rockstar energy drinks. and exercise. as crazy as it sounds, going to the gym for 30 mins in between these really helps. that's definitely how i got through finals every time.

 

What works for finals (1 week no sleep after 13 relaxed weeks) won't necessarily work for full time. ...during finals you completely sacrifice yourself, whereas full time you will have to do the same thing the very next week, or day.

Definitely agree with the exercise suggestion, though

 
Alexey Kirilov:
fraser24gt:
Red Bull, chew gum, and anything to get the blood pumping. Listen to music too, preferably something on the fast/loud/hard side.

A little Guns n Roses always works for me.

I've gotten into postrock stuff like Godspeed You Black Emperor. It has the hard edge, but without the distracting vocals (for the most part). That and classic rock from the 70s.

 

Armin's a state of trance episodes do it for me every Thursday night.

BBC Radio 1's Essential Mixes - sure to keep you're spirits somewhat elevated at 4am. Some uplifting DJ's: desyn masiello, eric prydz, eddie halliwell, gabriel & dresden, hernan cattaneo, and PVD. You can get their sets on many a torrent site or P2P progg.

Digweed is a better DJ than producer (avoid his cd's but get his sets). Tiesto's a horrible train-wrecking cunt.

 
yung_gekko:
Anyone have experience with Provigil/Modafinil?

Yes. Unfortunately, I'm one of the tiny percentage of the people it doesn't work well on. It gives me a killer headache and makes me feel feverish. It will keep you up though.

As far as staying up, i have a few tactics.

RxDrug free: Low to mid doses (50-100mg) of caffeine often to try to keep you from having a HUGE rush then crash. Sipping on a nice big cup of english breakfast tea every hour or so does nicely.

Avoid super heavy simple sugars/high fructose corn syrup. Redbull actually uses real sugar, so its not so bad.

Bananas are a huge help. eating one or two every few hours/when you're hungry will do the trick.

Yerba mate is a great way to stay up -- less harsh than coffee due to its large concentration of other stimulants like theobromine and theophylline. i buy mine from http://www.guayaki.com/

As far as Rx is concerned, I go with methylphenidate (ritalin) because it is much less "harsh" feeling for me when compared to dextroamphetamine (Adderall) but either one will do the trick. Its not hard to get a prescription for these.

also, always stay hydrated no matter what.

 

get a prescription for dexedrine. chronic fatigue, you know.

also i've been hearing a lot about this relatively new drug called Provigil. I read that it keeps you alert with no euphoria and no crash, and best of all, it DOES substitute for sleep. There was a study where air force pilots performed at 90% efficiency on it after staying awake for 80 hours with just 8 hours of sleep, compared to the benchmark 30% or something atrociously low.

for now though, i'm fine with my "diet pills"

 

It's very hard to get a scrip for dexedrine as it has a much higher potential for abuse.

On the other hand, low doses of Adderall XR are easy and effective... and it doesn't feel harsh to me at all; just a nice smooth foundation. Of course, people tolerate different Rxs differently.

 

Yes, yes, it's awful. Simply awful. Immoral, counterintuitive, and just plain WRONG, right? I couldn't agree with you more.

And in the real world when the competition does it, when it's the norm in your group to work 36-hour shifts without a moment of sleep, when all the analysts in your compensation pool are outdoing each other in exhaustion and you come to understand that yes, this really is what the seniors want to see before they will take you seriously... what are you going to do? Pack up your expensive apartment and go back to your hometown with your tail 'twixt your legs? Rail and shout about the unfairness of it all? Refuse to show the seniors what they want to see?

... Right.

The bitter truth is that many of the top kids in my b-school used Adderall and if they managed it properly, it resulted in a competitive edge. The Navy hands it out to their pilots before long missions. People use it to gain a competitive edge in law school and med school. I know a chess champion who uses it to get through back-to-back tournament matches. Truck drivers use it to stay on the road all night and all day. Long-distance runners use it (illegitimately) to gain an edge that is against the rules of their sport. The guys who work on oil rigs for 20-hour shifts use it to stay awake. And as long as this happens, I'm sure bankers will use it too.

 

What a simplistic response to a well-thought-out post. Getting a prescription of stimulants in order to successfully compete in your career is hardly burning your furniture to warm your house.

And on that topic, I certainly would burn my furniture to warm my house, particularly if it was 20 below and my life was in danger if I didn't. Why not? I'll sit on the floor for a little while and then buy new furniture when things are better.

