Modafinil Benefits | 13 Reasons to Try the Nootropic

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Curious about Modafinil benefits?

Well, there’s a reason it is the most popular nootropic of all-time — besides coffee.

Sure, it was designed to make sure that a lack of sleep can’t bring you down, and it does that really well.

But there’s so much more: the focus, the improved memory, and even improved decision-making.

And if that weren’t enough, it’s also starting to look like Modafinil could be an effective treatment for people with addictions issues and even depression.

In other words, Modafinil works well. Really well. Pop 200mg of the smart drug and you’re sure to crush whatever tasks are ahead of you for hours on end. We’re talking 10-12+ hours of pure, uninterrupted focus.

But you’re not so interested in the claims of the benefits of Modafinil as you are in the proof. So that’s what we’re doing here: we’re going to provide a solid summary of the benefits of Modafinil along with the science behind those benefits.

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This is not legal or medical advice. This article was strictly created for your entertainment. Please consult with your primary care physician or a medical professional with close working knowledge of your health -- before consuming pharmaceutical drugs or nootropics, like Modafinil. Please read my disclaimer.

What is Modafinil?

So what is Modafinil? It’s a prescription medication used to combat excessive sleepiness [1]. It was first approved for wide-spread use in France in 1994 and was eventually approved by the FDA in the United States in 1998. It was marketed under the brand name Provigil.

What is Modafinil used for? Doctors currently prescribe Modafinil for fighting fatigue in individuals with sleep disorders, like [2]:

  • Narcolepsy [3]
  • Obstructive sleep apnea [4]
  • Shift work sleep disorder [5]

Those Modafinil uses—helping people stay awake and alert—were great, but many noticed that its performance-enhancing benefits could be extended to other contexts. Modafinil uses in people without sleep disorders are many. For example:

  • Governments have given it to members of their militaries to perform well on missions even when they were fatigued [6].
  • Business executives and tech startup founders have used it to pump out 80 hours of work a week for years on end [7].
  • It was given to astronauts on the International Space Station so that they could perform well even with poor sleep [8].
  • Wall Street securities traders began to take this “Viagara for the brain” to pump up the quality of their research and trades [9].
    Modafinil is even banned by sports organizations because of its recognized effect on boosting sporting performance [10].

Basically, it’s really good at what it does.

Pharmacology

But what does it do?

Modafinil is a stimulant of the central nervous system, which means that it works to get your body ready for action [11]. It reaches peak concentration in your blood about 2 to 4 hours after you take your last dose, and it has a half-life of about 12 to 15 hours [11].

What is Modafinil made of? It’s created synthetically in a lab and has the following chemical formula: C15H15NO2S. It’s also known as 2-(diphenylmethanesulfinyl)acetamide.

It’s not yet exactly clear how it works, in part because it has several actions. The resulting alertness likely comes as an indirect consequence of some of these actions. Here’s what we know so far [11]:

  • Modafinil is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, which means it increases the concentration of dopamine in the synapses between nerve cells. One of the effects of this increased dopamine is a boost in mood.
  • Modafinil also blocks the reuptake of norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that is involved in preparing the body for action. Modafinil increases the concentration of norepinephrine, likely part of how it contributes to wakefulness and focus.
  • Modafinil also acts on a number of other neurochemicals including histamine, serotonin, orexin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and glutamate [12]—each of these plays a role in alertness and wakefulness.

Together, by indirectly upregulating neurotransmitters that play a role in wakefulness, Modafinil is able to exert a significant effect on a number of cognitive factors [12].

Modafinil Side Effects and Safety Concerns

Before we get into a deep discussion of the insane benefits of Modafinil, we should briefly cover Modafinil’s side effects and safety profile.

The high-level, take away is this:

Modafinil is well-tolerated with a low prevalence of adverse side effects and low potential for abuse [11, 13]. Basically, every study done on it suggests that it’s safe for most people [3, 4, 5, 14, 15].

