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How to Get Through an All-Nighter at Work

Has pulling an all-nighter at work become second nature to you?

No matter how much the inner owl in us hoots, making all-nighters a habit is quite painful. It’s not like all-nighters are not legitimate, we’re sure that given the choice, people would not like to stay back at work and burn the candle till the sun came out, but the truth of the matter is that we end up going through one more often than not. Perhaps it’s a crucial year end meeting that’s coming up or preparations for a super important pitch; maybe it’s the plague of the start-up or making up for plain and simple procrastination, we’ve all done and will have more such night’s in our professional career. However, at the end of the day, what needs to be done, needs to be done. Which is why, here are some tips that can come extremely handy when it comes to pulling an all-nighter at work.

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An Apple a Day

When it comes to an all-nighter, caffeine becomes our best friend. The go-to solution for powering through till the wee hours of the morning, we can’t really imagine a day at work without our coffee fix, let alone an entire night. But here’s the thing, caffeine is not the best thing for your body or your mind. Though it definitely provides the wake-up call that you need, caffeine works on the principle of boosting the energy levels and stimulating the nervous system to give you that extra burst of energy. However, the kick you get from coffee is short-lived and since the rush is not based on anything healthy or nutritious, your body might suffer from a withdrawal and a slump once you run out. Interestingly, apples make for a great substitute for coffee. It serves as a better fuel and the fructose works along the same levels as caffeine when it comes to keeping you awake. Besides, it’s healthy and extremely good for you as well.

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Chew Gum

This one is a neat little trick to have up your sleeve when you have an all-nighter looming ahead of you. Chewing gum has more benefits than you could have ever imagined. Psychologists say that chewing gum can help in improving memory and cognitive powers. The science behind this is that the act of continuous chewing or moving of our jaw actually improves our memory by increasing the activity in the area of our brain that is important for it (the hippocampus). Now, you have to admit it, anything that facilitates memory and cognitive power has got be good for a situation that calls for extra concentration. If this wasn’t enough, chewing gum helps reduce stress as well as it facilitates concentration, alertness and is a great way to release nervous energy. Last but not the least, the constant activity of chewing helps you to stay awake, sounds like the perfect accompaniment for a night spent working in office, right?

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Eat Proteins

One way to ensure that you get the most out of your all-nighter in office is by completing all the tasks on the to-do list. By logical progression, to complete all the takes on your to-do list you need to have adequate energy and in order for you to have enough energy, you must fuel yourself right. One of the best ways to get through an all-nighter at work is packing your body with a lot of proteins. It is but natural that when you’re spending an entire night in front of your laptop, you will be hit by a bad case of munchies and at this time if you eat wrong, you’ll only end up feeling more tired and lethargic. At such a point, your body needs something to burn to get through the night, particularly if you’re focused on a brain-intensive task. The reason why proteins instead of carbs is the way to go is because protein gives you instant energy as opposed to carbs that is good for energy at a later stage. So the next time you’re thinking of an extra-large slice of pizza, reconsider and go for an extra-large helping of delicious trail-mix, dairy products or some chocolate coated nuts!

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Make it Bright

One of the ways to get through an all-nighter without falling asleep on your desk face first, is by ensuring that there’s plenty of light in the area where you’re working. It seems almost poetic that the dark can be overcome by light, and why not, it’s logically true as well. When you are pulling an all-nighter, it is bad enough that there’s a lack of natural light, but the situation worsens when there’s low artificial light as well. A brightly lit office helps you stay awake and alert whereas if you were to use dim lights that makes you feel sleepy and tired. Moreover, dimly lit office spaces puts a lot of strain on your eyes which leads to physiological distress manifesting in the form of fatigue and chronic headaches, and if there’s something worse than spending an entire night in office working is spending an entire night in office working with a headache. So, when he said, let there be light, he really meant it!

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Periodic Exercise

The last one is an old trick from the books. There’s nothing like breaking up your all-nighter with some periodic exercise and stretches. When life throws a curve ball at you, it’s best to make the most of it. When you have a full night’s worth of work ahead of you instead of taking the negatives of it to heart, might as well make the most of the situation. When we’re at work, we’re always complaining about never having enough time for ourselves. Time to go out, enjoy the things we love, go for a nice meal and get in our regular dose of exercise. Well, one of the best ways to get through an all-nighter is by getting in some periodic exercise. The effects of a physical workout on your brain and productivity can’t be overstated. A few minutes of exercise can help boost your brain’s ability to learn and retain information, while improving creative thinking as well. We’re not talking about a full-fledged workout here, it’s more like some quick stretches, a short walk, some express office yoga that you can do sitting at your workstation and the likes. Exercise helps keeping the blood flowing to all the right parts of the brain which in turn keeps you awake, and fully charged for the night ahead.

Late nights were made for poets, writers, thinkers, over-thinkers, visionaries and seekers...which one are you?

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