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The dealnews Staff's Black Friday Preparedness Guide: How We Cope

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By , dealnews Media Editor

Since our site revolves around supplying you, the reader, with news about deals, you may already know that the sale-heavy times of year are our absolute busiest. Our office goes into overdrive, working 'round the clock to ensure the deals you see are piping hot, fresh, and savory. Like a shopping baguette.

Thus, this Black Friday, we're all pulling extra shifts, and we thought we'd share with you some of the items we like to have on-hand to get us through long hours, all-nighters, and no-sleepers. Hopefully you'll never have to stay up drafting deals (we like our jobs and won't be giving them up any time soon), but perhaps you'll be called upon to work on the "big presentation for the London office" or to "crunch these numbers by Monday, or you're fired, Johnson!" (even though your name is Smith). So there may come a time when you'll find yourself battling sleep in order to get a lot of work done. When that time comes, you'll be glad you read our list of expert-curated, anti-sleepiness tips!

Things That Keep You Awake
During long nights / days, our staff arms themselves with a veritable arsenal to stave off Mr. Sandman. (No, not the guy from "Sideways" and "Wings.") most of the office agrees that no extra-long work day is complete without a shot or two of 5-Hour Energy (try a 6-pack for $13.99 with free shipping, a low by $2; or a 12-pack for $20.15 with free shipping via Prime, a low by $17). Honestly, over the last few years, our offices have probably gone through gallons of this stuff. Several people here swear by it as the end-all be-all of staying up.

Concentrated stimulants aren't the only thing we imbibe to keep us alert, though. Those who don't opt to ride the 5-Hour Energy train are probably getting their fair share of caffeine in coffee or tea form. To get him through king-size shifts, Nathan Cox recommends you have a good coffeemaker handy — preferably one with a built-in grinder. If anything, the smell of grinding coffee might just wake you up on its own. But if you're more of a tea person, Alison Barretta suggests you pick up an electric tea kettle. They tend to boil water faster than traditional kettles, and as the night wears on, you're going to want to have your tea ASAP.

If (legal) chemical stimulants just won't work, how about trying one of these Anti-Drowsy Over-The-Ear Alarms (99 cents with about $2 s&h, a low by $1)? When you dip your head, it emits a loud alarm. We've not tried it ourselves — yet — but we already have one ready and waiting for this Black Friday.

Non-Distracting Distractions
That may sound like an oxymoron (unless that's some kind of As Seen On TV detergent), but most of us here at dealnews find it essential to add a bit of white-noise to the background, especially in those wee-hours, when everything is quiet ... almost too quiet.

Some of us choose relaxing classical music. As a Somogyi, I swear by these 99-track "essential" classical MP3 albums you can get from Amazon. They're cheap, provide hours of sound, and are totally relaxing, but not in a "let's fall asleep on the keyboard" way. As an added bonus, they'll make you feel more cultured. Snob.

Others among us prefer music that was written during the last century or two. Alison Barretta gets through the long hours by pumping "J-Pop". (She swears to us that "J-Pop" is not some kind of new drug the kids use, even though it sounds a tad elicit.) Nathan Cox also opts for something more up-beat, depending on the hour. And both of them can agree (along with most of the staff) that it's easy to keep music going when you use Rdio or Spotify. With each of those services offering free subscriptions in some form or another, you can keep the tunes streaming all night (even if you might have to hear an ad every now and again). Worth it.

Of course, there's also the obvious white-noise that we've not mentioned yet, and that is: White Noise. (This, not this.) Just tune your radio to somewhere between stations and turn the volume down. The static provides a nice blanket sound to edge out the noise of a dripping faucet or barking dog, without engaging your higher faculties so you can tackle the tasks at hand. You could also buy "machines" that make white noise, but that seems a bit silly.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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2 comments
dealnews-Lindsay
Thanks so much! We hope you find something excellent this Black Friday!
-BT-
As an IT person, I've pulled my share of all-nighters, so you all have my sympathy.  But your faithful readers really appreciate it!
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