But there are some potential side effects you should be aware of. The most common ones include [11]:

Only a small percentage of people who use Modafinil will experience these side effects, but it’s still good to be aware of them

There is also a very low potential for abuse and addiction, as well as virtually no chance of Modafinil overdose being lethal [11].

What can you do to minimize side effects and safety risk?

Here’s what we do to reduce the chances that you’ll experience adverse Modafinil effects:

  • Take it early in the morning. That way, it won’t keep you awake at night.
  • Take it with food. We find that eating a large meal before taking Modafinil helps reduce indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea.
  • Drink lots of water. Modafinil can dehydrate you, which causes headaches. Drink lots of water while you’re working so that you don’t get a headache.
  • Don’t take too much. Start with a small Modafinil dosage to start with. You can build up to a normal dose of 200 mg. If you take more than that, you’re increasing the chances that you’ll experience side effects.
  • Don’t take it if you’re pregnant. We’re not sure how it could affect the fetus.
  • Don’t take it if you’re under 17. Modafinil’s safety profile hasn’t been tested in children.

If you follow those guidelines, you can avoid most of the adverse Modafinil effects and have a great experience.

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Modafinil Benefits | Top 13

Alright, so let’s get to it.

Here are some of the biggest and best Modafinil benefits based on the research and consistent with our own experiences:

Beats Fatigue

This is perhaps what Modafinil is used for the most and what it’s best at: cutting down fatigue and giving you the energy to work for hours on end. It will make you feel fresh, regardless of how long you’ve been going.

There have been tons of studies on this on a number of different populations, including those with various health conditions [16], healthy individuals [17], and even helicopter pilots in the military [18]. In each of these groups, Modafinil was found to significantly decrease fatigue.

Maintains Cognitive Performance During Sleep Deprivation

But Modafinil doesn’t just keep you awake. It actually enhances your cognition to the point where your performance is just as good as if you weren’t sleep deprived [18].

As just one example, a study found that Modafinil was even effective at improving the motor coordination skills of doctors who suffered from sleep deprivation [19].

Improves Cognitive Performance in Non-Sleep-Deprived Individuals

Modafinil isn’t just great if you haven’t slept well—it’s great for everyone.

In one study, Modafinil improved several different kinds of cognitive function in individuals who suffered from brain damage as a result of a brain tumor [20], showing that it can help individuals with certain types of cognitive impairments.

In various other studies, Modafinil has been found to contribute to improved spatial planning, visual pattern recognition, reaction time [21], strategic planning and decision-making skills [22], and even visual processing [23].

Together, the research suggests that Modafinil is a potent nootropic.

Improved Memory

In fact, one of the most well-researched nootropic effects of Modafinil is its effect on memory. Various studies have found data that suggest Modafinil has a particularly strong effect on boosting performance on both working and episodic memory tasks [19, 22, 24, 25].

Reduces Decision Impulsivity

One of the ways that scientists believe that Modafinil can help improve decision-making skills is by reducing impulsivity. One study in a group of individuals who are alcohol dependent found that Modafinil improved ratings of their own impulsivity and that it also increased the number of days that they were able to stay abstinent from alcohol [26].

May Help Reduce Dependency on “Hard Drugs”

Findings such as these are one of the reasons that Modafinil is beginning to be considered as a complementary therapy to help individuals who are fighting substance abuse and addictions for things like cocaine use and amphetamine use [27]. This is a promising area of further study and is currently an off-label use of Modafinil.

Improved Mood

Research has consistently found that Modafinil provides a small but significant improvement to mood. Some people even refer to it as a kind of “euphoria” [28]. Its effect on mood is partly why it has been used as a complementary therapy for patients that suffer from depression [29].

Enhanced Daytime Wakefulness, Alertness, and Focus

If you’ve ever just felt like taking a nap in the middle of the day, Modafinil could be for you. It’s been shown to reduce daytime sleepiness [30] and boost focus and concentration [31, 32] to help keep you functioning at your best.

Improved Motivation for Work

Even if you’re awake and focused, you don’t always want to actually be doing work—especially if that work is tedious.

