How to Force Yourself to Stay Awake

How to Force Yourself to Stay Awake

We all want a regular good night's sleep, but sometimes that's not possible. Maybe you're working the night shift, preparing for an exam the next morning, or just need to finish that work project that you've been putting off for weeks.

The question is: how to stay awake naturally all night when all you want to do is fall asleep?

How to Not Fall Asleep and Stay Awake All Night

Well, even though staying awake all night is not something you should practice regularly, there are ways you can make your body alert and make it function throughout the night in order to get the job done.

Let's take a look at what these ways are!

Caffeine Is Your Friend

Caffeine is a known stimulant that is very effective at giving you a quick energy boost, helping you stay alert, as well as improving your attention and overall cognitive performance.

You can find caffeine in coffee, energy drinks, mate tea, black tea, as well as matcha and green tea (although these have it in smaller quantities than the others mentioned here).

Be careful when consuming energy drinks as sources of caffeine because not only do they often contain too much sugar (or equally bad artificial sweeteners), but they can also negatively affect your heart function and can also increase the risk of a stroke.

Also, be careful not to consume too much caffeine, as it can also prevent you from getting that much-needed restorative sleep the next night. Don't consume more than 400 mg of caffeine per day.

Don't Stay In One Place

It's quite simple really—walking pumps oxygen, so when you move, your blood pressure elevates, your cardiovascular system gets put into motion, and your brain immediately starts to work better.

If you want to increase alertness, moving your body even for 10-15 minutes can do the trick. You can take a short walk around the neighborhood or your office building; if you have space, you can even do a couple of aerobic exercises!

Wash Your Face With Cold Water

Washing your face with cold water in the middle of the night can also help your body stay awake naturally.

Go to the bathroom or the kitchen and splash your face with cold water. Repeat this a couple of times. If you have the means, you can even take a cold or lukewarm shower or even brush your teeth as an extra activity to help you feel more fresh and rejuvenated.

Use Digital Devices

Screens are notorious for keeping you awake at night, but sometimes this can be put to a good cause. The bright light from your laptop or your tablet can make it easier to stay awake because it tricks the body into thinking it's still daylight. 

Blue light disrupts people's natural circadian rhythms, and it also prevents the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall asleep more easily at night.

Eat a Healthy Snack

When people think of energy-boosting snacks, they usually think of eating sugary snacks because sugar gives you a very quick energy high. But, as you may know, this is followed by an equally fast energy crash, so it might not be the best idea out there.

Instead, opt for a healthy snack that contains a healthy amount of sugar alongside other nutrients (like complex carbs, which elevate your blood sugar level in a more even way). You can eat snacks like nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, granola bars, etc. Vegetables with healthy dips like guacamole or hummus, for example, and even yogurt are also great options. Your safest bet is protein, unsaturated fats, as well as simple and complex carbs in combination.


As you were able to see, there are different ways to combat sleepiness. However, don't turn this into a habit. Staying awake through the whole night can meddle with your sleep cycles and can even cause some kind of sleep disorder (like insomnia, for example). Sleep deprivation is never fun, and you should do whatever it takes to avoid experiencing it in continuity.