Harmful effects of staying up all night and how to deal with sleepiness


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Harmful effects of staying up all night and how to deal with sleepiness

Many people have the experience of staying up all night for studying before a test or urgent work. Staying up all night isn’t good for your body, but there may be days when you just have to cut back on your sleep. We will explain the merits and demerits of staying up all night, the burden on the body, and how to deal with sleepiness on days when you stay up all night.

Is it useless to study for tests all night? Get enough sleep if you want it to settle in your brain

The day before an exam or deadline, many people stay up all night to study or work. If you work hard without sleeping, you can study and work for that long, so your memory and work will increase compared to when you are asleep. However, it is the current situation that what is learned overnight is quickly forgotten over time. Memories tend to settle in your brain while you sleep, so getting enough sleep after studying helps you remember things longer.

Read Also: Is the height of the pillow the cause of stiff shoulders?

Advantages and disadvantages of staying up all night … Increased blood pressure, sleep disturbance, etc.

Staying up all night will not improve your study or work efficiency. Thirteen hours after waking up in the morning, my work efficiency starts to decline. Staying awake for more than 17 hours puts work efficiency at the same level as a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%. This alcohol concentration is enough to be judged as “driving under the influence of alcohol” if you are driving a car.

Staying up all night does a lot of damage to your body. For example, the next day’s blood pressure remains as high as 10mmHg all day long. The effect of antihypertensive drugs is to lower blood pressure by 10 to 20 mmHg per drug, so if you stay up all night, the effects of antihypertensive drugs disappear. Also, if you work all night long, the rhythm of sleep and wakefulness will become irregular, and other biorhythms such as body temperature, blood pressure, and hormone secretion will also go out of order. As a result, it may cause sleep disorders such as “recessed sleep phase syndrome” that makes you oversleep in the morning, and “irregular sleep-wake pattern” that sleep time is scattered.

On the other hand, staying up all night is also used as a treatment for patients with depression. It’s called “sleep deprivation therapy”. Under the guidance of a doctor, patients with depression are asked to stay up all night to try to recover from their depressive symptoms. Although it is not often done in Japan, it is done in Europe and other places for people who do not respond well to antidepressants. The efficacy rate is about 60%, which is reported to be about the same as that of antidepressants. A similar mechanism seems to be the reason why healthy people feel high in the morning after staying up all night. 

Relationship between wakefulness hormone “serotonin” and sleep

Combining several drowsiness awakenings is even more effective
Serotonin, a switch for wakefulness, is deeply involved in the relationship between light and drowsiness. Bright light suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin and increases the wakefulness hormone serotonin. Therefore, just being exposed to light by the window can reduce sleepiness, and when you want to manage your sleepiness from evening to night, going to a bright store such as a convenience store will reduce melatonin and make you sleepy.

The serotonergic nerves of the arousal system become active during rhythmic exercise. Chew gum to wake up from sleepiness, but the rhythmic movement of the jaw activates the arousal nerves. In addition, serotonin increases by walking, jogging, neck movement, swimming, golf swing practice, deep breathing, and singing.

If you can rest after an all-nighter, block out the light with sunglasses and go home, draw the curtains, and try to sleep until noon. And go to bed a little earlier than usual at night. This series of flows may lead to the elimination of sleep deprivation.

I have to stay up all night… how to overcome sleepiness

If you have to stay up all night for work or school, try to control your sleepiness during the day and go to bed early at night. Daytime sleepiness countermeasure points are sympathetic nerves, caffeine, chattering, and naps.

■Stimulate the sympathetic nerves with warm and cold stimulation When the sympathetic
nerves, which are one of the autonomic nerves, become active, you wake up and your drowsiness is blown away. Washing your face with cold water, wiping your face with a hot towel, or taking a shower with hot or cold water activates your sympathetic nerves and awakens your mind and body.

■Caffeine blocks sleep-promoting substances
Caffeine blocks the action of “sleep-promoting substances” that accumulate in the brain and suppresses drowsiness. However, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes for the alarm effect to appear, so take it a little early. The effect is halved in 1 to 2 hours for young people and 3 to 4 hours for elderly people. Reintroduce caffeine before sleepiness returns, such as while driving.

■Activate your brain with active conversation If
you are quiet by yourself, you will fall asleep without knowing it. In that case, have a conversation with someone. By communicating with people, the brain is activated and sleepiness is reduced. Especially during the peak of daytime sleepiness from 2 to 4 pm, you can avoid the risk of daytime sleepiness by scheduling guests and visits.

■Napping is the best way to wake up from drowsiness
If you can’t beat sleepiness, take a nap for about 20 minutes. You can take a nap during peak sleepiness between 2pm and 4pm, or you can take a nap at lunchtime before that. If you take caffeine before taking a nap, it is recommended that the caffeine will work just when you wake up.