But Modafinil helps there too. One study found that it actually increases the pleasure participants took from their work and helped them feel more motivated to keep working [22].

Stimulant-Like Effects Without the Jitters

We love coffee, but we know it has limitations. By the third cup, you can feel a bit like you’re jumping off the walls.

Modafinil stimulates the central nervous system, but not through the adrenal system the same way that Coffee, and Amphetamines like Adderall do. It provides a sense of alertness and focus, but without pumping you up with adrenaline.

Weight Loss

Surprisingly, Modafinil also offers benefits to users looking to lose weight [33]. When you think, “What is modafinil used for?” you don’t usually think this. Weight loss is one of the newer and unofficial Modafinil effects.

What drives this effect? There seems to be a few factors. The first is that many people that are prescribed Modafinil for sleep apnea are overweight (having excess body fat is one of the contributors to obstructive sleep apnea). That means that the population taking this medication may be more likely to have excess weight to lose.

The second factor is that one of the Modafinil effects is to suppress appetite. In the long term, a slightly suppressed appetite a few days a week may lead to a significant reduction in calories, which eventually results in weight loss.

Finally, people that are tired from excessive sleepiness may be less likely to work out. Modafinil helps give individuals energy so they spend more of it exercising.

It’s not a diet pill and won’t help you “get thin quick”. And it probably won’t have much of an effect on people who already have a healthy weight. But if you do happen to be overweight, you might find that weight loss is a pleasant side benefit.

Hangover Cure

Modafinil is the ultimate hangover cure. This can be one of the biggest benefits of the smart drug: not wasting the day after partying.

Modafinil promotes wakefulness and offers focus. When you have a hangover, you’re tired and unmotivated. So you might not get much done. By taking a Modafinil, you fight off the hangover and immediately get productive. A huge greasy breakfast, followed by 200 mg of Modafinil, and a big cup of coffee can help kill even the worst hangovers.

Cheaper Than Coffee

Last, Modafinil is cheap—especially when compared with a cup of coffee. One 200 mg Modafinil can cost as little as $0.80 per serving. A normal cup of coffee at Starbucks costs around $4.

So, you can buy around five 200 mg Modafinil pills for the average price of a cup of coffee. Plus, the effects of Modafinil are much stronger than any old cup of coffee. With Modafinil, it’s easy to economize.

Where to Buy Modafinil Online? | 2020 Guide

Clearly, there are tons of benefits with Modafinil.

That’s why so many people are looking to get their hands on it. While it’s difficult to access from a pharmacy without a prescription, it’s now quite easy to buy Modafinil online.

How exactly you do that depends on where you live and the regulations there. For example, if you want to buy Modafinil in Canada, you might have to use a different online vendor than if you want to buy Modafinil from Brazil. We know it’s a bit confusing, so we’ve created a library of Modafinil country guides to make it easier for you.

Find Legitimate Vendors

While it’s easy to find online vendors that sell Modafinil, just be careful you don’t choose one that’s a scam. If you’re not experienced in the world of nootropics, it can be easy to confuse one of the fake vendors out there with the legitimate ones.

Through a bunch of trial and error, we’ve found the vendors that have great prices and that also will actually deliver on what they promise. These vendors:

  • Have very reasonable prices along with a bunch of discounts. Most also give you further discounts if you are a returning customer or buy Modafinil with bitcoin.
  • Have great guarantees. The worst is when you order something and it never comes. The vendors we recommend each have a great guarantee so you can be sure your product will actually get to you—or you’ll get a reship or your money back.
  • Have convenient payment options. If you want to buy anonymously with bitcoin, you can with each of these vendors. They also usually accept bank deposit or credit cards.
  • Delivery all over the world. You do have to carefully look to see which vendor ships where, but between our recommended vendors, you’re going to find one that can send Modafinil to you wherever you are.

If you stick with our recommended vendors, you won’t be disappointed.

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Modafinil Benefits | The Verdict

The benefits of Modafinil are vast.

