How to keep yourself awake for 36 hours before exam or interview and still achieve (The (S)[C] Balance Method)

Source: Redtooth


Principles {invoke them if confused}:

indication: { }

{POB}: Principle of Balance

{POD}: Principle of Discomfort

Personal Variables (Find exact or intuitive value for your body):

Indications: ( )

(S): Stomach level

(C) : Coffee intake

Placeholders [more general than variables] [full reign over these] [only placement matters]:

Indication: [ ]

[MOD]: Methods of discomfort

[MOH]: Methods of hyperactivation

[C]: coffee / energy drink / tea





Starting at 9:00 pm Saturday

  • Listen to all lectures until 9 am Sunday
  • Read Bowley book chapter 6,7,8 until 4 pm Saturday
  • I need 16 hours for problem practice (6 pm Sunday)
  • I need x hours of sleep

→ Exam at 9 am Monday

The x hours of sleep is what you are going to be adjusting to do everything else. In this case its two hours. Of course this isn’t optimal but you have no choice


Some variables you need to find values for yourself:

(S)= The minimum Stomach level that makes you feel sleepy [directly proportional to sleep] [%]

[C]= The grams of coffee per interval (hours) to keep yourself awake [inversely proportional to sleep]

Your stomach level (the fraction of total volume you can stuff in it at any moment) is a measure of how normal things are for your brain hence you can NEVER fill it fully. It depends on the individual but generally the more you stuff it, the more your primate brainstem is going to think everything is normal, we ate and now we should sleep. Drinking coffee on empty stomach isn’t that good for many people as it causes nausea and severe anxiety (I am one of them).

(S)[C] balance

Sleep (Power or full cycle naps)

  • Don’t turn the lights off, cover your eyes with your arm if you have to
  • Don’t pull up a blanket on yourself
  • Sleep at the place you study, like in the chair with some hacks like pillows
  • Don’t sleep just before exam (You can but its risky if you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, your brain will be clogged), wake up at least one and a half hour before

Methods of Discomfort [MOD]

Now comes the grand challenge of taking the exam, Of course, if its a problem solving exam you can’t perform well on 80% (or probably even lower) of your potential called Brain Clog. We need a boost of brain power and spoiler alert you can’t get 100% of it or enter into enhanced flow most probably (assuming you aren’t a monster). Because you robbed yourself of that ability by burning out your brain. That said, we need to squeeze out every ounce of brain power it can offer which is proportional to how much sleep you got. Suppose you didn’t sleep for straight 36 hours before exam or interview. You need to amp-up yourself artificially by the power of Methods of hyperactivation [MOH].

Caution: Keep in mind you need to relax 5–10 minutes before because due to coffee and lack of sleep you are more prone to anxiety and stress, so hyperactivation might backfire. So meditate after [MOH] to get yourself calm again {Invoke POB}. Some examples of [MOH]:

  • Wim Hof breathing
  • Sugar Rush
  • Max speed Shadow box
  • Hard Mental Math
  • Try out the hardest problem you can barely solve and actively stress about it.
  • Now meditate at last

Note: Do this keeping in mind duration of your time of peak performance. For 3 hour exam by the end your luck will probably run out. The cycle lasts for less than two hours. But I hope you push through.


  • Achieve (S)[C] Balance
  • Supplement with [MOD]
  • Mess with it proportional to how long you wanna sleep
  • Wake up and get back in
  • be awake one a half hour before showtime to reduce risk of Brain Clog
  • Do [MOH]
  • Meditate 10 minutes before
  • Showtime

Good Luck!



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Admiral's Brain

I like writing and have a lot on my mind. These blogs are sneak peeks inside my mind. Hope you enjoy them.