How to Sleep on Modafinil | A-Z Guide

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How To Sleep On Modafinil

If you want to know how to sleep on Modafinil, this article will tell you everything you need to know.

Many newcomers to the world of smart drugs tend to make some beginner-level mistakes. One of them involves taking Modafinil before bed and being unable to fall asleep.

Given that Modafinil keeps you wide-awake and alert for 12-15 hours at a time, the conclusion is clear: Modafinil and sleep do not go well together.

Is it impossible to sleep on Modafinil? Are there ways to get a good night’s sleep after taking Modafinil?

This comprehensive guide contains specific information about using Modafinil without compromising your sleep schedule.

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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?

Before we dive into how Modafinil affects sleep, we need to discuss its properties and why you will inevitably struggle to get some much-needed shut-eye after taking it.

Modafinil — also known by its brand name Provigil — is a pharmaceutical drug approved by the FDA for 3 specific purposes [1]:

  • Treating excessive daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy
  • Treating excessive daytime sleepiness in shift work sleep disorder
  • An adjunct to obstructive sleep apnea when continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) regimens are optimized

While we do not know its exact mechanism, one of Modafinil’s primary modes of action involves increasing extracellular levels of dopamine and inhibiting the dopamine transporter. Funny enough, the transporter MUST be present for Modafinil’s wakefulness-promoting effects to take place.

We also know that Modafinil is uniquely different from other stimulants and wakefulness-promoting drugs in four different ways [2]:

“None of the serious adverse CNS effects associated with methylphenidate and amphetamine (tachycardia, hypertension, dizziness, insomnia, and psychotic episodes) are seen. The most common side effects of modafinil are headache (13%), nervousness (8%), and nausea (5%).

No known serious drug interactions occur, and there are no required dietary restrictions.

No known risk exists of dependence, withdrawal symptoms, or abuse at therapeutic doses.

No rebound sleepiness has been observed.”

Since Modafinil entered the market, people have been desperate to use Modafinil for powering through sleepless nights of work. But this lead to the discovery of several off-the-label uses that make it an incredibly powerful smart drug:

  • Increased cognition
  • Enhanced productivity
  • Improved memory retention

In short, Modafinil makes the user feel like they have “mental superpowers.” Powers that can be used to make more money, get better grades in school, and get high volumes of work done in less time.

Unfortunately, one of those superpowers does not involve falling fast asleep at night.

Modafinil and Sleep | The Basics

 

Sleep is one of the most important things for optimal mental and physical health. We need at least 7-8 hours to function properly, yet the majority of the human population is not getting the rest they need [3]:

40% of Americans are sleep deprived.

The financial impact of sleep deprivation in the U.S. is $411 billion annually — the same amount as cybercrime.

Only 1 in 10 Americans consider sleep to be their top priority over fitness, work, hobbies, and social life

People who slept less than 7 hours were more likely to report being above average weight (33%), physically inactive (27%), current smokers (23%), and excessive alcohol drinkers (19%)

To conquer the effects of sleep deprivation and operating on less than 7 hours of sleep, people turn to agents like Modafinil for powering through the day.

And it is incredibly effective at keeping you awake for long periods of time…perhaps too effective.

In a study involving French military men who were sleep-deprived for 64 hours, 300 mg of Modafinil administered every 24 hours allowed them to maintain the same level of cognitive performance compared to when they were fully rested [4].

This finding was confirmed in a 2009 study of patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea, where 200 mg of Modafinil taken daily improved feelings of sleepiness and shortened their reaction time [5].

Two additional studies discovered that Modafinil apparently does not hamper sleep quality if it is taken in the early morning. Not only can patients sleep properly, but they also do not need to sleep for longer periods of time to compensate for the amount of sleep lost due to sleep deprivation [6, 7].

So how does “Modafinil insomnia” take place to the point where people do not want to sleep? How does Modafinil hinder sleep in healthy and sleep-deprived individuals?

There are several explanations for why this may happen, but the overall picture is fairly conclusive: Modafinil inhibits the production sleep-promoting neurotransmitters while increasing the production of wakefulness-promoting neurotransmitters.

Modafinil inhibits gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is crucial for regulating the “sleepiness” part of the sleep-wake cycle. On the flipside, Modafinil promotes the production of histamine, dopamine, glutamate, and norepinephrine, all of which “excite” the sympathetic nervous system and enhance wakefulness [8].

