The Academic Writer’s Guide to Pulling An All-Nighter

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Every academic writer has been warned of the dangers of procrastination, and yet at some point you may still end up armed with only a few pages against a fast-approaching deadline. Thankfully, these sleepless nights don’t have to be too difficult. Read on to find out how you can power through a night of academic writing.

Why You Shouldn’t Pull An All-Nighter

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Before giving you the tips on pulling an all-nighter, it’s important to understand that you should avoid it if you can. Sleep deprivation has serious short- and long-term effects that could show in your performance. We’ve listed some of them below:

It makes you cranky

When someone pulls an all-nighter, it shows in the way they act. And who can blame them? Staying up all night brings out the crankiness and impatience in you. What’s more, an article on Healthline notes how sleep deprivation can make you more prone to mood swings, which can eventually escalate to anxiety and depression.

It increases stress levels

Forcing yourself to stay up even for just one night is stressful enough already, and it can lead to burnout if you do it consistently. This kind of prolonged stress can be extremely harmful to your mental health and could do more harm than good to your writing. In fact, psychology experts from Maryville University link mental health to academic performance. This means pulling too many all-nighters won’t help your research in the long run, even if it feels like you’re making a lot of progress.

It decreases your attention span

Every writer knows how crucial it is to have focus and discipline when working on a paper. Unfortunately, pulling an all-nighter diminishes this focus and limits your attention span. Researchers from the University of Turku highlight the connection between sleep deprivation and cognitive performance – the less shuteye you get, the harder it is to concentrate.

Tips For When You Have To Stay Up And Write

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Now that you’ve been warned, here are some things you should keep in mind when you have no other choice than to pull an all-nighter:

Sleep when you can

While this may seem counterproductive, it’s crucial that you try to nap when you can. Even just short fifteen or twenty-minute naps can help your brain rest and recover, especially when you spread them out throughout the night.

Go easy on the caffeine

The logical thing to do when trying to stay up all night is rely on caffeine, right? Wrong. When you drink too much coffee, you get a jolt of energy and then suffer a crash that you may not be able to fight. If you need some form of caffeine, take it easy on the coffee and opt for tea, instead.

Drink tons of water

You may be able to avoid the caffeine altogether if you drink tons of water during your all-nighter. When your system is happy and hydrated, you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the coffee jitters that decrease concentration.

Plan your night

The most important tip for any writer before embarking on an all-nighter is to go in with a plan. You’re less likely to waste time on social media or stare at a blank screen when you have a clear schedule to follow. Structure your paper and set small goals that you can realistically achieve throughout the night. Don’t forget to factor in your breaks and naps.

Once you’ve successfully gone through an all-nighter, it’s safe to assume you made more than one mistake through your bleary-eyed writing frenzy. Reach out to our talented academic editors here on Edit911 to give your work that much-needed final touch, while you get your well-deserved rest.

Written by Accalia Crystle for Edit911

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