Let face it:
Your college years and your early 20s are when we, as new adults, are invincible.
At least we feel that way...
You know that a lot of what you do is unhealthy.
Seriously, try and think of one positive thing about a diet based on ramen with the occasional Big Mac.
Beyond your diet, the list goes on:
Partying, cleaning habits, and all the experimentation that comes with becoming an adult.
We tend to overlook one thing, and that is your sleep.
Yeah, if you think about it, you probably don’t get enough sleep and you know it.
So why on earth, when it comes to sleep, (honestly it's practically the best thing in the world) are we skipping it?
Finding balance in life can be challenging, but especially when you just had new responsibilities heaped upon you.
College life may find you living on your own for the first time, maintaining your own car, more homework, college sports.
Somewhere in there you hope to insert hobbies and a social life.
No matter how glorious it is, sleep is a luxury to many.
You’re guilty of it, we’re guilty of it, everyone could probably use a little more of it.
Just think how much more pleasant we might be to each other if we all slept a little bit more?
There’s something worse than lack of sleep, though, when it comes to an unhealthy lifestyle, and that’s no sleep at all.
That’s right, now I’m going to quote the title. (What, are we some kinda... ‘Suicide Squad’?)
Pulling an all nighter can have a worse effect on you than a six-month diet of ramen and Big Macs.
What All Nighters Do To Your Body?
A study was conducted by Dr. Josiane Broussard in an attempt to study how sleep deprivation affects your insulin sensitivity.
The background on that is when your insulin sensitivity is low, your body will pump insulin into your bloodstream.
This spikes your blood sugar, and this has its own host of problems and can lead to type 2 diabetes.
If your insulin sensitivity is low, it's bad news because it can cause you long-term problems later on in life.
Broussard’s study compared sleep deprivation and a high-fat diet and then compared which one would cause greater problems with insulin sensitivity.
The study found that just one night of sleep deprivation, just one all-nighter, was enough to reduce insulin sensitivity by 33 percent. Meanwhile, a high-fat diet for six months only reduced the subject’s insulin sensitivity by 21%.
“Our study suggests that one night of total sleep deprivation may be as detrimental to insulin sensitivity as six months on a high-fat diet,” said Broussard
This research shows that getting enough sleep is important to maintaining good insulin/blood sugar levels.
What else can pulling an all-nighter do to you?
Not only will pulling an all-nighter throw your blood sugar out of whack, the hormones that regulate your appetite go crazy. You’ll end up hungrier, and studies have shown that even one night without sleep can cause immediate weight gain. In fact, even if you are dieting and exercising correctly, not sleeping enough or pulling all nighters frequently will prevent your weight loss almost entirely.
Remember the dreaded “Freshman 15” where first-year college students gain weight suddenly?
Now you can blame that all-nighter during mid-terms for that.
You’re Stressing Me Out, Man!
Likely not a shocker, going a full night without sleep will cause you to have increased levels of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.
With everything going on in your 20s during your exciting college life, you’ve got enough stress as it is.
Sleep deprivation is just going to make it worse.
Concentration and Memory
Just about anything related to concentration and memory is going down the toilet for the next day or two if you pull an all nighter.
Studies have shown that all cognitive performance is negatively affected by sleep deprivation because it heavily affects the frontal lobes in your brain.
You’ll have a hard time remembering any new information, people you meet, and don’t even try to multitask. It won’t end well.
If you’ve got class the next day, try and take good notes, because, odds are, you won’t remember very much of what your professor said.
Irritability and Emotional Extremes
You will, quite literally, become the Grinch for a few days.
Anything and everything will likely annoy you until you steal the entire town’s Christmas.
After that, you’ll have an emotional breakdown and it won’t be pretty.
Sleep deprivation boosts areas of your brain and hormones associated with depression and overreaction.
The hampering of your frontal lobe will make it harder for you to properly control your emotions.
Sometimes you have just have to write that final paper that will straight up make the difference between passing and failing a course, keeping your scholarship for the next semester, or any number of other high-pressure situations.
How to manage an All Nighter?
If you have to pull an all-nighter, don’t string them too close together.
Try to plan a light workload for the next day, and make time for naps.
Do not rely on energy drinks.
We could write for days about why you shouldn’t do that either, but look for healthier alternatives like pureLYFT.
Do a little exercise and stock up on proteins, and make sure to turn off Netflix.
(Binge-watching “Stranger Things” is not a good reason to pull an all nighter.)
Live life in the fast lane if you must, but sleep responsibly.