It helps you beat back fatigue and stay alert, but it also has a ton of great nootropic benefits as well. Popular Modafinil uses include pounding out work for hours at a time, supercharging your studying so you ace the test, or finishing up your massive coding project.

If you’re looking to stay focused, make more money, get better grades, or improve productivity, this smart drug cannot be beaten. Modafinil is the best-selling nootropic on the market for good reason.

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References

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    2. Keating, G. M., & Raffin, M. J. (2005). Modafinil. CNS drugs, 19(9), 785-803.
    3. Bastoji, H., & Jouvet, M. (1988). Successful treatment of idiopathic hypersomnia and narcolepsy with modafinil. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology and biological psychiatry, 12(5), 695-700.
    4. Ballard, R. D. (2008). Management of patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Journal of Family Practice, 57(8), S24-S24.
    5. Greenhill, L. L., Biederman, J., Boellner, S. W., Rugino, T. A., Sangal, R. B., Earl, C. Q., … & Raffin, M. J. (2006). Modafinil: a review of its use in excessive sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome and shift work sleep disorder. CNS Drugs, 19, 785-803.
    6. Martin, R. (2003). It’s wake up time. https://www.wired.com/2003/11/sleep
    7. Arrington, R. (2008). How many Silicon Valley startup executives are hopped up on Provigil? https://techcrunch.com/2008/07/15/how-many-of-our-startup-executives-are-hopped-up-on-provigil/
    8. Thirsk, R., Kuipers, A., Mukai, C., & Williams, D. (2009). The space-flight environment: The International Space Station and beyond. CMAJ, 180(12), 1216-1220.
    9. Kolker, R. (2013). The real Limitless drug isn’t just for lifehackers anymore. https://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/modafinil-2013-4/
    10. U.S. Anti-doping agency. (2018). Wallet card of prohibited and permitted substances. https://www.usada.org/wp-content/uploads/wallet-card.pdf
    11. Teodorini, R. D., Rycroft, N., & Smith-Spark, J. H. (2020). The off-prescription use of modafinil: An online survey of perceived risks and benefits. PloS one, 15(2), e0227818.
    12. Minzenberg, M. J., & Carter, C. S. (2008). Modafinil: a review of neurochemical actions and effects on cognition. Neuropsychopharmacology, 33(7), 1477-1502.
    13. Schmitt, K. C., & Reith, M. E. (2011). The atypical stimulant and nootropic modafinil interact with the dopamine transporter in a different manner than classical cocaine-like inhibitors. PloS one, 6(10), e25790.
    14. Biederman, J., Swanson, J. M., Wigal, S. B., Kratochvil, C. J., Boellner, S. W., Earl, C. Q., … & Greenhill, L. (2005). Efficacy and safety of modafinil film-coated tablets in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, flexible-dose study. Pediatrics, 116(6), e777-e784.
    15. Mitler, M. M., Harsh, J., Hirshkowitz, M., Guilleminault, C., & US Modafinil in Narcolepsy Multicenter Study Group. (2000). Long-term efficacy and safety of modafinil (PROVIGIL®) for the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. Sleep Medicine, 1(3), 231-243.
    16. Jean‐Pierre, P., Morrow, G. R., Roscoe, J. A., Heckler, C., Mohile, S., Janelsins, M., … & Hopkins, J. O. (2010). A phase 3 randomized, placebo‐controlled, double‐blind, clinical trial of the effect of modafinil on cancer‐related fatigue among 631 patients receiving chemotherapy: a University of Rochester Cancer Center Community Clinical Oncology Program Research base study. Cancer, 116(14), 3513-3520.
    17. Pigeau, R., Naitoh, P., Buguet, A., McCann, C., Baranski, J., Taylor, M., … & Mack, I. (1995). Modafinil, d‐amphetamine, and placebo during 64 hours of sustained mental work. I. Effects on mood, fatigue, cognitive performance, and body temperature. Journal of Sleep Research, 4(4), 212-228.
