What's better for keeping you awake?

Created by thuwashere on March 15, 2012, 6:39 p.m.
  • I have a lot of homework that usually gets done the night before(damn you procrastination) and I'm not really sure what's a good source of caffeine. Should I start drinking coffee or stick to energy drinks?

    Also, what coffee would you recommend for a first timer?
  • My strategy for staying up late (and I'm no scientist, so this is purely anecdotal) is drinking coffee at hours before 10 PM and then just drinking a lot of water until you finally go to bed. I'd really much rather not have too much caffeine in my system when I eventually try to go to sleep, because my inevitably reduced sleep time doesn't need to be screwed over in a different respect. The water will keep you up as a function of needing to replenish it and go to the bathroom.

    As for what coffee, it doesn't really matter too much. You obviously aren't very versed in this process, so I'd just recommend something that smells good from Starbucks. Get it preground so you don't wake anyone up when preparing coffee at night, and use something like an Aeropress, french press, or pour-over to keep the brewing quiet as well.
  • I've found that coffee tends to make me crash pretty quickly, so I usually stick to water when I'm up late. I just drink as much as possible and try to focus as hard as I can to distract myself from being sleepy.
  • Sheer force of will. I don't drink caffeine. Ever.
  • Eh... don't try to stay awake with caffeine... that's no good.
  • Considering the amount of sugar in each, I'd rather have him drink coffee than energy drinks. Here's a little extra tidbit of random info: caffeine has an average half life of ~4.9 hours.
  • I can last all nights on two cans of Monster, but when I do that, I probably shorten my lifespan a bit each time. So, there's that. 
  • When I do stuff like that.  I will have the occasional Amp or Coffee depending on hot I need/want to be up.

    Music actually helps me stay focused and awake.   Listen to music that gets you pumped and like to listen to. Usually it's Breaking Benjamin, Linkin Park, or 1 of my many random gaming music lists.
  • Last time I needed to stay awake, I ate a ton of coffee beans. It did keep me from falling asleep, but did not help me concentrate on the task I needed to work on. So now I don't bother with caffeine.
  • Diet Mountain Dew occasionally. I usually don't have too much trouble, I just yawn every once in a while and try to keep drinking something/not get distracted, because if I get too distracted, I will eventually end up getting bored and going to sleep.
  • Boy... that takes me back. Like Evelgest said, the amount of sugar in energy drinks isn't really good, also many, if not all, contain taurine, which isn't that good for your heart, kidneys, liver, and also retinas (long term)... plus most of them contain glucuronolactone, which is also pretty bad for the kidneys... And the light/sugar free/diet, aren't any better because of aspartame, which isn't that good either (10% of it, when metabolized, is transformed into methanol, you know, that baaad alcohol that gives you headaches and makes you blind..., the good thing is: ethanol is the cure for it! I always use that excuse), I've read somewhere that a regular consumption of it could have some nasty effects on your mood, the most extreme being suicidal tendencies (here's some music you can listen at night to keep you up!)
    So, coffee is probably a better option, but don't bother investing, just take instant coffee, I don't think you need to enjoy it. Otherwise, like jonac13 said, go to a starbucks, tell them you're a first timer, they probably give you their Verona blend.

    Now, I can't help but tell you that: whether it's coffee or energy drinks, it's not a good idea to use them to keep you up at night, your organism need its sleep time, if you don't get enough sleep, you learning abilities will be significantly reduced, you focus will suffer too... But the way, the the glucu-thingy from before, it helps keeping you sharp and focused... something that caffeine doesn't do. Taurine also helps a bit...
    But don't get me wrong, I'm not recommending using those, merely giving you the informations so you can make your own choice.

    Also, drinking too much water isn't really good for the kidneys too, plus you body won't metabolize what you ate as efficiently (vitamins, minerals and whatnots), plus, you'll have to get up later to go pee...

    Anyway, do as I say, not as I do...
  • @Greg818: The main reason that I have no trouble recommending water is that most people don't hydrate enough on a normal basis to begin with, so drinking an extra pint will probably put about anyone just over the gallon-a-day recommended water consumption.
  • @jonac13:  Wow, one US Gallon a day? It's way too much, unless it's about 100ºF all day long. Fun fact: In Europe, a few years back, they recommended around 2.5L a day, and a little more for hot weather. But now, well, they're more around 2L. Also important, absorbing .5L per hour during exercise. We're talking pure water only of course. I think your one gallon a day might be beer recommendation. :-)
  • @Greg818: I don't really appreciate being patronized. While I'm mistaken about one gallon being the recommended water consumption level, the Institute of Medicine recommends about 3 liters of water per day for males through liquid consumption. One gallon (about 3.8 liters) is nowhere near "way too much" or a "beer recommendation" and won't come close to doing any measurable damage, especially if you only reach that level on days that you try to stay up late.

  • @thuwashere: If you don't drink much or any coffee, then it won't take much to keep you up. What I do is drink a cup of black coffee or espresso and then do some kind of cardio exercise every 15 - 30 minutes to get the blood moving. I then drink some water and eat an apple or some other fruit over the night. Don't depend on caffeine.

  • I'm kind of horribly addicted to caffeine, so it actually does nothing to keep me awake really.  It's just something I have to have, or I get a headache.  I can knock back a can right before bed, and I will sleep as soundly as if I don't...kinda depressing.

    To stay awake, some mixture of nicotine and energetic music usually works for me.  I'd rather not recommend the former habit though.

    Caffeine will keep you up in moderation, but I went for such long periods of time (often 3-4 days) in college without sleep that I became WAY too reliant on it.
  • I like coffee and diet coke, at the same time.     I guess you could try adderall and/or cocaine but its not recommended.
  • @Addfwyn said:
    " I'm kind of horribly addicted to caffeine, so it actually does nothing to keep me awake really.  It's just something I have to have, or I get a headache.  I can knock back a can right before bed, and I will sleep as soundly as if I don't...kinda depressing."
    Darn! Just like me... I need my fix (just took one by the way).
  • @Falcon said:
    " Sheer force of will. I don't drink caffeine. Ever. "
    This. Though, I do drink soda but not to keep me awake.

  • When I know im going to be pulling long hours, I take a nice artillery shell-sized thermos of a nice dark blend - something I can chew on.  If the caffeine starts to bother me, or I'm just in need of a new taste, move on over to hot tea, usually an grey.  And finally, to high quality H20!

    I stayed up all night once for school and had a full 8 hour day of work the next day.  I decided to take a 4-hour energy and am pretty sure I was having an out-of-body experience.  My eyes were wide open but I was hovering over a lifeless corpse tingling with 8000% of my daily B12 vitamin.  Never again....