Pulling an all-nighter when facing exams or trying to meet deadlines is too common among students and workers nowadays. Some people do it as a last resort while others just don’t have a better plan. Everybody knows that pulling an all-nighter is bad, but how bad is it really?
How Bad is Pulling an All-Nighter?
Other than making you feel groggy all day long, pulling an all-nighter also has other more serious disadvantages. Here are five of them:
#1. Ruins your mood
Ever said “good morning” to a coworker and he snapped at you? He has probably just pulled an all-nighter. Sleep deficiency does make you irritable. You overreact to something as simple as small talks and become less enthusiastic about the things going on around you.
#2. Hurts your immune system
A good night’s sleep lets your body produces more proteins called cytokines. Those proteins regulate and mediate your immune system. Skip one night of sleep and your body produces fewer cytokines, leaving you more vulnerable to attacks from viruses and bacteria.
#3. Impairs your cognitive function
Many students think that studying all night long when preparing for exams will make them remember things easier. You just read it, so remembering them should be a piece of cake, right? Well, nothing is farther from the truth.
Pulling an all-nighter impairs your cognitive function. You can’t focus on the problems right in front of you. Trying to remember all those stuff you’ve read is next to impossible too.
#4. Causes weight gain
After you’ve worked or studied all night long, your body will crave carbohydrates more than usual. The reason for that is your body produces too little leptin and too much ghrelin.
Too little leptin causes you to feel hungry even though you don’t need to consume food at the time. Too much ghrelin and your body starts to store energy as fat. Suffice to say that the combination of the two won’t bode well to your weight.
#5. Damages your health
Some people think doing an all-nighter is OK if you only do it once and not consecutively. Well, guess what? it’s not OK. Even doing it once is enough to throw off your sleep-wake cycle making it harder for you to sleep days after. Once your body clock is off the mark, you’re opening yourself to a plethora of problems including the scary ones like cardiovascular and neurological.
So, do you still want to rush your work and study at the last minute? It would be better if you arrange your schedule so you can get things done without missing your sleep quota. If your schedule forces you to stay up all night and you have no say in it, be sure to pay your sleep debt. Take power naps whenever possible to get your sleep-wake cycle back in order. When you find it hard to fall asleep, try listening to ambient sounds as they can calm your mind and let you doze off easier.