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College Students and Sleep Part 2

All-nighters.

An occasional all-nighter is part of the college experience. It normally takes 3 days to recover from one. The first day after an all-nighter may actually be okay. Adrenaline is running high. The test or paper is done. It's time to celebrate! You might feel a little tired, but can usually stay awake all day long, especially with the help of caffeine and salty and sweet snacks.

The second day is the day you really drag. All day long, you can't focus, your eyes gloss over the page, and you feel like taking a nap in class. It's a wasted day where nothing gets done, or gets done poorly and you have to do it all over again later anyway. The third day, you feel a little bit better. By the fourth day, your body has finally recovered from the all-nighter.

The best way to avoid them is to plan better and to stick with the plan. That's easier said than done. Procrastination may be due to not knowing what to do, having perfectionist expectations, giving in to distractions, or lack of interest.

If you have to pull frequent all-nighters, then something needs to change. Analyze why they occur. Try to avoid getting into those situations. Perhaps it has to do with procrastination. Turn off the phone to focus. Seek help from your professor or teaching assistant. Ask questions. If it's a motivation problem, you may need to see an academic adviser.

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