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220803 Managing Educational Resources

How to Recover From an All-Nighter—the Easy Way

by Hung Nguyen

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Indonesian, Italian and Portuguese.

Four actionable tips to help you get back on track after pulling one (or multiple) all-nighter(s).

Are you feeling jittery from skipping a night of sleep? Whether it was to study for a university exam, write up a research report, or prepare an urgent work meeting—we’ve all been there.

First, let’s dive into the why you currently feel the way you feel.

The Effects of Pulling an All-Nighter on Your Body


Usually, we stay up all night either due to the lack of time to finish a task, or there's a need to absorb and store short-term memory, e.g., memorizing formulas for an examination.

However, sleep is essential to extract and migrate your memories from short to long-term holding. Staying up for so long jumbles up your circadian rhythm, which is detrimental to your ability to concentrate the following day.

Also, you’re taking away the time your body requires to recharge. During the night, your body is still working to rebuild your cells and tissues, remove brain toxins, and accumulate fatigue throughout the day—according to Roy Raymann of SleepScore Labs, from an article on HuffPost.


Feeling tired? Keep on reading!

Photo by Cris Saur on Unsplash

But fear not. Here are a few tips to help you bounce right back the following day (or even today)!

Detox With Plenty of Water and Greens


Red Bull was my go-to buddy to tackle university exams back in the day. I remember leaving the library (after, of course, revising for the whole night) at dusk, shower, and was just in time for a 9 AM exam—which was killer.

Having too much caffeine in your body is never good, but many of us rely on staying awake and hustle.

Aside from some needed R&R, it’s good to drink plenty of water, vegetables, and fruits. You can also take a trip to your local grocery store and blend up a summery smoothie—yum!

For snacks, aim to include plenty of protein-rich goodness to revitalize your body energy. Here is a list of 27 food items to revitalize your body.


Ever tried matcha before?

Photo by Kimzy Nanney on Unsplash

If you consume a lot of caffeine, try to cut it down as much as possible—limit yourself to only one cup of coffee.

Caffeine is not bad, as long as you don’t consume it excessively. It helps to increase brain activity, metabolism and adds quite a few other health benefits. And it’s much better than bottled energy drinks!

Schedule a Break Before and After the All-Nighter


Before you plan an all-nighter, it’s good to schedule enough sleep the day before—to prepare for the sleep deprivation. Try to add a few hours to your night; power naps are also a good idea.

Afterwards, your goal is to get your biological clock back to where it was and balance your circadian rhythm again; it's not rocket science. If you follow all the information listed (consume lean protein, drink plenty, regulate blood sugar, rest well, etc.), you should be good to go again the next day!


Sleep, sleep, and sleep.

Photo by Diana Parkhouse on Unsplash

Spend Some Time With Yourself


After being a night owl, you should then plan to have a lazy day to relax—mentally and physically. Block out social media, communications, or anything that requires heavy thinking. Go for a walk, breath, listen to the buzzing city instead of having earphones with pumping music.

Vitamin D deficiency is widespread in certain parts of the world—1 billion people lack this vitamin in their bodies, causing tiredness and fatigue. So, if you can—bath in some sunshine for the day, if it’s not scorching hot, try to skip out on the shades for the day as well—it’ll help to keep you feeling alert, increase your energy levels, and help you to fall asleep naturally later on.

If you are unsure what to do, we have written an article on 20 things you can do right away, by yourself, today.


Go and explore, by yourself!

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Stress Less at Work


Be it in a professional work setting or academic environment—you stayed up all night because of your job, correct?

There are many ways to deal with stress and heavy workload. We’ve accumulated many roundup articles on this blog to help you stay motivated and focus better at the workplace. They contain expert tips from many professionals who are on the grind just like yourself.

Since you probably deal with many digital documents, why not check out our suite of PDF tools? We can help you compress, edit, or convert files, from practice exam papers to essential work documents you need to squeeze inside an email.

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Senior Growth Marketing Manager @Smallpdf