    18. Wesensten, N. J. (2006). Effects of modafinil on cognitive performance and alertness during sleep deprivation. Current pharmaceutical design, 12(20), 2457-2471.
    19. Sugden, C., Housden, C. R., Aggarwal, R., Sahakian, B. J., & Darzi, A. (2012). Effect of pharmacological enhancement on the cognitive and clinical psychomotor performance of sleep-deprived doctors: a randomized controlled trial. Annals of Surgery, 255(2), 222-227.
    20. Gehring, K., Patwardhan, S. Y., Collins, R., Groves, M. D., Etzel, C. J., Meyers, C. A., & Wefel, J. S. (2012). A randomized trial on the efficacy of methylphenidate and modafinil for improving cognitive functioning and symptoms in patients with a primary brain tumor. Journal of neuro-oncology, 107(1), 165-174.
    21. Turner, D. C., Robbins, T. W., Clark, L., Aron, A. R., Dowson, J., & Sahakian, B. J. (2003). Cognitive enhancing effects of modafinil in healthy volunteers. Psychopharmacology, 165(3), 260-269.
    22. Müller, U., Rowe, J. B., Rittman, T., Lewis, C., Robbins, T. W., & Sahakian, B. J. (2013). Effects of modafinil on non-verbal cognition, task enjoyment, and creative thinking in healthy volunteers. Neuropharmacology, 64, 490-495.
    23. Lees, J., Michalopoulou, P. G., Lewis, S. W., Preston, S., Bamford, C., Collier, T., … & Kapur, S. (2017). Modafinil and cognitive enhancement in schizophrenia and healthy volunteers: The effects of test battery in a randomised controlled trial. Psychological Medicine, 47(13), 2358-2368.
    24. Gilleen, J., Michalopoulou, P. G., Reichenberg, A., Drake, R., Wykes, T., Lewis, S. W., & Kapur, S. (2014). Modafinil combined with cognitive training is associated with improved learning in healthy volunteers–a randomised controlled trial. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 24(4), 529-539.
    25. Kaser, M., Deakin, J. B., Michael, A., Zapata, C., Bansal, R., Ryan, D., … & Sahakian, B. J. (2017). Modafinil improves episodic memory and working memory cognition in patients with remitted depression: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 2(2), 115-122.
    26. Joos, L., Goudriaan, A. E., Schmaal, L., Fransen, E., van den Brink, W., Sabbe, B. G., & Dom, G. (2013). Effect of modafinil on impulsivity and relapse in alcohol-dependent patients: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 23(8), 948-955.
    27. Australian Department of Health (2004). Modafinil. https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-toc~drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-3~drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-3-8~drugtreat-pubs-modpsy-3-8-mod
    28. Volkow, N. D., Fowler, J. S., Logan, J., Alexoff, D., Zhu, W., Telang, F., … & Hubbard, B. (2009). Effects of modafinil on dopamine and dopamine transporters in the male human brain: Clinical implications. JAMA, 301(11), 1148-1154.
    29. Ballas, C. A., Kim, D., Baldassano, C. F., & Hoeh, N. (2002). Modafinil: past, present, and future. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, 2(4), 449-457.
    30. Mayer, G., Benes, H., Young, P., Bitterlich, M., & Rodenbeck, A. (2015). Modafinil in the treatment of idiopathic hypersomnia without long sleep time—a randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled study. Journal of sleep research, 24(1), 74-81.
    31. Wesensten, N. J. (2006). Effects of modafinil on cognitive performance and alertness during sleep deprivation. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 12(20), 2457-2471.
    32. Walsh, J. K., Randazzo, A. C., Stone, K. L., & Schweitzer, P. K. (2004). Modafinil improves alertness, vigilance, and executive function during simulated night shifts. Sleep, 27(3), 434-439.
    33. Vaishnavi, S., Gadde, K., Alamy, S., Zhang, W., Connor, K., & Davidson, J. R. (2006). Modafinil for atypical depression: effects of open-label and double-blind discontinuation treatment. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology, 26(4), 373-378.

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