How to Pull an All-Nighter

I won’t even tell you how many times I have pulled all-nighters for back-to-back finals.


Tonight is no exception. I had a final Thursday night from 7-10pm, and another Friday morning from 7am-10am. That leaves approximately 9 hours between tests.

Had I been a diligent, awesome student with no life or other classes, I could have easily handled studying for both way ahead of time. However, that is just not the case.

I figured I would share some all-night study marathon tips with my bloggie friends and fellow students. Hopefully you won’t have to study all night… but at least I can provide you with some entertainment.


How to Pull An-All Nighter


Step 1: Get your junk done

Make an hour-by-hour schedule. This will keep you on task. Once the allotted time has passed. Move on. 


Lay out every thing you have to do. Study the hardest stuff first, while you are most awake. As the night wears on, move to easier topics.


Step 2: On for 50, off for 10

Schedule in 10 minute breaks every hour to do whatever you want- besides sleep. For instance, I wrote this post. Also, see step 3.



Step 3: Move Around and Pump Yourself Up

On those breaks I mentioned above, try dancing to a fun song, doing jumping jacks, changing chairs, walking around, whatever. Just don’t sit still for hours upon end or you WILL fall asleep.


It’s a dance party over here!!!


Step 4: Don’t get distracted

Turn off your cell phone (guilty), get off g-chat (guilty again), stop reading blogs (unless it’s this post), sign off Twitter/Facebook, and get to work! You didn’t stay up all night to stalk your friends, now did you? NO!!



Step 5: Get un-comfy

Do not sit on your bed, the couch, or lean against pillows. Don’t put your pajamas on just yet either. It will be really hard to study if all you can think about is sleeping.

It helps me to be a bit on the chilly side. Warmth=pillow=sleeeeeeep.


Step 6: Eat healthy food

My snack of choice is a good bowl of cereal.


No, it’s not ideal to be eating a midnight, 2am, and 4am snack. Hopefully, this is a one time deal.

No, you will not get fat from eating 3 extra snacks once in your life. Please nobody email me asking if I am scared of gaining weight… I don’t care about the 0.002 lbs I might possibly gain.

Your body needs energy to stay awake and think.


Eat up, kids.


Step 7: Skip the Coffee… if you can

I prefer to drink several large glasses of cold water. Not to be obnoxious, but doing this will leave you having  to pee alot, which makes you get up and move around.


Staying hydrated also helps brain cells to do their thing. (Ok, maybe I made that one up).


Step 8: Set an Alarm…

…just in case. I missed a Dynamics Test once that way. I fell asleep with my head in the book. I had to withdrawal when I woke up after the test was over… not a good story. 



Step 9: Think positively

Staying up all night sucks, especially to study. It’s important to keep a good attitude, and know that you can nap when it’s all over.

(Just looking at this post made me sleepy…)



Step 10: Ace it, Baby.

Watch the Sunrise…


…and go pass that test!!!



Good luck on your finals!


❤ MegaNerd


Disclaimer: Staying up all night is clearly not a healthy habit to get into. However, for the purposes of finals week, some things are just necessary. Like eating 16 CLIF bars in 7 days.

This post is intended for entertainment purposes only….and written between the hours of 1:30am and 3:45am. Sorry for the silliness. 😛

56 Responses

  1. Oh this is so appropriate… as I have just pulled/am still pulling an all-nighter (exam at 11:30 am). Clearly I have finally fallen victim to step #4, where I’m checking my google reader…

    Your entire list is spot on though!! I think I’ve pulled at least 10 all-nighters this semester… brutal. The worst hour is the 3-4 for me. Good call on studying the hardest stuff first!

    GOOD LUCK! 🙂

  2. I used to be the Queen of All-Nighters in college. There’s something about working in the middle of the night while everyone else is sleeping that has its allure.

    Good luck on your exam!!!!

  3. ohhh i do NOT miss all-nighters! i planned them out like you do, though. i think that helps. good luck on your test! kick butt 🙂

  4. LMAO!! You are super adorable!!!! 🙂

    Megan, I wish you the very best today!! You;ll do awesome and just think, in a few hours, IT”S ALL OVER!!!!!!!