Oddly enough, Modafinil does not affect melatonin production, which is secreted around night-time to induce sleepiness [9].

To make matters worse, Modafinil has a very long duration of action – up to as much as 18 hours after taking it [10].

Since 200 mg has a half-life of 12-15 hours (i.e. the time needed for 50% of the drug to be eliminated from your bloodstream), it’s no surprise that taking Modafinil before bed is a very bad idea [11]. After all, Modafinil is still working to help you stay focused.

Therefore, going beyond 200 mg of Modafinil is a bad idea for anybody who needs to go to bed early [12]:

“It takes about 5 half-lives for a drug to be roughly 97% eliminated. (50%, then 75% then 87.5% then 93.75% then 96.875%).

Doubling the dose of a drug will usually increase its duration of action by one half-life (because its clearance is a logarithmic function)”

Let’s use a hypothetical scenario to demonstrate how this works in real life: If you take 100-200 mg of Modafinil at 10am, you can expect to fall asleep with a reasonable amount of effort between 10pm and 1am.

As such, most users find taking Modafinil earlier in the day is beneficial. Ignore this fact at your own peril…

How to Sleep on Modafinil

Can you sleep on Modafinil? Absolutely! Modafinil and sleep do not have to be two mutually exclusive things.

Research subjects have found numerous useful strategies for counter-acting the focus-enhancing effects of Modafinil. If you want to know exactly how to sleep on Modafinil, use them whenever you take your dose of Modafinil…

  • Maintain proper sleep hygiene

Before you start tinkering with your Modafinil dosage, ensure that you are following lifestyle habits that naturally lead towards feeling tired and sleeping properly in the late evening (i.e. before midnight).

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but these few habits are crucial in ensuring a good night’s sleep:

  • Ensure you drink 2-4 liters of water throughout the day to avoid being dehydrated, which can negatively affect your sleep [13]
  • Make sure you turn off all electronic screens and lights 1-2 hours before bed. Yes, this means keeping your smartphone outside of the bedroom!
  • Perform an activity that disengages your brain, such as reading a light fiction book. Nothing too engaging.
  • Set an alarm for when you want to wake up the next day
  • Vigorous exercise (at least 3 hours before bed) can help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality [14]
  • Take a lukewarm shower or bath 60-90 minutes before bed
  • Avoid eating certain foods such as grapefruit juice, which can prolong Modafinil’s effects (due to inhibiting the enzyme that metabolizes Modafinil) [15]

Use one tactic at a time to see if it will help your regular sleep patterns. For best results, try to optimize your sleep schedule before you take Modafinil to accurately gauge how the smart drug will alter the quality of sleep you get.

  • Take your dose of Modafinil early in the morning

This is the most important strategy out of all the ones listed in this article. The earlier you take Modafinil, the better chance you have of getting to sleep at a decent time.

As mentioned previously, if you take Modafinil before 10 a.m, you have a good chance of getting to sleep before midnight.

Our test subjects found that taking Modafinil around 8:30am or earlier gave them the best results. While Modafinil is still in your system after 12-15 hours, there isn’t so much to the point where falling asleep becomes a serious problem.

And while this should be fairly obvious by now, DO NOT take Modafinil before bed unless you are absolutely intent on pulling an all-nighter!

  • Avoid the use of other stimulants, especially after 4pm

If you take Modafinil with other stimulants such as caffeine, you may find it even more difficult to fall asleep at a reasonable hour.

Due to caffeine’s half-life of 6 hours, you should take it no later than 4pm to avoid feeling alert at bedtime [16]. We would advise not to consume any caffeine after 2pm for best results.

You will have to make the appropriate adjustments for any stimulants you choose to take alongside Modafinil.

  • Lower your daily dose of Modafinil

Our test subjects uniformly agree that your daily dose of Modafinil should never exceed 300 mg. Even then, most smart drug users should not need more than 200 mg of Modafinil to experience the full extent of its cognition-enhancing effects.

In extreme cases, some research subjects found that reducing their daily Modafinil dose to 50 mg was the only way they could avoid feeling alert past 9pm.

