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How To Stay Up Late... Tips & Tricks

Updated on October 31, 2011
Red Bull Energy Drink
Red Bull Energy Drink

How To Stay Up Late

Do you need help staying up late? Me too! I am a morning person by nature, and in my 40’s, so when I have an event that I need to stay up late for, I need to take careful and proactive measures! Whether it’s a rock concert, play or party, I need to think through how I will stay alert and stay awake. Over the years, I have found a number of techniques that anyone can use to do this. Read on…

Get Enough Sleep The Night Before

I’ll start with the obvious, what Mom would tell us, which is to get a good night’s sleep, the night before the big event. Interestingly, there is no magic number, for the amount of sleep each person needs. Sleep experts at The National Sleep Foundation state that needs vary by age, gender, population and your unique characteristics. While you may need seven hours per night, someone else your same age and gender may need only four.

Bottom line.. You know your body. Plan ahead so the night before a late event, you get a good night’s sleep as defined by you.

Let's Get It Started!!!

Take Care of Your Eyes

If you are trying to enjoy your late night event and your eyes are dry and irritated and you start squinting, your facial muscles will become tired and you will become tired.

If you are a contact lens wearer, you know there is nothing more irritating or tiring than when your contact lenses dry out, especially if you are out on the town. Knowing this, wear your glasses during the day of the late event. When it’s time to put in contacts, if possible, put in a brand new pair of disposables. And, bring lens wetting drops with you.

This advice also holds true for those without contacts who tend to have dry eyes. It’s estimated that over ten million people suffer from “dry eye syndrome” which is usually caused by a problem with the quality of the tear film that lubricates the eyes or may be induced by allergies, smoke or other irritators in the air.

I am not a doctor, but it’s well known that for short term treatment of dry eyes, over the counter eye drops are readily available at most drug stores. Brands include Visine, Bausch and Lomb, and Theratears. (If you have ongoing problems, please consult your doctor.)

Keep Moving

How often have you planned to go out, but ended up in what I call “couch TV land” instead. It starts innocently.. You have an hour to kill, you have your favorite show TIVO’d, you grab a glass of wine and walllah.. You never leave the house and actually fall asleep on your couch. When we stand still, our energy level drops.

Instead, as the day progresses and you get closer to the “going out time, exercise and stay physically active. Head to the gym a few hours before. An hour before, put on some fun going out music. For me, this is Disco and 80’s dance hits. For you, it may be loud Classical. Or.. perhaps it's time to play your Wi Rockstar or Guitar Hero Game. Think energy and movement. Avoid your couch!

Stay Up Late Quick Tips

  • Get Sleep The Night Before
  • Take Care of Your Eyes
  • Keep Moving
  • Some Caffeine- Helpful
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption
  • Eat Light

What About Caffeine?

When we’re tired, one of the first things we’re often drawn to is a cup of coffee… a Starbucks Latte or a Caribou Coffee espresso to get us in tip top shape for the big event. Perhaps your caffeine of choice is in a Red Bull or energy drink.

By definition, caffeine is a nervous system and cardiac system stimulant and could help many of us out as a short term fix to stay alert. However, think of staying awake as a three legged stool. One leg may be caffeine, but you need at least 2 other legs to get the full effect.

Based on my caffeine research, it takes between 15- 45 minutes for caffeine to effect our bodily functions and for the average healthy adult, the effect lasts up to four hours. It’s the level of caffeine in the blood reaching the brain that determines the potency of its effects on the body.

And, as caffeine gets metabolized by the liver and we urinate, the effects are lost.

Knowing this, if you want to drink some coffee or have an energy drink, do so at the beginning or during your night out versus sometime in the afternoon. A 3PM cup of Joe, might lead to an energy drop just at the time you are leaving to go out.

Can we drink coffee or tea all night? Well, many of us have experienced the effects of too much caffeine. We can become jittery, nervous even anxious. Our body may start to fight back with stomach aches, head aches etc. There is even a name for the symptoms of a caffeine overdose, “caffeinism”. So, caffeinate all night at your own risk.

5 Hour Energy- Sugar Free Stay Up Late Beverage

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Many of us enjoy having “a few drinks” when we go out with friends and partake in evening celebrations. The reality is, if you are trying to stay awake and alert, drinking alcohol will have the opposite effect.

Alcohol is considered a sedative, defined as a “Having a soothing, calming, or tranquilizing effect; reducing or relieving anxiety, stress, irritability, or excitement.”. We’ve all watched hospital shows when the mental patient’s freaking out and the doctor says in a calm voice, “Nurse, sedate this patient”. The lucky gal or guy gets a shot and they drift off to la la land.

