How to arrange an ‘all-nighter’

You wake up in a cold sweat. Your heart is pulsing, your eyes are throbbing, your mind is racing. There’s something you’ve forgotten, you’re underprepared, it’s all over. This is how many students feel once the dreaded F-word looms on the horizon. Finals can be a stressful time, and you want to make sure you aren’t worrying yourself sick over it. Easier said than done, right?

Well, okay, but you can do a lot to make sure you are more prepared and that you’ve done enough revision. One of the best ways of doing this is to pull an all-nighter. Now, despite what parents and experts might advise, an all-night cramming session could be just what the doctor ordered if you feel underprepared during finals week. But, how to pull this all-nighter effectively and wholly? Here are some of the best tips we can recommend.


Music is vital to an all-night study session because it helps keep you in the zone, and the right songs can give you your second wind. Try not to choose anything that might put you to sleep – slow, soft stuff is not right for this scenario. Instead, we would recommend you go for something a little quicker and heavier, like rock or punk music. Come up with a playlist that would be perfectly suited to an all-night study sesh. Obviously, you don’t want to be blaring it through the night, and keeping the rest of your dorm up, so headphones are essential.


Believe it or not, a healthy distraction is actually a good thing. You should be taking breaks now and then to recharge the batteries, and it’s good to have a way of unwinding there. Reading would seem the obvious choice, but this is likely to make you more tired. Instead, we suggest a video game or a movie. One of those handheld video games would be ideal, and maybe an episode of something on Netflix!


No all-nighter is going to progress very far unless you have snacks along for the ride. Late night study sessions always involve sustenance because you need the energy to keep your grey matter ticking over. That means sugar and tasty snacks – coke is always good if you want to lay off the Red Bull. You might also want to grab some chips and candy to munch on through the night, so you remain alert and give yourself a boost when you start to flag. You’re not going to get very far without the use of snacks.

Dress right

Yes, you’re stressed, cold, and tired, and you want nothing more than to slip on those comfy PJs while you’re studying. Don’t you dare! They might be comfy as anything, but they are also the surest way of making you fall asleep! Instead, dress as you would for your lecture or exam, that way you will feel more in the zone. Wearing a pair of jeans and a hoodie is going to keep you in the right mindset – make sure you avoid stuff that’s too comfy.

Our techniques are tried and tested ways of keeping yourself awake and ensuring your brain is operating at the best possible capacity. All-nighters are not essential, but they can be a very important and useful part of finals week. If you’re going to get involved with an all-night cram session, you’re going to need to do it right, and that means following our list to the letter.