On a side note, we do not recommend splitting your dose of Modafinil across different parts of the day. Studies have shown that taking 200 mg of Modafinil in split doses (i.e. 100 mg in the morning, 100 mg in the afternoon) sustains wakefulness in the late evening much more than a single dose [17].

  • Use Modafinil fewer times within one week

Modafinil should not be taken more than 1-3 days per week to avoid long-term interference with a regular sleeping schedule.

Additionally, we recommend spacing your doses evenly throughout the week to ensure you can take Modafinil and sleep well (i.e. one dose on Monday, one dose on Wednesday, one dose on Friday).

Taking Modafinil more often than this may mask your fatigue and other symptoms associated with excessive sleep deprivation. As one individual told us, “Modafinil LETS you stay awake, rather than MAKING you awake.”

It goes without saying that Modafinil is NOT a substitute for getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day.

  • Explore the use of pharmaceutical or over-the-counter sedatives

To be clear, we are not directly endorsing the use of these sleep aids. Some of them may require a doctor’s prescription and their drug interactions with Modafinil are not well-known:

  • Zolpidem (some emergency residents have used this insomnia drug to counteract Modafinil’s wakefulness-promoting effects) [18]
  • Anti-histamine medications (Doxylamine, Cetirizine, Mirtazapine, Hydroxyzine)
  • Glycine
  • Melatonin
  • Magnesium

The dosage and timing will vary with each sleep said, but some users report best results when they are taken 1-2 hours before bed.

  • Try our “Modafinil insomnia” cocktail before bed

If you want to ensure that Modafinil and insomnia never exist together, this combination of natural sleep aids will help you achieve the “Modafinil sleep” you’re looking for.

If you are smart with your Modafinil usage and follow all of the tips mentioned thus far, taking this cocktail 1-2 hours before bed will help you get some rejuvenating sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed and awake in the morning:

If you only take one ingredient out of these four, we would highly recommend cannabinoid (CBD) oil.

According to Healthline, there are several studies showcasing its beneficial effects for sleep [22]:

  • Patients have better sleep and lower anxiety levels
  • By reducing chronic pain, CBD can indirectly improve sleep
  • May treat excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Can eliminate early morning grogginess

For individuals who concerned about getting a good night’s rest after consuming Modafinil, just follow the plan laid out above.

Modafinil and sleep can exist together if you are mindful about your lifestyle habits and your use of Modafinil!

Modafinil and Insomnia

Before we get into a brief discussion about Modafinil, let’s talk about what insomnia is and how it affects your sleep [23]:

“Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. You may still feel tired when you wake up.

…many adults experience short-term (acute) insomnia, which lasts for days or weeks. It’s usually the result of stress or a traumatic event. But some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia that lasts for a month or more. Insomnia may be the primary problem, or it may be associated with other medical conditions or medications.

Modafinil and insomnia are rarely talked about in the same space, due to multiple factors that can contribute to the onset of insomnia.

If you have followed every single tip in this article and still cannot get any rest, your best bet would be to stop Modafinil use altogether for a few days and see how it affects your ability to sleep at night.

We recommend this step because when smart drug users ask “Can you sleep on Modafinil?” they are actually asking if they can sleep while Modafinil is still active in their system.

It is indeed possible, but many users report waking up numerous times throughout the night. This is yet another reason why we do not recommend late-night use of Modafinil unless it is absolutely necessary.

Should your sleep schedule fail to naturally resolve itself, you may have a form of insomnia brought on by another condition.

Please speak to a licensed physician so you can determine what is causing your insomnia and take the necessary steps to fix it.

Above all else, please remember that there is significant variation within an individual’s response to Modafinil. There are numerous environmental factors that can alter your response to Modafinil.

Therefore, one user’s experience is not necessarily reflective of the experience you may have when finding out how to sleep on Modafinil.

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Modafinil and Sleep | The Verdict

We hope this guide was informative in showcasing how to sleep on Modafinil.

If you take Modafinil before bed at a reasonable hour (i.e. in the early morning), and plan your day in advance using the lifestyle habits discussed, Modafinil and sleep can both be part of a very productive day.

Experienced smart drug users have managed to make “Modafinil sleep” possible and there is no reason why you cannot do the same.

