If it hasn’t happened to you yet, just wait; avoidable by some and a bad idea for all, the all-nighter is a very real possibility for any prospective college students. What I attempt to do here is provide you with a helpful guide to making it through the non-fun version of this common late-night challenge. Splash some water on your face, turn down the thermostat and read all about pulling an all-knighter: 

1. Don’t

If you’ve done this before, you know that there is no such thing as perfect all-nighters. In reality, all-nighters are things your friends make jokes about until 3 a.m. hits and you all succumb to the sweet, subtle grasp of sleep. Yet, for some reason, the all-nighter remains a staple of college culture, and so if you absolutely need to do it (as I may tonight), I’m here to help you do it in the safest and most productive manner possible.

2. Avoid Energy Drinks

While I’m on the subject of busting myths over here, energy drinks are terrible and we all know it. Allow me to start with the obvious reasons; naturally doing what their chemical-riddled contents suggest, energy drinks also make your heart contract faster and harder, leading to cardiac arrest in some cases. Also, they taste like gasoline mixed with various juices.

Further, energy drinks are terrible for all-nighters. What people seem to forget is that caffeine only provides a pick-me-up for 20-30 minutes, after that comes the caffeine crash. Even worse, sugary drinks will let you down even harder from the rush if a large amount is ingested. When it comes to staying hydrated, a glass of cold water will do just fine for your purposes.

3. Bring a Friend

All-nighters will be much, much easier if you have a friend to distract you, not from the task at hand, but from catching any sweet shut-eye. Make sure your friend is dedicated and has a reason to stay up or work to do as well. Together it will be good to have someone to talk to, fight the good fight with and wake each other when the heads start nodding.

4. Fresh Air

Lastly, never underestimate what a quick break can do for you, so long that it doesn’t involve a bed or couch. In fact, this probably goes without saying, but don’t do ANY of your work somewhere that vaguely resembles the feeling of being comfortable, because a time is going to hit where you will want to fall asleep wherever you may be. Anyways, be sure to get up, stretch your legs and never underestimate the power of cool, fresh air from a short walk outside.