On my desk sits an assortment of various nootropics scattered about. Most of them are bulk powders and are fairly indistinguishable except for their labels. There is one however that sticks out and catches the eye. Modafinil. Modafinil comes in these very professional and pharmaceutical looking tablet strips and looks like serious business. There are 10 to a strip and you pop them out of their sealed packaging straight into your hand. The tablets themselves are nothing fancy. Just a round tablet with an ingrained line down the center.
I was excited to take my first 200mg dose when the package came in the mail – which by the way will have a very basic shipping label and something scrawled in Hindi directly on the packaging.
The mailman gives you a weird look as if you’ve just ordered drugs or something. This stuff apparently is manufactured in India. Salutes to our fellow Indian brothers and sisters.
Funny enough, the mail guy dropped off the package super early in the morning. He was knocking on my door at 9:30, 2 hours before I get up. My roommates knocked on my door and I stumbled out in a haze of confusion as to what the ruckus was about. I must have been in a deep sleep cycle because even as I looked directly at the mailman I still didn’t know what was happening. He was handing me some kind of device with a pen. Then it clicked in my head.
I signed for the Modafinil and tore into the package.
What better moment to take some Modafinil than when you’re 2 hours underslept? Pop went the weasel and I washed down my first 200mg tablet with some water. I cracked open my laptop to check my daily stats for a couple websites I run. These things tend to hit me fairly quickly. I could already begin to feel something working at the 10 minute mark, something lurking underneath the surface ready to unleash its full power. By 30 minutes I could definitely tell I was fully awake. The stark change in my state of mind was interesting. Just 30 minutes ago I was in some kind of deep wave dream state and now I was in fully conscious and aware mode.
The Modafinil experience is somewhat difficult to put into words because it’s not like you really “feel” anything other than extreme wakefulness. Is this what all the cool kids call “woke” these days?
I grabbed my guitar to determine how music sounded and if I could play any better. For me, the litmus test of any nootropic or drug is how I interact with my guitar. Since I am familiar with the guitar I can detect any changes in creativity or how certain chords sound. Playing was quite pleasurable. In fact, I played for quite some time before getting dressed and hitting the streets. If it’s one thing I do EVERYDAY it’s go on a nice long walk. I am fortunate to have various business endeavors that afford me this luxury of walking whenever I want.
At the hour mark I noticed the simple wakefulness amplified. I was experiencing all the classic signs of taking a stimulant. Accelerated heart rate, cessation of appetite, slight mood boost etc. Dopaminergic vibes indeed. I remembered reading a bunch of stuff online about how Modafinil wasn’t a true stimulant and carried no addictive properties. I promptly disregarded these statements after analyzing the effect in my own body. I recognized how the effects were very similar to adderall, except not nearly as intense and much cleaner. Researching the mechanisms further proves Modafinil does increase dopamine and functions in similar ways to classic stimulatory compounds. The above research link showed that mice with no Dopamine transporters do not respond to anti-narcoleptic medication. This suggests Dopamine does play a part in Modafinil although we still do not understand how exactly.
I made a mental note to use sparingly as to avoid addiction and tolerance.
Modafinil and focus
Modafinil by itself does not immediately turn you into a focus machine. For me it displays nothing in regard to enhanced mental performance. Despite having a Dopamine component, I noticed no change in motivation or willingness to be productive. It does one thing very well – waking you up and keeping you up ALL DAY while ever so slightly elevating your mood. Taken too late in the day and you will surely be kicking yourself in the ass at 4am wondering why you took it so late. Experience is the best teacher.
Modafinil for the mental performance seeker is perhaps not the BEST option, but is an interesting compound to add to your run-of-the-mill focus stack like Piracetam + Alpha-GPC + L-Tyrosine. Talk about SERIOUS mental output at this point.
Towards the end of the day I was still fully awake and effortlessly blasted through the pesky 2 – 4pm energy slump, getting lots of work done on the laptop. later I noticed the slight indicators of an oncoming headache. I knew it was too good to be true! Drinking water helped a ton and soon dissipated completely. One other side effect – this stuff will make your piss smell absolutely terrible!
I think it was about 3 or 4am before I was finally able to sleep. I slept through the whole night and actually felt surprisingly refreshed when I woke up at my normal hour.
Overall the experience was fantastic and I fully endorse Modafinil as a general compound to wake you up and as a great component to add to a focus stack. Great stuff when you have to power through work or school on little to no sleep. I see Modafinil as an occasional use type nootropic due to its potential for addiction. Modafinil is not a replacement for sleep and the body accrues a sleep debt that will be paid in one form or another.
In otherwords, sleep!
In the future I will be giving a full review of Modafinil and all the variants (Modalert, Modvigil, Armodafinil, Artvigil, Waklert.)