Did you know that roughly 16% of wage and salary employees in the U.S. work a non-daytime schedule? If you’re someone that makes up this ever-growing statistic, then you know firsthand that working late into the hours of the early morning is no easy feat.
Adapting to these late-night shifts can be a bit challenging at first because they go against the natural circadian rhythms that guide your sleep cycle. Thankfully, there are certain measures that these late-night warriors can take in order to feel more alert and focused while they’re on the clock.
If you need help making it through the night while boosting productivity, then you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading and we’ll tell you everything you need to know to stay up all night for work.
Work in a Well-Lit Environment
Your circadian rhythms are like internal clocks that affect the way you feel, the way you think, and the way you behave throughout the day. They are based on how bright your environment is.
When your brain perceives darkness outside, your body begins to release a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for making you feel sleepy and prepares your body for shut-eye.
Staying up all night means fighting this natural process, which can be pretty difficult when working in a dark environment. To try and outsmart your body, and prevent it from producing this sleepy-hormone, be sure to work in a well-lit environment.
SAD lamps or other forms of personalized lighting can mimic different environments. You can trick the body by replicating daylight, keeping you awake and concentrated. And with an extra boost from Caffeine, you can feel like you’re working in the middle of the day.
Speaking of Caffeine...
Caffeine is a stimulant that can help people feel more alert and mentally focused. For many people needing to stay up all night for work, Caffeine is their saving grace. It works by stimulating the central nervous system. When it reaches your brain, you’ll feel more awake and less tired.
Most people tend to consume Caffeine in the form of a beverage, such as a cup of java or an energy drink.
But our favorite way to take in this powerful stimulant is through a clean, 100% plant-based energy shot - like the ones found at Proper Wild. These great-tasting energy shots work almost immediately (within 15 minutes of consuming). The burst of smooth energy lasts about four to six hours, with no crash, making it an ideal candidate to help you last the entire night.
Additionally, Proper Wild uses organic Caffeine from green tea rather than synthetic Caffeine made from a lab. This means you can enjoy natural Caffeine without the jitters -- perfect for those working the graveyard shift!
Caffeine is a stimulant, while alcohol is a depressant. Alcohol slows down the body’s natural functions and clouds the mind. It can be difficult to stay focused or make any decisions while inebriated. Additionally, alcohol can make you feel sleepy and want nothing more than the comfort of your bed.
Take Short Breaks
Frequent breaks to move around, stretch, and briefly abandon your tasks at hand is essential for your overall health. Chopping work up into more manageable segments is helpful for creating feelings of accomplishment that motivate future work. Even a five-minute walk can restore your energy and momentum.
If a late-night work session involves intense thought and frequent decision-making, burning-out is a real possibility. Decision fatigue can wear out your willpower and ability to reason. Keep your mind in tip-top shape and be sure to take short breaks throughout the night.
Sleep In The Night Before
The best way to prepare for an all-nighter is to get extra sleep the night before. Going into a long work session with an energy deficit is a recipe for disaster. A well-rested body and mind are more likely to have the endurance to last the entire night.
If you know your schedule ahead of time, be sure to plan accordingly and set yourself up for success by getting a good night’s rest before your shift.
Exercise On Your Break
Taking a nap during your scheduled break time may make you feel more sleepy by the time your 15 minutes are up. Rather than resting your eyes, get your heart rate up and exercise. Try taking a jog around the building or hitting the office weight room. Do jumping jacks at your desk or lunges down the hallway.
Even a small amount of exercise can revitalize you, helping to get your body’s energy levels back up.
Have a Late-Night Snack
Another great tip to stay up all night for work is simply by having a tasty late-night snack.
Although some people will have a midnight snack before heading to bed as part of their bedtime ritual, research suggests that the subsequent release of insulin may actually prolong wakefulness. Stay away from heavy foods and stick with light snacks such as carrots, celery sticks, and apples, which are easily broken down and absorbed by the body to be used as energy.
Use Energizing Scents
A simple way to help stay awake through the night is by keeping scented candles or an essential oil diffuser at your desk. Look for fun scents that are strong and energizing, such as citrus, jasmine, or peppermint. You can also rub essential oil on your hands and temples to help keep you energized.
Turn Up The Tunes
Music has the power to motivate and inspire. With the right tweaks to your playlist, music can be an excellent tool for staying productive late into the night. It does this by improving cognitive activity.
There isn’t one genre better than another for keeping people awake and engaged, but if you’re looking to keep the sandman away, it’s best to avoid overly-relaxing music that can make you more tired. Try listening to loud, energizing tunes. If you work in a shared space, make sure to wear headphones so you don’t disturb your coworkers.
Take A Cold Shower
Last on the list but definitely not least -- when all else fails, a surefire way to wake yourself up is to take a cold shower.
Taking a cold shower will shock your body just enough to provide you with that much-needed jolt of energy. It can help to make you stay awake and feel more alert to tackle the late shift.
A good night’s rest and a bit of clean, organic caffeine might be all it takes to get you through your next graveyard shift.
Organic Caffeine, antioxidants from real fruit juices, and the extremely effective amino acid L-theanine also work to have you feeling more awake and more productive for much longer, without the jitters or crash — so sip on some Proper Wild, turn up the tunes, and don’t forget to stand up and stretch every now and then, and you’ll finish your night shift with ease!