I’m sat writing this at precisely 04:26am. I’m almost 24 hours deep into my very first experience with modafinil – this sketchy little pill. I’ve got about 26 tabs open trying to do as many things as possible and write this at the same time – it’s all a mess – but is it a coherent mess?
So many questions, so litt- actually, so much time. There seems to be quite a lot of it when you don’t sleep. Anyway, let’s go back to the beginning – here is my modafinil review.
What is modafinil?
According to Medline Plus, modafinil is described as:
“…used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy (a condition that causes excessive daytime sleepiness) or shift work sleep disorder (sleepiness during scheduled waking hours and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep during scheduled sleeping hours in people who work at night or on rotating shifts).”
Essentially, modafinil promotes wakefulness. Not the jittery type that coffee induces, but something entirely different. Hard to describe, but I’ll take my best stab at it in my breakdown of my modafinil experience further down.
Why do people take modafinil?
As stated above, it’s mostly prescribed for narcolepsy, but can also be prescribed for obstructive sleep apnoea. Finally (and also unofficially), it is used for being productive and pulling all nighters. That last one is a complete misuse of the drug, but at the same time, it is an effective use. Modafinil has been tested on army troops throughout the years to keep them sharp and turn them into ‘super soldiers’. After your first stint of wakefulness, a few hours of sleep can then allow you to go up to 48 hours without sleep again. So you’d be looking at almost 3 days awake. That is if you really tried to stay awake though. I managed to get off at a somewhat reasonable hour the day following my experiment.
Why did I take it?
So, why did I actually opt to give this wünder drug a go? Well, because I could. As you all know by now, I will try pretty much anything in the pursuit of being a better human. I’m like one of those gimpy biohackers, but much less of a weirdo. I think…
My modafinil review
So, what is modafinil like? Did it give me superhuman productivity? Did it make me a charming swine? WHAT HAPPENED? Well, first of all…nothing.
The come up, if you will, was really subtle. I had 100mg (which is half a pill) at first and felt nothing, so took the other half about 40 minutes later and my baseline then begun to feel a little different. Then I had a coffee and everything changed. As soon as I took that first sip, the caffeine must have interacted with the modafinil and caused some super saiyan reaction because I was walking down the street like Evil Peter Parker.
I got a helluva lot of work done. I literally just sat down and cracked on with my web design client work all day. This is a little bit misleading though, as I will often do 16+ hour stints without modafinil if I have a big deadline coming up. This did facilitate getting into the zone a bit easier though.
After getting a fair few hours of deep work under my belt, I decided to test out modafinil’s supposed benefits in the gym. Apparently, it can illicit some naughty pumps. This one was an undeniable success. Paired with the coffee, it had me feeling fantastic. A strange caveat to this though, was that I actually felt weaker overall even though the pump was enhanced. Strange one really. My recommendation if you were going to do it, would be to have an arm day where progressing your big lifts isn’t the priority and your sole aim is to get the filthiest little sleeve-busting pump possible.
Like a lot of people have alluded to, the buzz you get from taking modafinil isn’t some crazy, 10-coffees deep chaotic thrill ride. It’s more of a laser focus that sits just a little bit above your baseline. It is genuinely just like being you, but about 10% better. I can’t describe it any other way. Whether that extra 10% is worth the potential downsides is up to you.
There were 5 minutes around the 15 hour mark where I was just sat at the kitchen table feeling like my throat was about to explode. Looking back, this was 100% anxiety about the side affects I had been reading up on and being a bit of a hypochondriac, I had worked myself up. After those 5 minutes passed, I got what felt like a second wave and was able to crack back on, but that’s definitely something to watch out for.
Do I endorse taking modafinil?
Yes. Go ahead and snort it until your heart explodes and you die.
…of course I don’t endorse taking it for any other reason than what you have been prescribed it for. I’ve only taken it once and to be honest, don’t plan on taking at again. It was fun, I got a lot done and it isn’t addictive, but there can be potential side affects.
- Feeling dizzy or nauseas
- Diarrhoea (or the other way – constipation)
- Loss of appetite
And some more serious ones (which you should see a doctor immediately about) are:
- Rash, blisters or peeling skin
- Sores in your mouth or hives externally
- Excessive itching
- Pain in your chest, fast heartbeat or irregular heartbeat
- Problems breathing or swallowing
- Swelling anywhere on your body
These aren’t common and I don’t want to give people anxiety about it, but I always like to play devil’s advocate and ensure you all have a balanced picture of things before making any decision.
So to conclude, it was a great experience, sans the 5 minutes of mental breakdown. Do I recommend it? No, but if you want to, who am I to get in your way?