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References

  1. Valentino RM, Foldvary-Schaefer N. Modafinil in the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness. Cleve Clin J Med. 2007;74(8):561‐571. doi:10.3949/ccjm.74.8.561
  2. The Role of Modafinil in Treating Sleep Disorders. Retrieved May 20, 2020. sleepreviewmag.com
  3. 70+ Sleep Statistics and Trends You Shouldn’t Hit Snooze on for 2020. Retrieved May 21, 2020. casper.com
  4. Baranski JV, Cian C, Esquivié D, Pigeau RA, Raphel C. Modafinil During 64 Hr of Sleep Deprivation: Dose-Related Effects on Fatigue, Alertness, and Cognitive Performance, Mil Psychol. 1998;10(3):173-193. doi:10.1207/s15327876mp1003_3
  5. Chapman JL, Kempler L, Chang CL, et al. Modafinil improves daytime sleepiness in patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea not using standard treatments: a randomised placebo-controlled crossover trial. Thorax. 2014;69(3):274‐279. doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-203796
  6. Berry RB. Chapter 24 – Hypersomnias of Central Origin. Fundamentals of Sleep Medicine. 2012:451-479. doi:10.1016/B978-1-4377-0326-9.00024-5
  7. Buguet A, Montmayeur A, Pigeau R, Naitoh P. Modafinil, d-amphetamine and placebo during 64 hours of sustained mental work. II. Effects on two nights of recovery sleep. J Sleep Res. 1995;4(4):229‐241. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2869.1995.tb00173.x
  8. Kim D. Practical use and risk of modafinil, a novel waking drug. Environ Health Toxicol. 2012;27:e2012007. doi:10.5620/eht.2012.27.e2012007
  9. Brun J, Chamba G, Khalfallah Y, et al. Effect of modafinil on plasma melatonin, cortisol and growth hormone rhythms, rectal temperature and performance in healthy subjects during a 36 h sleep deprivation. J Sleep Res. 1998;7(2):105‐114. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2869.1998.00100.x
  10. Turner C, Belyavin AJ, Nicholson AN. Duration of activity and mode of action of modafinil: Studies on sleep and wakefulness in humans. J Psychopharmacol. 2014;28(7):643‐654. doi:10.1177/0269881113508173
  11. Darwish M, Kirby M, Hellriegel ET, Robertson P Jr. Armodafinil and modafinil have substantially different pharmacokinetic profiles despite having the same terminal half-lives: analysis of data from three randomized, single-dose, pharmacokinetic studies. Clin Drug Investig. 2009;29(9):613‐623. doi:10.2165/11315280-000000000-00000
  12. Half-life. Retrieved May 22, 2020. derangedphysiology.com
  13. The Connection Between Hydration and Sleep. Retrieved May 19, 2020. sleepfoundation.org
  14. Exercising for Better Sleep. Retrieved May 20, 2020. hopkinsmedicine.org
  15. Bailey DG, Malcolm J, Arnold O, Spence JD. Grapefruit juice-drug interactions. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1998;46(2):101‐110. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2125.1998.00764.x
  16. Caffeine Pharmacology. Retrieved May 22, 2020. news-medical.net
  17. Schwartz JR, Feldman NT, Bogan RK. Dose effects of modafinil in sustaining wakefulness in narcolepsy patients with residual evening sleepiness [published correction appears in J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2005 Fall;17(4):561]. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2005;17(3):405‐412. doi:10.1176/jnp.17.3.405
  18. McBeth BD, McNamara RM, Ankel FK, et al. Modafinil and zolpidem use by emergency medicine residents. Acad Emerg Med. 2009;16(12):1311‐1317. doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2009.00586.x
  19. Howatson G, Bell PG, Tallent J, Middleton B, McHugh MP, Ellis J. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr. 2012;51(8):909‐916. doi:10.1007/s00394-011-0263-7
  20. Langade D, Kanchi S, Salve J, Debnath K, Ambegaokar D. Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root Extract in Insomnia and Anxiety: A Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-controlled Study. Cureus. 2019;11(9):e5797. doi:10.7759/cureus.5797
  21. Chang SM, Chen CH. Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women: a randomized controlled trial. J Adv Nurs. 2016;72(2):306‐315. doi:10.1111/jan.12836
  22. CBD for Insomnia: Benefits, Side Effects, and Treatment. Retrieved May 23, 2020. healthline.com
  23. Insomnia. Retrieved May 22, 2020. mayoclinic.org

Table of Contents

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