait.