We as a human being used to and comfortale to sleep during the night and be awake and alert during the day. When we try to stay up late and sleep during the day, we are working against nature. Staying up late can be tough on the body, but sometimes it is unavoidable. There may be many reasons to stay up late. You may be working late, or you might need to stay up for a one-time event like a family trip or adjust your sleep schedule to accommodate a new night shift assignment or you may have a late night plan to celebrate a special occasion or to attend a party.
Children or adolescents may want to stay up at a sleepover. Students may need to stay up at night to finish homework and catch up on work before a big test or if a project is due.In all of these cases there are tricks you can use to successfully stay up late at night.
Get a Good Night of Sleep or Sleep in the Day Before:
If you are not running on a sleep debt, it will be much easier to stay up late at night.
Sleep in as late as you can the day of your late night. Make sure that you are getting some extra sleep during the week leading up to your night of sleep deprivation. Sleep a little longer each night before your late night or grab an afternoon nap that day.
You can avoid sleep deprivation by going to bed at a regular time and allowing yourself to sleep in. Sleep deprivation can also happen if your sleep quality is poor which may be due to untreated sleep apnea. Sleep apnea involves repeated fragmentation of sleep due to breathing disturbances. Daytime sleepiness may result when sleep apnea
occurs which can make it hard to stay up later. Treatment of sleep disorders improves sleep.
Take a Nap:
A nap is a sleep for shorter duration during the day time. The length of the nap may be 30 minutes to an hour or two. This will diminish the sleep drive and contribute to the ability to stay awake. Sleep clears chemicals from the brain that contribute to sleepiness, including adenosine. If you take a nap closer to the end of the day, it may be more helpful to recharge you.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, tea, soda pop, energy drinks, chocolate, and other products that can work as fuel at night. It blocks the receptors for adenosine in the brain which prevent the signal for sleepiness. The effects of caffeine may last four to six hours. It may become hard to fall asleep and insomnia may result if it is overused. Therefore it is advisable to use it with caution.
Have a Late-Night Snack:
Eating late at night can be helpful to stay up late as the release of insulin may prolong wakefulness. You may crave for high carbohydrate foods with sleep deprivation, but avoid overeating. Eating fresh vegetables may be a healthier option than salty snacks, sugary sweets, or high-calorie foods to avoid weight gain.
Alcohol help you fall asleep. By drinking more you may feel buzzed, but it is also more likely that you may become overly sleepy.
Stay in bright light:
Light has a powerful effect on your internal clock, and bright light has an advantage to stay up a little later. Anyone who wants to stay up late at night may also find light to be helpful.
Screen light may contribute to difficulty falling asleep at night. Maintain a bright environment if your work continues into the night. Artificial light may prolong wakefulness.
Be Active and Avoid Sedentary Situations:
Certain activities such as reading, listening, or watching rather than writing or doing will promote sleepiness and may make it harder to stay awake. As body position can reinforce the ability to fall asleep, avoid lying on your bed, reclining in an easy chair, or lying on a couch . Do something more activating such as stand up or walk around, doing some light cardio like jumping jacks, or anything else that will get your heart pumping and keep your brain alert if you start to feel sleepy.
Although medications should never be used as a substitute for adequate sleep, stimulant medications are used in limited ways among shift workers and in people with persistent sleepiness due to sleep disorders like sleep apnea and narcolepsy. Medications may improve wakefulness and concentration. But there may be risks of addiction, cardiac arrhythmia, weight changes, and mood effects. Do not use these without consulting your doctor.
By staying up late you may feel drowsy which may be associated with blurring vision as the eyes relax, poor concentration and easy distractibility, and even a warm sensation in the body. With these simple interventions still is possible to stay up late. But make sure that you obtain adequate sleep after night to function at your best. Never drive when you are feeling drowsy as there may be risk of falling asleep.