I’m so, so excited to tell you guys about Modafinil. How excited? This excited:
Honestly Jesse Spano, chill out and have another wake-up. As a former teen star who hasn’t worked in over a decade, I doubt caffeine is the worst of your drug problems right out. But enough about you, we’re here to talk about Modafinil.
Modafinil is a eugeroic drug that promotes alertness and improved focus. Depending on who you ask, it may turn you into jedi genius, or it may make your skin burst into flames. I’ve been experimenting with it for a month now and I’m ready to pronounce my verdict:
Modafinil is not as magical as some have written, but it is still pretty fucking fantastic.
In my experience, one 200 mg dose gives me twelve straight hours of phenomenal state, focus and mental clarity. Think of how you feel when you’ve had a great night’s sleep, you’ve been eating clean and training hard, juicing regularly, and you’re invested in your work. Modafinil is a pill that unlocks that productive potential for a full day. It’s quite similar to a high dose of Theanine + Caffeine except it lasts six times as long.
So in case I’m not being clear: Modafinil is awesome. I love it. Schedule an appointment with your doctor today, to find out if Modafinil is right for you, etc.
But all that said I think some people have overhyped Modafinil just a bit. My experience certainly doesn’t match that of Dave Asprey and his friends, for example:
The next week, as I expected, I had some excited phone calls.
In one night, the TV producer finished a proposal for the Dalai Lama Foundation that had been evading completion for months, and believes the proposal is far better than it would have otherwise been.
The AI expert said he was able to make new connections he hadn’t made before and suggested Modafinil should be widely available.
The author powered through his writer’s block and made more progress on his current book than he had in months.
My hypnotherapist friend felt she had huge breakthroughs in cognitive performance and made new connections in her mind on a new hypnotherapy technique she is perfecting.
Sorry Dave, I’m still not buying your magic coffee.
But Victor Pride and Sebastien Marshall also report results that feel a bit stronger than what I experienced, so maybe I just suck and my body doesn’t react as extremely to Modafinil as others. I’ve also read a few accounts of users who experienced nothing. My conclusion is that there’s significant variability of individual responses to Modafinil.
For what it’s worth, I’ll break down the pros and cons of my reaction:
Better focus and concentration
Hours of productive work go by without the slightest urge to text girls, dick around on the internet, or talk to coworkers. On a Modafinil day, there’s just no such thing as “wasted time.”
Clarity of Purpose
Whatever I’m working on, the next action is always clear and in the fore of my mind. It’s not that I’m better at figuring out what the next step is. Modafinil is like a little troll that sits on your shoulder and whispers in your ear, “OK, now what? at regular intervals. This is a good thing.
Cuts the need for sleep
My favourite effect. On a good day with a proper night’s sleep, Modafinil is a nice boost that puts a little spring in my step. It cranks me up from a 10 to an 11.
But Modafinil really shines when I’m hung over and sleep deprived. As I’ve cruised up into my late twenties, it has broken my heart that I can no longer function on a sleep debt. Once upon a time, I could drink and fuck until 7am, pop on over to the campus gym for a workout, spend the next ten hours grinding through problem sets, and then do it all over again. These days, not so much.
With Modafinil, I can stay up as late as I want partying and/or punching through last-minute resistance, then wake up and have a productive day. My 21-year old self would be proud.
Loss of appetite
Possibly a negative if you’re struggling to put on weight, but Modafinil is a powerful appetite suppressant. It’s not that you can’t eat – you just don’t need to. I always line up my weekly Intermittent Fasting Day with a Modafinil.
It’s not a huge and dramatic effect, but Modafinil workouts tend to be a bit longer and more intense. I’m currently on Stronglifts + a bunch of flexibility/posterior chain strengthening, and Modafinil keeps me focused and pushing through a lot more mobility work at the end of my sessions.
Little or no increase in IQ or creativity
Life isn’t a movie and Modafinil is not NZT. I am more focused and more productive on Modafinil, but I don’t feel truly smarter or more creative.
I tried two pills one day, for science. Conclusion: 200 mg (one pill) is a great dose for a solid day’s work. 400 mg turned me into a tweaking mess. Jitters, shortness of breath, mild paranoia, and worst of all – barely any quality work done in a full day’s effort. It’s not something I’ll do again.
Even with a regular dose, I occasionally feel a little more ‘on edge’ than usual. Fortunately relaxation is never more than a Theanine capsule away.
I wouldn’t call this a totally negative effect, but Modafinil reduces my already-limited tolerance for useless conversations. I try to avoid Modafinil on days when I’m spending significant time in meetings.
Modafinil is not addictive. However, Modafinil is pretty fucking awesome. Is it a negative side effect when something is great and that makes it hard to stop using it? Some say yes. And I suppose it will suck to go back to normal (periodically) after getting used to life with Modafinil, but by this logic you should also avoid eating good food, banging hot girls, etc.
It’s a free lunch
Modafinil appears to offer major benefits with zero negative side effects.
But I’m always skeptical of free lunches so I’m sticking to a cautious protocol: No more than 600mg/week, and a full month off after a maximum of three months on. Modafinil appears to be perfectly safe, but at the end of the day we don’t even fully understand how it works, let alone what its long-term effects at high and consistent doses might be.
I’ve done my research and concluded that the risks are worth the rewards. But hey, I’m just some ass with a blog. This Gwern fella has put together a compendium of everything there is to know about the stuff. Do your own research, make your own choice. If that’s too much to ask, you’re probably not smart enough for medication to make much of a difference in your life anyway. Pouring high-octane gas on a tricycle doesn’t make it go faster.
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So where can you get this stuff?
Modafinil is not hard to obtain. Many doctors who are not prissy close-minded fairies will prescribe it to you without much trouble. It’s usually prescribed for narcolepsy and shift-work sleep disorder. Do you occasionally work late and then feel tired the next day? Sounds like a case of SWSD to me.
Once you have a prescription, there are a variety of online pharmacies where you can get generic Modafinil for quite a bit cheaper than what you’ll find in your neighbourhood pharmacy. I am not affiliated with www.medsforbitcoin.com, but it seems to be the best option out there, especially for Canadians.
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So there you have it, friends: The latest chapter in my mission to optimize my cognitive function by any non-lethal means necessary. The Racetam family, as seen On Chaos and Pain and Nexxt Level Up, will be coming up next.
Until then, dear reader: Have you tried Modafinil? How do your experiences compare to mine? What other cool and dangerous drugs should I be carelessly experimenting with?