I would say that the bigger loser is the guy who willfully freezes to death because he's unwilling to admit that it's time to burn the furniture. Serious challenges call for serious measures.

 

Man, some of the stuff you guys are talking about ingesting is cracking me up, seriously, how hard is it to stay awake for 36 hours, all I do is drink Coffee or Mountain Dew and I'm good.

Of course, you're gonna say that many analysts do this on a weekly basis and it can't compare to finals week in College..blah..blah..blah..doesn't matter, I refuse to believe that you can't pull out 3-4 hours of sleep in two days, that's just exaggeration. And those 3-4 hours should be enuff to recharge your batteries.

 
Seanc:
Man, some of the stuff you guys are talking about ingesting is cracking me up, seriously, how hard is it to stay awake for 36 hours, all I do is drink Coffee or Mountain Dew and I'm good.

Of course, you're gonna say that many analysts do this on a weekly basis and it can't compare to finals week in College..blah..blah..blah..doesn't matter, I refuse to believe that you can't pull out 3-4 hours of sleep in two days, that's just exaggeration. And those 3-4 hours should be enuff to recharge your batteries.

agree completely. some of the stuff you guys are doing is ridiculous. what keeps me up is fear.

 

I guess I should explain:

If you do just a little research, you will realize that adderall is an amphetamine. Overtime, amphetamines "burn out" nerve endings, effectively making you less intelligent. This is not a debatable point.

The point is, I would rather protect my brain, which any banker should know is the most valuable asset in the business (human capital), than stay up longer on amphetamines. The idea behind this is that the junior banker tenure is an ends to a means... when you make it to a higher level and are making "real" money, you will wish you had those "extra" brain cells.

 
aspiringmonkeyisanidiot:
I guess I should explain:

If you do just a little research, you will realize that adderall is an amphetamine. Overtime, amphetamines "burn out" nerve endings, effectively making you less intelligent. This is not a debatable point.

The point is, I would rather protect my brain, which any banker should know is the most valuable asset in the business (human capital), than stay up longer on amphetamines. The idea behind this is that the junior banker tenure is an ends to a means... when you make it to a higher level and are making "real" money, you will wish you had those "extra" brain cells.

You got to be fucking kidding me. First of all, I'm sure those articles you've read have to do with CHRONIC ABUSE of amphetamines (probably methamphetamines, anyway) and secondly, you must not have a lot of experience in the real world to think that Adderall use is some internecine persuit. A large minority of kids are being medicated with Adderall (moreso than Ritalin since the chance of keeling over with heart failure is slightly less) not to mention adults with ADD, narcolepsy, or fatigue. At the doses prescribed, Adderall is almost always effective--long term, short term, whatever. Paul Erdos, practically 3/4 (estimating from my friends) of ivy league kids, and almost everyone in the 50s and 60s (benzedrine anyone?) used it, so it's really idiotic for you to rebuke the use of something that both history and experience have already demonstrated to be effective.

In moderation, of course.

 

BTW I would burn my furniture, and I would burn my house, to stay warm, but you can't take that comment in a literal sense. It refers to the fact that in your process to make yourself temporarily mentally superior, you are actually having negative long term effects.

 
aspiringmonkeyisanidiot:
It refers to the fact that in your process to make yourself temporarily mentally superior, you are actually having negative long term effects.

I'd be interested in the sources you could cite that state low doses of amphetamine are harmful enough for it to be of any more concern than just staying up for too long. (The "studies" that "they" did do not count.)

Its not fricken methamphetamine.

 
Best Response

Geez, not this again. While I'm not debating that the use/abuse of any and all truly addictive substances can promote major changes in nerve endings and the chemistry of the synapse, I'd like to explain what I mean by using Adderall to maintain an edge.

I've got a prescription for 15 milligrams per day, and some children and adults are prescribed 30s. Nonetheless, I prefer 10s. This is one-third of what some children are prescribed normally.

Now, I clearly don't take them every day. Or every all-nighter. That would be foolish and would lead to diminishing returns and health risks. Instead, I take them at the very end, the rock-bottom when I know I'm not going to make it without sleep and yet must. This is approximately 3-4 times a month, and occasionally I may end up taking two doses in a row if the work extends more than ten hours beyond the first dose. (Sometimes there are back-to-back all-nighters. It's just not as easy as you guys seem to expect; caffeine only goes so far.)

