Staying up late

Do you stay up late? How do you feel when you’ve stayed up late to the night before? What do you usually do when you stay up late? How do you stay awake if you stay up late?
  • To stay up (phrasal verb) — to go to bed later than usual.
  • -ish (suffix) — A suffix that makes any word or phrase more vague.
  • Night owl (noun) —a person who prefers to be awake and active at night.
  • Knackered (adj.) — very tired.
  • To pull an all-nighter (idiom) — to stay up all night.
  • To disrupt (verb) — to interrupt something and prevent it from continuing by creating a problem.
  • Circadian rhythm (noun) — a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle.
  • Caffeinated (adj.) — highly stimulated by caffeine.
  • Bedtime routine (noun) — includes all of the things that you do before and up to the time that you go to bed.
  • To take a toll (phrase) — to have a bad effect on someone or something.
  • Pitch dark (adj.) — completely dark.
  • Blackout curtains (noun) — thick, lined curtains designed to shut out all daylight and keep a room in complete darkness.
  • Sleep deprivation (noun) — any significant loss of sleep, resulting in problems in concentration and irritability.
Questions and answers
Maria: Rory, do you stay up late?

Rory: Actually, unlike the joke that we told at the very beginning, I don’t usually stay up very late. I usually go to bed at like 11:00-ish in the evening.

Maria: So you never stay up late?

Rory: No, I’m not much of a night owl these days. I used to stay up quite late when I was at university, for example, or when I was in high school. But then I would be out with my friends, so I wouldn’t… I have to stay up late because I wouldn’t be at home to go to bed.

Maria: How do you feel when you’ve stayed up late to the night before?

Rory: I used to be quite knackered, but now, even though I don’t do very often. I’m not… it’s not so bad for me. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s a sign of getting older that you just get used to these things. But yeah, usually when I pull an all-nighter, it’s not so bad. I can wake up like normal…
Or the traffic outside will wake me up, even.

Maria: What do you usually do when you stay up late?

Rory: Well, normally it’ll be because I’m working. But I also speak to my friends on social media, for example, or on Zoom or something. To be honest, aside from work, it’s usually something social. But I try not to do it so often because, like, first of all, the blue light from the screen is bad, and it really disrupts my circadian rhythms, I suppose, for lack of a better word.

Maria: How do you stay awake if you stay up late?

Rory: Well, if I stay up late, then I’ll usually be drinking, like, energy drinks, for example. But if it’s not too late and I can usually just stay up late quite naturally. Then, the other thing is that it’s usually, I’ll be focused on doing something or I’ll be quite caffeinated, but one way or the other, I’ll manage to stay awake as long as I need to.

Maria: Is staying up healthy for you?

Rory: I suppose not if you go beyond your not your limit very often. You could probably
really mess up your sleeping patterns, actually, because then you’d want to fall asleep during the day and most people work during the day. So it’s probably not a very good idea.

Maria: What do you do to fall asleep?

Rory: For me, it’s quite simple. I just have a normal bedtime routine and then I’m quite busy during the day, so I’m already quite sleepy. And so I think the combination of these two things helps me get to bed quite nicely.
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