I have to admit that I like the occasional Vodka Red Bull cocktail when I go out. As you’ve read, the drink is mixing a stimulant, caffeine, with a sedative, alcohol. So, you end up with two dueling drugs in your body- one offsetting the other. There have actually been articles written questioning the safety of this drink, due to the unusual combination. Perhaps this is a drink we need to enjoy at our own risk.

If you are trying to stay awake, you don’t want to sedate yourself. Limiting alcohol will help.

Eat Light

Think of the post Thanksgiving meal effect. We are bloated, our pants are tight, our stomachs are stuffed with a plethora of appetizers, main courses and desserts. We retreat to the living room, where we plop on the couch and can’t move for hours.

Now, think of your big, night out and how to eat for the opposite effect. If the big night out includes dinner first, order the lighter healthier options. Opt for grilled chicken, garden salads, soups. Avoid the heavy pasta dishes, mounds of mashed potatoes and big desserts. Choose grains, fruits and vegetables over fried foods and fatty pastries. Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water.

I also find that eating small bites of food throughout the night, helps me to stay alert. Also known as “grazing” by some, this allows you to feed your body, but not gorge on large portions which can slow you down.

Enjoy Your Late Night Event!

In summary, whether you’re a morning person, a busy parent or someone approaching their latter years.. there are a number of things you can do to stay alert and stay awake for your big night out. It’s in your control and just takes a little planning.

So, go out, have fun and enjoy your late night out!!!

Copyright © 2009-2011, M. Reynolds, All Rights Reserved

How Do You Stay Awake? Comments?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago


    • profile image

      d man 

      6 years ago

      im 12 and i say up to till 1 or 2 but most of the time i sleep till 10 or 11 pm

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      i really want to stay up

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have a blog filled with tips for staying up late, these and many more.

      Not trying to advertise it just trying to help those in need :)

    • profile image

      Tim Mckee 

      7 years ago

      Hello all sippers

      I have to give props to a great beverage that I found in southern Cal. Called Nu South Lemonade. I have had the Blueberry North Carolina Lemonade and the Georgia Peach Lemonade. Bought both in 2Liter, great deal. Both great and easy to drink. Here is the kicker, add half energy drink and Nu South Flavored Lemonade now you have a new drink to take notes on. wow! Wow! Props to the ones who came up with Nu South Lemonade.

    • CWanamaker profile image


      7 years ago from Arizona

      Wow thorough and some great tips. One thing that helps me stay up late is doing something that I enjoy or really want to do. It's a lot easier to stay when you are having fun.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i love staying up late one time i stayed up all night and then all of the next day, with only one glass of coke and a BOWL OF CHIPS.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I like to stay up late!!!! I stayed up til 1:45 a.m. LETS PARTY!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      angel girl 

      8 years ago

      wow.............i got it...tanx....i really needed it!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      this has to help i need to stay up

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      fabulous. am going to try thah

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      me my friend stayed up till 4.30 and we didn't do any trick we just stayed up . But still thanks for your tips

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I usally drink about 2 or 3 can of monstar tht is the best stuff ever! I have no problem staying awake all night long. Try it :P

    • Jay(C) profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Revive Energy 'em...Great for all-nighters!! Who would of thought, a mint that freshens your breath, contains as much caffeine as a Red Bull, is sugar-free, and healthy, with antioxidant extracts from acai berry, goji, and mangosteen, three of the the world's most potent superfoods. These things are great, you ought to 'em a try. Oh yea, I almost forgot to mention that one mint, which equals an energy drink in terms of energy boost strength and quality, plus an amount of antioxidants that is equal to a full serving of fruit, costs literally a fraction of the cost you'll pay for en energy drink or energy shot, about 1/6 of the cost in fact. They come in 8-packs and 2-packs.

    • mythbuster profile image


      9 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      I've heard of 'polyphasic' napping and think it could be used as a tool for staying up late but beyond setting a schedule of special naps, I'll test out your suggestions first the next time I need to extend my awake time.

    • profile image


      9 years ago is a website where notes, study guides, and old exams are posted with no copyright violations. this could really help you dig through all the information and streamline studying.

    • LondonGirl profile image


      10 years ago from London

      My Dad usually says (but doesn't actually do) that he wants to get the best start to the New Year by going to bed really early, and tackling the day head-on!

    • Reynolds_Writing profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thanks for all the feedback so far.. Please keep it coming!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Good info.. I'll have to remember this on 12.31,, It's hard to stay up late when you're old!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I like the music in the background, I could stay up all night now!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a great article with tips I can actually use. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Fred in LA 

      10 years ago

      Great article. I'll have to remember these tips next time I go out.


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