Thus, when I'm prescribed (1530) 450 milligrams of Adderall per month, I actually use 30-50 milligrams. That's seven to eleven percent of what I'm prescribed (which is a low dose). When compared to a more normal adult dose of (3030) 900 milligrams per month, that falls towards three to six percent of the prescribed dose.

You don't maintain an edge by abusing drugs stupidly and willy-nilly, assuming that they'll make you into some sort of superman. You maintain an edge by going at least 95% of the distance under your own power, and making up the remainder up with medications used in a tiny fraction of their prescribed doses.

 
Mis Ind:
Geez, not this again. While I'm not debating that the use/abuse of any and all truly addictive substances can promote major changes in nerve endings and the chemistry of the synapse, I'd like to explain what I mean by using Adderall to maintain an edge.

I've got a prescription for 15 milligrams per day, and some children and adults are prescribed 30s. Nonetheless, I prefer 10s. This is one-third of what some children are prescribed normally.

Now, I clearly don't take them every day. Or every all-nighter. That would be foolish and would lead to diminishing returns and health risks. Instead, I take them at the very end, the rock-bottom when I know I'm not going to make it without sleep and yet must. This is approximately 3-4 times a month, and occasionally I may end up taking two doses in a row if the work extends more than ten hours beyond the first dose. (Sometimes there are back-to-back all-nighters. It's just not as easy as you guys seem to expect; caffeine only goes so far.)

Thus, when I'm prescribed (1530) 450 milligrams of Adderall per month, I actually use 30-50 milligrams. That's seven to eleven percent of what I'm prescribed (which is a low dose). When compared to a more normal adult dose of (3030) 900 milligrams per month, that falls towards three to six percent of the prescribed dose.

You don't maintain an edge by abusing drugs stupidly and willy-nilly, assuming that they'll make you into some sort of superman. You maintain an edge by going at least 95% of the distance under your own power, and making up the remainder up with medications used in a tiny fraction of their prescribed doses.

Have you considered No-Doz or caffeine pills?

 

Caffeine is very easy to acquire a tolerance for, much easier than amphetamines. It's also quite weak. I'm already on 300mg a day through tea and coffee; why would another 100-200 keep me awake? I like to drink an espresso (or even a doppio) after dinner sometimes and can go straight to sleep afterwards. Caffeine is a very minor part of the solution. Clearly, I'm also working it already.

Moreover, caffeine in pill form is far more likely to dehydrate you (because you don't ingest all that water that's in coffee) and is very rough on the stomach because it's so concentrated.

 

"I'd be interested in the sources you could cite that state low doses of amphetamine are harmful enough for it to be of any more concern than just staying up for too long. (The "studies" that "they" did do not count.)"

Ditto. Let's see sources, Asp. The last time I had this debate, it was with a guy who couldn't tell the difference between dextroamphetamine and methamphetamine.

 

Mis Ind, there’s no need to defend yourself. Truth is Adderall is a widely used drug in the business, I believe that it is more effective than taking 1000 milligrams of caffeine (8-10 cups of coffee) which totally screws up your central nervous system making you piss every 15 minutes.

Yes doing Adderall, Ritalin, or drinking copious amounts of coffee to stay awake is not good for you, but so is staying awake for 40 hours straight. In the end of day boys and girls, you got to pay to play.

 

Anacot, that's the point I was attempting to get at. Adderall is quite common in this business and many others. And if you're getting into banking to live a healthy life and maintain your balance and integrity and nurture your inner child, then you're sorely misguided. At least for the first few years.

I also agree with you about the caffeine. I start feeling physically ill at around 600 milligrams... and yet I can still fall asleep if I'm tired enough. It's not harmful at lower levels, but it's just not useful for maintaining a long-term sleep-deprived lifestyle. Additionally, it creates long-term constriction in the capillaries, particularly of the head and eyes... and when you stop drinking the coffee and those capillaries start to dilate, it'll make you want to drill a hole in your head to let the pressure out. You'll seriously start to do anything to make the pain stop.

 

Riiight. I'll just... go do that. I'm sure they'll be shocked at my using five percent of a normal adult dosage of a well-tolerated FDA-approved drug that I got by prescription from my family doctor.

Or is it my caffeine usage I should check into rehab for?