When you’ve got a paper due, a test to study for, or a midnight encore presentation of Sharktopus to stay awake for, sometimes a double shot of expresso, a Mountain Dew or a pixie stick just won’t cut it.  This is when you have to dig deep into yourself and see just how far you are willing to go to stay awake…

1.  Fear and Regret: We’ve all been torn by the regret of something we’ve done, or the fear of being caught.  Harness that heavy emotional burden and use it for good.  Off the top, I’d recommend finding someone you hate, loathe and disdain, and then venting all that anger into a letter.  Then find someone you love and respect, change the name, and leave it on their doorstep.  Try sleeping with that knowledge in the back of your brain.

2.  Gut Reaction: They say laughter is the best medicine, but anything that prompts an involuntary spasm or gag reflex will do.  Pick your poison: funny, priceless funny, blood curling, or for the love of all that’s holy make it stop

3.  Near Death Experiences: I don’t recommend you go too far with this one, but desperate times call for entertaining measures.  I used to study while balancing on the arms of a rocking chair.  Try sneaking into a neighbor’s yard who has attack dogs.  Hop in a chat room and tell someone their favorite band sucks.  Grab a walkie-talkie, blindfold yourself, and have a friend talk you through a game of human frogger.  Any of these will get enough blood pumping to keep you awake for few more hours.  4.  Guilt Trips: Look up what other people had already accomplished at this point in their lives.  It’ll make you feel guilty for sleeping at all, ever.   http://www.museumofconceptualart.com/accomplished/

5.  Self-Harm and Flagellation: I suggest…

  • Ice:  Simple, proven, and to the point.  Start with the toes, but if you’re bold go north for the winter.  Choose your own adventure.
  • Heat:  The truly sleep deprived should avoid this method.  Choose frost bite over third degree burns.
  • Blood Flow Restriction:  Systematically put different parts of your body to sleep.
  • Blunt Force:  May cost you a bit out of pocket, but you can always find someone who wants to inflict pain on you and/or watch you suffer.  Tennis balls, rat tails, hair removal, whatever floats your boat.  Just remember “Never start with the head!  The victim gets all…fuzzy.”

Vote Declan O’Brien for 2012

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