2 Simple Mental Methods to Keep Yourself from Sleeping

August 28, 2013

How to Stay Awake

Say you’re an event organizer getting ready for a big “happening” that’s gonna go on the next day. Most of the things have already been put into place, but you still have to purposefully set yourself up into an all-nighter to get some last-minute preparations in shape.

Maybe you’re a photographer and aspiring astronomer who’s waiting for a once-in-a-millennium meteor shower that’s going to go happen sometime around 2:30 to 3:30 AM. You thought that it’s best to keep yourself awake while waiting instead of sleeping and setting an alarm since you know that you’re a heavy sleeper.

Maybe you’re a supervisor for a night-shift somewhere and you know that you simply have to keep yourself awake more than anything else. Heck, I don’t know, maybe a zombie apocalypse just happened and you’re one of the few assigned by the last remaining survivors to keep the night watch. So you’re there with a crossbow and a katana, waiting for any impending undead, and you need to keep yourself awake.

Whatever the reason is, you know that you have to keep yourself awake all night at least once in your life. But what do you do then? Well, I’m well-aware that there has been a previous article about keeping yourself awake when you have to, but this time it’s a bit different. The goal is still the same. Obviously, it’s about keeping you from sleeping, but this article will help that be achieved via a different method – mentally.

What do I mean? Well sometimes, you don’t have time space to go around or stretch, drink coffee, and all those other how-to’s mentioned in that article. What we all have is the mind, and a bit of tweaking can “hack” your mind into making it work for you – even against the impulse of sleeping. Though we all know that sleeping is good for everyone, and that sleeping has its own list of benefits, you have to do what you have to do every now and then. Mind against matter, mind against mattress.

  • Fear

A-ha! Gotcha! This probably wasn’t the first thing that immediately came into your mind after the topic has been presented, huh? But actually, it does make sense, and you can admit it too, right? Nothing can keep you awake at night more than adrenaline floating through your arteries and veins – except caffeine directly into your bloodstream, of course. It’s kind of like pain – fear.

Well psychologically, your brain is trying to avoid pain so the feeling of fear keeps you awake and alert so that you have more energy and giddy-ness to run away from potential danger. After watching several horror movies or reading frightening Stephen King novels or even by simply just remembering them, you and I both know that one does not simply look at a void dark space the same way ever again. That’ll keep you from sleep. Never underestimate the imagination.


  • Laughter

Now here’s something lighter and more heart-friendly. Although laughter does wonders for the human body, it’s not completely out-of-this-world to consider its potential as something that can keep you awake. Have you ever fallen asleep in the middle of a boring movie like, say, “Lincoln?” (no offense)  or “Transformers 3?”

Yes, I said boring, but let’s face it, “Transformers 3” is well… hmm. Well anyway, have you ever fallen asleep in the middle of watching something funny? It doesn’t have to be a movie, it can just be from a TV sitcom or a few clips from your favourite show like “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Once you’re hooked, I can assure you that you will have a hard time sleeping. It’s thought after thought of humor keeping you awake. You don’t even have to try to stay awake. It just comes so naturally. And it’s a better alternative than fear, huh?

So how about a quick jumpstart to being “hooked” to humor?

I know that it’s not proven by science or anything, but I can assure you that it worked for me and for a lot of people I know, and for a lot of people out there that testify that they can’t sleep due to those reasons. So if your goal is to keep yourself awake, might as well give them a try. Good night (if you need it).