    Sending you all of my postive energy today!! 😉

  5. i have to pull all-nighters for work on a regular basis (HATTTTTTTE IT) but you make it look like so much more fun!

  6. I love it! 🙂 Luckily I never pulled an all-nighter in college, but I know MANY people who did it often and these are great tips.

  7. hahaha i cannot even describe how awesome this post was.

    also, thanks for the text. it totally woke me up (a good thing)!!!

    • best part though: “Please nobody email me asking if I am scared of gaining weight… I don’t care about the 0.002 lbs I might possibly gain.”

  8. Ha!
    Thanks for the tips.
    I hope your all nighter was successful; good luck on your exam this morning!

  9. Hahahaha oh I pulled so many all nighters in college because I am the biggest procrastinator EVER! Afterwards, I would feel so sick and sleep for like 2 days straight!

  10. This was great, Megan! And I enjoyed the silliness. 🙂 Good luck today!!

  11. Bahaha! I loved everything about this post.

    I remember once I pulled an all-nighter at University and THEN stayed up all day studying too… it was for a 7pm exam. Oh my God, I don’t recommend it… I literally hallucinated during the exam and then I started writing gibberish in between the ‘normal’ stuff. For example:

    “18th century poets often wrote from a political point-of-view, and criticized Buffy the Vampire Slayer has amazing clothes their fellow poets from a perspective of–”

    If you see what I mean. I ended up having to scratch out a bunch of stuff… but I still remember getting a good grade. LOL. Oh, the memories.

  12. love it. love it. love it. Then I think to myself..this is gonna be me next year. I’ll sleep before uni starts. Good luck love!

  13. So funny! I never pulled an all nighter in college, but if I had these tips would have been helpful 😀

  14. Loved this post! Especially number 5) Get un-comfy—so important! and 8)Set an alarm! …and of course #10–now go ace your exam!!

  15. this is awesome! hope your rocked it out.

  16. good luck!!!!

    it is reasons like this that i am soooooooooo happy to be done with school. i had a lot of trouble making it past 3am whenever i attempted this. you are a champ.

  17. This is possibly my favourite entry of yours – EVER!

    The number of all nighters I have pulled during high school and university is insane. 😦 I never seem to learn!

    I hope you get a great sleep once you have finished your exam – you deserve it.

  18. Ohhhh the wonderful memories of all Nighters. I don’t miss those at all!!! Good luck girl, do your best! Everything works out in the end!

  19. Hahaha love this. I pulled so many all nighters in law school it was nuts.

    I was constant snacker to keep myself awake. I’d have giant glasses of ice water and huge bowls of popcorn or fruit to pick at. It was amazing how long I could make a bag of popcorn last!

    Good luck!

  20. Ha! Very cute 🙂 Good luck on the test!!!

  21. Just wanted to wish you goodluck. I myself have exams, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday and totally use the water trick!

  22. loves it!

    sometimes these things are necessary… in an ideal world no one would ever have to pull all nighters, but unfortunately sometimes we have to. good luck on your test!

  23. I pulled an allnighter once for my orgo final- I swear I did not recover for dayssss!

    Good luck! as you are currently taking your exam ROCK IT OUTTT!!

  24. Hahaha … this post was so great and the advice was PERFECT! Man, I have pulled so many freakin’ all-nighters and did basically the same things!

    You are awesome for writing this! 🙂

  25. Good luck girl!! Just think about that nap that is coming your way this afternoon! 😉

  26. Good tips, I can usually only get to 1 am and that’s it for me . . . GOOD LUCK! You’re probably writing right now.

  27. Ahhhhhhhhhh I know it’s a joke but it hurts! All-nighters are BADDDDDD. Sleep is GOOD. I’m the annoying student that studies for all her tests/ writes her papers weeks in advance to avoid these situations. I get a full 8 hours of sleep before my finals… I wish you the best of luck on your test! I know you’ve been busy and your exam schedule sucks… but even reading about an all nighter makes me cringe! Get some sleep afterward!!!

