Why All Nighters are Never a Good Idea
Every college student has done it once: dedicated an entire day and night to the corridors of the library. Trying to designate a chunk of time for efficient studying just didn’t cut it, and a 12+ hour session in a reserved study room or just a simple desk seems like just the thing to cram half a semesters-worth of material into your brain. Your entire study group agrees to meet, study, and get all the stuff that you didn’t understand in class covered in this one night. It truly seems like the best idea ever at the time. We all know the true outcome of these nights.
You Don’t Focus The Entire Time
There’s always a set order of occurrences: you get there, you unpack, you anticipate what you’re about to study, you study for maybe a couple hours, and then things start to go astray. It’s unavoidable. Unless you’re popping Adderall all night, there is no possible way that you can focus 100% throughout the hours that you’re supposed to be asleep, ESPECIALLY if you’re in a group. No amount of caffeine can keep you focused.
Once 2 am rolls around, that desk starts looking very comfy, your friends’ personal life becomes increasingly more interesting, and your belief in passing this round of tests seems less and less possible. In the end, you end up brain drained; yet feeling like you got absolutely nothing done.
You Deprive Yourself Of Sleep
On top of feeling like you just wiped your mental hard drive clean of sanity and content retention, you also walk out of that all nighter completely deprived of sleep. What makes matters worse is that you’ll probably have an entire day plan ahead of you. There will be no time for a nap, and no time to catch up on sleep.
Typical all nighters will occur on a weekday, so that next morning will be the start of another day of work, class, studying, and commuting. So not only did you spend a whole night half asleep forcing foreign class lecture material into your head, but your now left to deal with a full day of to-do’s while utterly exhausted. It’s next to impossible to be as coherent and reactive if you’re sleep deprived, and you’ll be more likely to forget things.
There is a reason that the body requires a certain amount of sleep every single day. Sleep aids in tissue repair, growth and mental well being. Coffee may keep you awake, but it will not help you remember that assignment due in your 2:00pm class, nor will it tell you where you left your keys.
It’s Just Not Worth It
No matter how desperate you feel, or how behind you may be, an all nighter is simply a recipe for disaster. It may work for others in the short term, namely the test you need to take 4 hours later, but the long term effects like excessive tiredness and loss of time dedicated to hours of unproductively will do nothing but set you back. My advice is this: make the most of your time with your study time, and get to bed at some point. Sleep is your good friend that helps your brain out.