Still Pulling All Nighters?

Whether it’s due to work, studying, or a busy social life, as young professionals, pulling all-nighters is another habit we should be putting on the “must outgrow” list. It may have been easy in college to get through a work or school day after a long night of cramming or barhopping, but as we age and become more important in our jobs and family life, our need for sleep dramatically increases. Not only is our level of productivity a concern when we are tired, but your reputation and health can also be affected. 

Daytime effectiveness
How great does it feel walking into work bright and early after a great night’s sleep? Similarly, how wonderful is it to wake up refreshed on a Saturday morning, ready and able to take full advantage of your weekend? Getting enough sleep has a huge impact on our mood and ability to be effective in our daily duties. Staying up late, getting only a few (or no) hours of deep sleep turns the day’s regular tasks into difficult challenges. We all know that feeling, like our feet and head are made of cement; that’s straight up fatigue and it’s a day-killer. How are you supposed to get ahead at work, stand out, and showcase your best self if your main concern is simply staying awake and going through the motions? If you are still pulling all-nighters, it’s time to assess whether those activities that are keeping you up all night are worth sacrificing your daytime effectiveness.   

You look like crap
Not only will your work and home productivity be affected by your lack of sleep, your reputation can take a beating, too. Don’t think that your late-night movie marathons or mid-week girls nights out will go unnoticed. Fatigue shows and it looks bad. The physical signs of being tired are obvious: dark circles, red eyes, pale face, shuffling feet, bad mood, etc. Even if you may be pulling all-nighters for seemingly legit reasons like studying for a night class, caring for a family member, or working a second job, you’ll eventually find that you can’t go on that way forever. If you are consistently coming into work looking shabby and dragging your feet, your boss may start to think that whatever you are doing all night may be more important to you than your job. So before you begin to tarnish your reputation and become known as the tired guy or girl, it’s time to decide what is most important to you, and to figure out a way to make sleep, and all the things that depend on you being well rested, more of a priority. 

You’re going to get sick
You may think that you’ve got a handle on your busy life, but if it includes pulling all-nighters on any sort of regular basis, be prepared to get sick. When the body is tired, the immune system is low, making you more susceptible to viruses like those that cause colds and flues. Additionally, being tired often leads us to skip workouts, eat convenient, unhealthy foods, and deal less effectively with emotional stressors that can also lead to lowered immune function. It may seem impossible for you to give up that overtime shift or that busy social life, but once you get sick and are out of commission for days or weeks, you are going to see things in a whole new way. Why not skip the sick part and start seeing things differently now? Get to bed.