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How do you resist not sleeping the next day? I know I would be exhausted the afternoon with little capacity for rational thought, and likely pass out by 7-8 PM, ruining the attempt.



Passing out by 7 or 8 is rather the point - you sleep a long time and deeply after the sleepless night, waking up with your head in a better place.

I can attest somewhat to the efficacy of the practice; in younger days I did it myself on occasion, and found it often to have the beneficial effect described upthread - as well as, on the day after the sleepless night, an interesting and generally useful upsurge of sidewise and creative thought that tended to produce ideas I could capture and usefully follow up on later, after the sleepful second night.

On the other hand, younger days being now behind me, I'm no longer able to miss a night's sleep and remain awake, much less productive, on the day following. So it goes.


I found that when I do all-nighters (although it's been a while since I've done one), I get a "second wind" of sorts from mid morning until late afternoon. So if I want to make sure I don't go to bed too early, it's only really the last two hours that are hard, although they can be very hard (especially since you don't want to drink caffeine or anything like that since that would affect the sleep quality).

Fresh air and light exercise help me during those last hours, but it can be mentally difficult to force myself to doing that.

Again, it's been a while since I've done it, so it may have been a symptom of being a bit younger. Maybe I wouldn't be able for it now...


Similar to you, I try to go for a hike/long walk in the morning/afternoon when I get to struggling with sleepiness (while attempting to make it to the next evening of an all-nighter).


My strategy would be to constantly change "stimulus" to keep my self active and awake. I'd try reading for a bit, then of course I start to go foggy and you get a headache from focusing on the text. Then I'd play video games for a bit, then watch a film, then a documentary, then go for a walk, then do some work.

I found switching activities every 45 minutes or so kept me sufficiently engaged.




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