//Overrated/Underrated: Pulling an All-Nighter

Overrated/Underrated: Pulling an All-Nighter

Overrated: Sean Slusarz

It’s that time of year again. School’s back in session, all of your friends want you to hang out during the day, and there are just so many different activities on campus that you just have to do. Where’s the time for homework? For studying? Well, like any person who can do the math, there are eight hours of prime real estate for those things. The only problem is that in that time you’re supposed to be asleep. Why not pull an all-nighter and deal with the sleep later, when you are less busy?

Don’t.

All-nighters are overrated, certainly. In fact, they can be detrimental to what you are trying to achieve in the first place. Sleep is important, as it allows you to rest from all of those activities. It also allows your brain to transfer memories from short-term to long-term storage. If you don’t allow your brain to do that, then no matter how long you stay up working on that assignment, or the many hours you study for that Calculus 2 test, you won’t remember all of those formulas as clearly as if you had given yourself those hours of sleep. 

Not sleeping also can lead to many side effects, such as falling asleep in class, being irritable, feeling like you are drunk or hungover, lowered motor function and even some mental problems like depression and anxiety.

Sleeping reverses most of those effects. Restful sleep keeps the brain healthy, allows muscles to recuperate, keeps you alert and definitely makes you look better. Have you ever seen yourself after an all-nighter? Most of the time your eyes are bloodshot from keeping them open, and fluid buildup under them makes them look puffy and inflamed. 

All-nighters also make you gain weight, as people usually eat sugary foods or drink coffee to stay awake. No amount of running at the WEC or lifting weights at the Honors Gym can save you from those excess calories.

Overall, all-nighters are not only overrated, but rather counter-productive to their own purpose: to study for tests and classes and excel in school. So, schedule your time properly. Make sure to give yourself plenty of sleep. Be alert in classes and try to make some time in your day to study. Your body won’t just thank you— your grades will, too.

UnderratedIsaac Scafe

There comes a point during a semester where students become overwhelmed with school work. Homework, projects, exams; the work just keeps piling on. This isn’t even accounting for the activities students have to do outside the classroom. Mixing in athletics, clubs, jobs and other commitments students have, there simply isn’t enough time in the day to do everything. An all-nighter might be the only option a student has to complete all of their work and keep up with their studies. 

Students often shy away from staying up too late in fear of being groggy during the next day. But, pulling an all-nighter doesn’t necessarily mean getting no sleep at all. Students can take naps throughout the night while studying, which can prove to be beneficial. Research done by Sara Mednick, PhD, a psychologist from the University of California, Riverside shows that “people performed just as well on a test after a 60- to 90-minute nap as they did after a full night of slumber.” And who’s to say you can’t take a nap after pulling an all-nighter? 

In “Sleep-dependent learning: a nap is as good as a night,” Mednick also observed people who took a nap versus those who had a night’s rest. Her study showed that participants with a 60- to 90- minute nap were able to complete sleep-dependent learning similarly to those with 8 hours of sleep. Sometimes a nap is all someone needs to get through a day.   

Social media is one of the biggest distractions college students face today. Being up so late probably means that no one else is awake, leaving social media platforms dead. There’s no need to keep checking what friends are doing or if there’s a new post on Instagram. Staying up all night is the perfect opportunity to get away from life’s distractions and focus on studying and assignments.

Sometimes, students have no choice but to pull an all-nighter. An all-nighter is unappealing to most people, as they are accustomed to sleeping at night. In fact, it is recommended that people shouldn’t nap too often as it may lead to persistent grogginess. But at the end of the day, life is about making sacrifices in order to accomplish certain goals. In the middle of a hectic school semester, sacrificing sleep may be a must. 

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Sean Slusarz

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