Modafinil is a special compound, but it’s grown highly overrated.
I used modafinil fairly regularly for about four years, with a few months of not taking it here and there. At one point, I loved it and thought I might use it throughout my career.
However, over time I started to change my mind. Eventually, I realized that modafinil had less to do with my increased productivity than the other things I was doing — such as revamping my daily habits.
Modafinil is effective at keeping you awake and alert with minimal health concerns and none of the harsh side effects you get from drugs like Adderall. But it’s no limitless-pill, I can assure you.
There are tons of people who use it daily and swear by it, and I’m not trying to convince you otherwise if that’s you. But since I wrote about it in the past (My Experience with Cognitive Enhancement), I felt I should update my stance on modafinil.
Modafinil is Great for Staying Awake, Not For Energy
Modafinil is great for keeping yourself awake, but it doesn’t necessarily always make you feel energized.
In my experience, 100 mg of modafinil makes me feel well-rested, alert, and ready to go for the first few hours after taking it. Then it slowly fades away, and while I still feel awake, I don’t feel energized.
That’s actually what becomes quite annoying about modafinil. You have to take it early in the day to avoid making it difficult to get to sleep. Which means you can feel tired and sluggish in the afternoon while on modafinil, but not be able to take a nap. However, to its credit, modafinil does make it easier to work while you’re sleepy.
200 mg of modafinil gives me much more of a boost than 100 mg for the first 4-5 hours of the day, but at this dose, it really makes it difficult to go to sleep at the time I prefer. The other issue is that modafinil makes me irritable in the evenings when I start to feel worn out, but awake.
The best solution I’ve found to counteract the irritability and be able to get to sleep is smoking pot in the evening. However, that’s not really a solution — it’s just a quick fix.
I also find that modafinil lowers my sleep quality, which means I am more tired the next morning.
This is why I say that modafinil is great for staying awake, but not for enjoying high energy throughout the day.
I Like Other Nootropics Better
Many people refer to modafinil as the “king of nootropics,” but that is a huge overstatement. In fact, I find modafinil to be a very mediocre nootropic.
It doesn’t improve my ability to focus or my creativity near as much as other nootropics. Nearly all nootropics are subtle in nature, so it can be tough to differentiate the effects at first.
To the average person, modafinil feels like a better nootropic because the general effect is stronger than many nootropics (not all of them). However, there is a specific feeling I get from other nootropics that modafinil can’t replicate.
When I use other nootropics, not only am I more productive, but I can also see a noticeable difference in the quality of my work. They also don’t mess with my sleep or make me feel irritable — for that matter, they don’t give me any negative side effects.
That’s probably because most nootropics improve various cognitive functions without having any sort of impact on energy or wakefulness.
Will I ever take modafinil again?
I still have some laying around and I’m sure I will use it again at some point. But I probably won’t ever use it for its cognitive benefits — I’ll just use it if I need to stay awake for a long period of time.
After all, that’s what modafinil is prescribed to do, and at this point, I think that’s where it shines the most.
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What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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