  28. I some how made it through undergrad and law school without ever pulling a true “all-nighter.” Even when I had the dreaded “24 hour take-home” in law school. I just can’t function without sleep. I got close once during midterms in undergrad but only made it to 3AM.

    I hope you rocked your test!

  29. My friends and I used to throw dance parties in the middle of the night in the library to keep us awake during finals. it totally helped! 🙂 Good luck on the exam today!!

  30. This is the best post! I bet you did great!! Enjoy your nap 🙂

  31. You are probably almost home to sleep by now. Hooray! Hope the final went well!

  32. You girl are CRAZY. The latest I’ve ever stayed up studying was 4 and then I slept at least for a bit. And I haven’t done that in a while. But go you!! I hope you did wonderful and are getting your well deserved sleep RIGHT NOW! 🙂

  33. haha i love that post! i legit laughed out loud when i got to the part about NOT e-mailing you about gaining weight from the snacks haha! but seriously, i actually found some really good ideas in it! #1 is a great idea!

  34. Megan you are crazy. I have never pulled an all nighter before- I have definetly lost sleep staying up late and getting up early, but I have yet to study all night long. I love your tips though, who knows with 3 semesters left I may need them! Good luck on your final.

  35. Sometimes I am so glad I’m not in college anymore lol. Good luck! It’s a tough week to get through!

  36. i loved this post. it seemed so silly and you are just crazy girl! hahha “no, dont email me asking if i am afraid of gaining weight”…classic line. Loved it.


  37. Haha great tips – hopefully I won’t have to use them though.
    Good luck today girlie!

  38. this is hilarious-bc ive done this before!!
    cant say i didnt drink coffee tho 😦

  39. Hehe oh man you’re funny 🙂 I hope you did well today!!

    I’ve actually never pulled an all-nighter before… I’m the type of person that literally can’t function without sleep. Even if I totally don’t know the material, it’s still better for me to just go to bed and see how it goes as opposed to trying to stay up!

    Anyway, I hope you hit the gym today to work off all that weight you gained eating snacks last night. (LOL… KIDDING!!)

  40. haha that was awesome 🙂 i am fortunate enough to only have 3 finals, none of which are cumulative so no chance to pull an all nighter, however should this happen to me i will take all this into consideration 😛 oh and by the way, missing exams happens…my best friend last year got the day wrong and showed up for her exam a day after it happened…not pretty!

  41. What the heck class are you studying for? A math class?
    I definitely pulled a few all nighters in college. Good luck with finals and onto next semester!

  42. cute post! Good Luck on your exams!

  43. many props to you for being able to stay awake for that long!

  44. Awesome post Megan! LOL

    I hope the exam went well 🙂

  45. Love this post! I ❤ my sleep though…i don't think I would ever make it!!

  46. did you really get 100% on that test?

    I tried your methods. I definitely didnt get 100%. Looks like I will be repeating BioChem next semester. Also, FYI: you CAN gain weight from double snacking if you have 5 tests to study for. I seem to be up 0.22 lbs.

  47. I have never understood the all nighter… look as though I am in the minority though! I survived 6 years of pharmacy school and my rule was to never study past 10:00 pm. If I didn’t know it by then I was never going to know it. Hope you did well!

  48. Awesome post! This had me laughing and relating all the way through. Also, I wish I remember where I read it but yes hydration does help brain function – just as carbs are neccessary to brain function.

  49. hhaha!! I LOVED it! I have never had to do an all nighter, but I know that the day is coming…and now I will be prepared! 😀

  50. wow, your scale must be really accurate… where did you get it?

  51. […] In case you’re wondering what I’ll be up to tonight, check out my post on How to Pull an All Nighter! […]

  52. Am I the only one who noticed the “suggested reading” under the post? Kegel Cram? WTH?!?!

    Hilarious post, Megan! Love it!

  53. […] Snacking through the all-nighter Did you totally procrastinate on the final draft of that 12-page research that’s due tomorrow at 10 a.m., and now you need to pull an all-nighter? For the technical and planning side of your problem, read MegaNerdRun’s post, “How To Pull An All-Nighter.” […]

  54. […] The One where I pulled an all-nighter […]

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