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Shortcuts: How to stay awake all night

By Greg Duke for CNN
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(CNN) -- Not a natural night owl? Sitting on the sofa means catching up on a few zees? As sports fans in Great Britain burn the midnight oil watching the Ashes cricket series in Australia this weekend, here are a few tips on how to survive an "all-nighter."

Invite a friend over: Finding a pal to share your insomnia is highly recommended. However, steer clear of mind-numbing board games like "Monopoly" that may dull your senses and make you tired and even a little irritable. Keep your mind alert with some high-octane computer games full of speed and destruction. The excitement of a monetary side-bet will surely keep you awake.

Eat and drink regularly: Drinking plenty of water is particularly crucial. Although this results in regular trips to the lavatory, that ultimately is the objective. Keep away from drinking gallons of coffee. A cup or two is fine, but don't forget coffee has a high percentage of caffeine in it, and therefore, as a legal stimulant, it is not recommended in high doses.

Listen to rock music: Whatever your tastes, there is no doubt that blasting out the head-banging section of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" will stimulate you. Or if that's not your style, try Motorhead's "Ace of Spades."

Get a dog: Perhaps a slightly extreme measure, but man's best friend craves plenty of exercise and a couple of brisk midnight walks with your companion will get your blood flowing. Greyhounds, whippets and nippy little Jack Russells will drag you around at maximum speed.

Keep the lights on: As darkness descends, it is advisable to switch on some lights. If the winter season drags down on your ability to stay awake, maybe invest in a well-lit Christmas tree. A shining tree-top angel twinkling away in the dead of night with miles of sparkling fairy lights will add some joy to your evening.

Sleep during the day: Often the solution to your problem is the most obvious, although it's not always easy to rewire your body clock. Being forced to work all night will help you adjust to sleeping while the sun is out. Otherwise, drink some creamy hot chocolate, put on a CD of Leonard Cohen's greatest hits, turn off of all lights, close the blinds and find the fluffiest, cuddliest, laziest cat you can to help drift off while the rest of the world prepares for their working day.


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If all else fails, try adjusting your posture.

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