Have you been cramming all night for a test the next day? Maybe you had to work a double during your night shift at work. For some, a night of hanging out with friends can go from a few hours of gossiping to an all-night bender. Regardless of the reason, staying up all night can have negative effects on your sleep patterns.
Thankfully, you can fix your sleep patterns after pulling all-nighters. Doing so involves naps, balanced meals, and skimping on coffee for a short period. If you are interested in learning more about fixing your sleep pattern, keep on reading.
How Long Does It Take To Fix Your Sleep Schedule?
How long it takes to correct your sleep schedule will depend on a few factors. If you are shifting to a new time zone it will only take about 48 hours to adjust. Those who need to get back on track after staying up all night will need a bit more time. It can take as long as a week to recover from pulling all-nighters in many instances.
If you can dedicate two days and three nights to catching up on your sleep, you can repair your sleep schedule quickly. For those who have other obligations such as school or work, you may need the whole week to restore your sleep patterns. That being said, some people are able to pull all-nighters and fall back into their regular sleep patterns the very next night. If you happen to be one of those lucky few, there are plenty of people who would love to switch places with you.
Should You Stay Up All Night To Reset Your Sleep Cycle?
Staying up all night in order to try to reboot your sleep cycle is not effective. In fact, not only is this unhealthy, it can cause your sleep cycle to suffer even more. Repeatedly missing sleep will cause your body to go into emergency mode. Once your adrenaline runs out, you will crash, hard.
Staying up all night too often can also lead to serious health problems where both brain and body function begins to deteriorate. Your body processes glucose during your sleep hours, staying awake hinders this critical process and increases blood sugar levels. Back-to-back all-nighters can also deter proper hormone production. This can lead to weight gain, acne, depression, and more.
How To Get Your Sleep Schedule Back On Track
If you have built up sleep debt, recovering from an all-night session in a healthy way is easier than you may think. Start by adjusting what time you go to bed to start “paying down” this debt. If you need to be up and out by the door by 9 am, then you should be in bed no later than 11 pm. Consider going to bed even earlier to allow yourself the time you need to get ready at a leisurely pace in the morning.
Avoid taking naps late in the day, especially if you have trouble going to sleep at night. The exception is if you happen to enter the weekend after pulling an all-nighter. In this case, taking a nap earlier in the day and then going to bed early will speed up your recovery.
Make a point of not sleeping in even if you are tired from the previous night. Restoring your sleep schedule means that you will need to wake up on time and stay up. Also, go to bed at the same time each day, or even slightly earlier in order to catch up on missed sleep.
Cut off your online usage at least an hour before bed and also avoid the TV. The circadian clock is most sensitive to light from about 2 hours before usual bedtime. Too much light exposure will trick your brain into staying active which will slow down your all-nighter recovery efforts. Keep your room dim for the 2 hours before you want to go to sleep and make sure to surround yourself with soothing sounds and smells to relax.
Invest in a quality mattress, so that your body can relax and sleep comfortably through the night.
What To Do and Not To Do When Your Sleep Schedule is Messed Up
Messing up your sleep schedule can literally throw your whole life out of whack. When you do get off track, there are a few things should avoid. Never load up on caffeine or energy drinks to power through the day. They will keep you from falling asleep on time which will put your schedule off even further. Avoid trying to stay up all night in order to “reset” or make it to your regular bedtime. Lack of sleep accumulates and purposefully missing sleep will put you further behind.
What you should do is try to eat your dinner earlier and go to sleep sooner than usual. Turn off electronic devices that can capture your attention and keep you awake. Consider picking up a white noise machine like (this one) to help soothe you to sleep. Skip caffeine and overly sweet dishes to give your body a chance to unwind and relax before bed.
Working out is a good way to tire yourself out if you have too much energy. However, you should avoid working out at least an hour before bedtime. You can set the mood for sleep by soaking in a tub of Lavender Bath Salts, or by spraying your linens with Muse Pillow Spray. If you are still having trouble recovering, it may be a good idea to check in with your regular doctor.
How To Stay Awake All Day After Pulling an All-Nighter?
Staying up and alert after pulling an all-nighter is not easy, but it is possible.
Load your meals with clean protein to give your body fuel to perform. Drink high-energy fruit juices such as orange juice or grapefruit juice. You can have some coffee to help improve mental clarity, but keep in mind that too much will affect your sleep at night.
Take a shower and move around to help keep blood flowing to your brain and keep yourself awake.
How To Make Sure You Wake Up With Little Sleep
Sometimes staying up too late can’t be avoided, If you need to wake up on time the next day, there are some tips you can use. Start by setting an alarm on your phone or clock. Make sure you turn up the volume as high as possible. Make a point of turning off the snooze option and moving your alarm out of arm’s reach of your bed.
For those who live with a roommate or family member, ask them to double-check that you wake up as scheduled. When you do set your alarm make sure you give yourself 30 minutes grace period in the event that you miss the alarm. Once you actually wake up, roll out of bed and turn on the lights immediately.
Turning on the lights will wake up your brain and moving away from the bed will discourage further sleep. Walk around your room to get your heart pumping and wake your body up. During some freshwater, preferably slightly cold to give your system an additional jolt.
Maintaining Proper Sleep Hygiene For Optimal Health
Paying attention to your sleep hygiene is important for your health and for mental clarity. Everyone pushes their limits on occasion by staying up longer than usual. It is important to make a habit of sleeping on time and getting a full night’s sleep for proper health. On those occasions where you pull an all-night session that derails your sleep schedule, use our suggestions above to get yourself back on track.