6 Reasons Why You Should Stay Away from All-Nighters

By Brian Rice

Everyone has deadlines. Sometimes there’s just not enough time in the day, but things still need to get done. An “all-nighter,” is when someone stays awake all night to complete a task- a common occurrence for college students. The standard procedure is to grab a caffeinated beverage and push through the night. That’s where the trouble begins.


Everyone feels out of it after staying awake for extended periods of time, and that’s because we are. A report from the Center for Disease Control from 2016, intended to update all known facts about the health effects of sleep deprivation has on a person, explains, “insufficient sleep impairs cognitive performance, which can increase the likelihood of motor vehicle and other transportation accidents, industrial accidents, medical errors, and loss of work productivity that could affect the wider community.” By not sleeping a person can put more people in danger due to the inability for clear thinking.

Long Time Risks

If you plan to pull an all-nighter, you probably aren’t thinking that far ahead. The CDC report showed correlation between having less than seven hours of sleep and health dangers, like having a stroke for example. Habits that influence sleep patterns in college could follow you later and cause great harm to your body.

The Way You Stay Up

You might not think of the dangers that cup of coffee has while trying to stay awake at 3 a.m. finishing a paper on Charlemagne for your 8 a.m. class. The side effects of taking the stimulant caffeine, according to the National Sleep Foundation, include a reduction to fine motor skills, irritability and excessive urination. Don’t try to act like getting up constantly to use the bathroom won’t affect how much you learn in class.

Stupid Mistakes

Don’t expect to be on your A-game if you haven’t slept the night before. A professor of physics at SUNY New Paltz, Tarun Biswas, noted the problems he has seen in students who use all-nighters to study for exams. The weight of an exam grade is probably worth being completely aware of what you’re answering.

Your Professors Will Notice

It shows when a student is tired in class. Joann Deiudicicbus, a professor of composition at SUNY New Paltz, said professors notice how tired students act. She said that there are “subtle signs” noting that “students aren’t going to fall asleep but there are tells, such as not being focused or simply not talking to a professor.” It does not look good if you appear unfocused in a class.

There sometimes is no way to avoid pulling an all-nighter. Biswas recommended that in some cases, like finishing a paper overnight because “at night thoughts are clearer and there are less distractions.” Just don’t do it often!

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Brian Rice

Brian Rice is a fourth-year student majoring in journalism from Copenhagen, New York. He enjoys casual card games.

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