Picture of College Hacks - How to Pull an All-Nighter (The RIGHT Way!)
It is back to school time once more, and you know what that means!  After you've procrastinated studying for that exam or working on that final project, you have to pull yet another all nighter.  They are fun at first, but after a few years they start to wear on you.  Some people even get a hung-over type feeling once they finally get some sleep after an intense all-nighter.

I thrive on all nighter runs.  As long as you can properly nourish your body to help counter the stress from lack of sleep, having an all nighter every now and then can make a HUGE difference in your GPA.  

If you want to learn how to hack your life and pull successful all-night study sessions or project rampages, then this is just the instructable for you.

Step 1: Have a Plan & Come Prepared

Picture of Have a Plan & Come Prepared
Know what you need to study and how you are going to study for it.  Set a goal for yourself, a few good studying goals include:
  • Copying all important points from notes into a study guide / cram guide.
  • Re-reading one or several chapters of your textbook and taking notes as needed.
  • Creating a complete set of flash cards and going through the set a certain number of times.
If you have a project due, gather everything you need and don't stop until it is done.

Make sure you have all of the study material and snackage that you need to keep you going all night long.

Drinks and snacks?  Check.
Textbooks?  Notes?  Check, Check.
Index Cards, Highlighters, Sharpies, and Pens?  Checkity Check!


"and unless about absolutely need it, turn off your Internet connection"

All my all-nighters have involved the internet in some sort.

Also, I do allow myself an 10-20 minute break every 60-90 minutes. Just to remove the urges, which totally drive me to abandon my work and do something else for 3 hours. They also help me pause and resume with fresh eyes.

YanM13 months ago

I just wanted to let you know that I liked this college hack so much that I actually linked to it within my latest blog post. :) http://mentathlete.com/how-to-cram/

TheProcrastibaker (author)  YanM13 months ago

Glad you liked it! Great article, it really covers the pros, cons, ins, and outs of cramming for exams!

TrilliumA3 months ago

Thanks. I have this paper I'm trying to finish for tomorrow (yes I have a professor who assigns things to be due on Mothers Day/Sunday). But my all nighters have been less and less productive lately.
I didn't know that about the hydration or the details about caffeine. Thanks, I'll incorporate it into my routine.

Thanks a lot buddy, it helped a lot. Its 3:27 here i think i can pull this night haha. Thanks again ?
Good luck! Stay hydrated!
You recommend that to everyone hah
I will thanks
kaushal.parmar.73 made it!4 months ago
The test is going to be awesome ahah
soccerchickn5 months ago

it has been hours finishing an English project due in three and a half hours i don't suggest this unless you have to i hads to because i got the assignment late due to testing interfering with my schedule but sleep is amazing and beautiful and enjoy it do just pull one for fun im not saying NEVER its just my opinion and advice to any and all who want to listyen

MaeDehM7 months ago

Wise steps ! I'm gonna try it for tonight :D

Wish me luck ^^

TheProcrastibaker (author)  MaeDehM7 months ago

Good luck! Stay hydrated! :D

Ryanoxpqz1 year ago
Studies have actually shown that those who get a good nights sleep and don't study at all get generally higher test scores than those who study all night.
AdibK Ryanoxpqz7 months ago

That makes no sense. How can someone who has not studied at all score higher than one who has studied? Unless the former has actually finished all his studying earlier and the all-nighter is just a revision round or something. Just because you sleep, you don't end up with magical powers. I do not agree with it at all, please provide sources for your claims. I have always studied during the night and it is what works best for me.

TheProcrastibaker (author)  Ryanoxpqz1 year ago
Interesting. Would you mind providing a source for these studies?

Also, while that is generally true overall, everyone learns differently. I've found that when I feel that I am not comfortable enough with the content the night before an exam, pulling an all-nighter to review can certainly help me feel more prepared, which lowers my anxiety during the exam and allows me to focus better. To each their own, I guess.

Nice One..... helped a lot.... :D

andressm10 months ago

ya thanks this will hopefully help me through a night of studying and homework

TheProcrastibaker (author)  andressm10 months ago
Good luck. Stay hydrated!
Camille JoyceM11 months ago

Thanks! I learned a lot. I will be having an all-nighter tonight.. So, I'll be doing these stuffs.... So... thanks again!

~BTW, the pictures of the cat is so cute! Made this article more interesting and fun :)

EricHi2 years ago
Very interesting subject - Thanks for the Instructable!
I used to be an expert at all nighters as an undergrad back in the 60's but, I never got organized for one. Routinely used them to study for an exam the following day then crashing after the last class of the day. Always pulled them when a course paper was due since I thought I was one of the world's greatest procrastinators. I learned through time that I could do my best work under this kind of stress. The kicker was when I was in grad school and did a paper for an educational course (required) and they wanted to distribute the paper throughout the Kansas secondary educational system. This was a big LOL.
It was always understood that one has a high learning extinction rate when cramming studies like this, but I totally disagree. I learned that I retained knowledge much longer than if I learned it under less stressful situations. I had heard that if a person stayed up extended periods of time they would experienice hallucinations. Having never experienced such things I tried it. After reaching almost three days I experienced NO hallucinations but did get a sever headache. I got to the point where I had a very difficult time starting sleep. This really freaked me out. Went back to school in my 40's and and learned that I could still do it. I was proud of myself - lol.
katerlyn2 years ago
I love all nighters but now that I'm almost 55 even 6 hours cleaning a room shows no progress. Sigh.....I am really slowing down!! Thanks for a cute instructable. One thing to help is taking airborne or emergenC vitamins in a drink because if I do 3 days in a row staying up and getting only 4 hours of sleep, no doubt I will get my annual knock me down 5-7 days on the couch with no energy illness like a bad cold or the flu. Dec. 25th I got hi and 5 days later I was okay, thanks to 3 airbornes every day till I felt better. Costco had them on sale and luckily I had stocked up on them!! When I'm sick...I cannot move and if I'm lucky I'll drag myself to the canned fruit. I just get sicker and sicker cuz I refuse to get up to eat.
Babyshoes2 years ago
Wow, this is actually a well thought out piece of advice, as opposed to the caffeine & sugar-fest I expected to find. Well done!

Of course, if you you are this organised about pulling an all-nighter, chances are you are organised enough to have done the work well in advance and will seldom need to pull one!