If you are reading this article, I’m guessing you already know a bit about modafinil and are considering trying it for the first time.
The nootropic has been touted as the closest real-life alternative you can get to the NZT-48 pill from the movie Limitless. Appropriately nicknamed the “Limitless pill,” many modafinil reviews suggest that the drug can increase your brainpower with little to no adverse side effects.
According to digital media, there are many CEOs, corporate climbers, Silicon Valley professionals, scientists, and high-performing students who already rely on modafinil for an extra mental edge.
After all, it has been the secret behind regular 50-hour work weeks by Elon Musk, as well as the tireless work and numerous accomplishments of well-known achievers such as Tim Ferris, Dave Asprey, Joe Rogan, and Barry Bonds.
With all of the hype, I decided to give modafinil a try. Here’s a recap of my experience (including both the positives and the negatives)
In the course of this article, I have set out to illustrate my own experience with modafinil. I am very passionate about documenting experiences, probably because I am a writer. In any case, my foray into biohacking and my subsequent experimentation with modafinil is a story I am excited to share with you all.
Read on to hear more about my personal quest for ways to improve productivity.
Please be aware that this article is not intended to be medical advice. I am not a doctor. Before following any advice, suggestions, or statements in this post, you should consult a medical professional. Agreed? Good, let’s continue!
Time is precious, so if you don’t have time to read the full article, here are the key takeaways:
What I learned:
- The effectiveness of modafinil is unique to every individual, so it is important to try different dosages. The rule of thumb is to begin with the lowest dose. I prefer to take a half dose (break the tablet along the crease) before waking, and the other half around 11 am – 12 pm. I noticed that the effect of the drug lasts longer this way, and there is less chance of feeling anxious, at least for me.
- If you struggle to get up in the morning, set your alarm for 1 hour before you want to wake up, then take the pill and go back to sleep for an hour. When the alarm goes off at your normal waking time, it will be much easier to wake up.
- Modafinil can increase anxiety in people, especially if you already have preexisting anxiety. If you feel anxious before taking modafinil, it is advisable not to have it, or just take a half dose.
- Coffee increases the effect of modafinil – you should be conscious of this because coffee and modafinil can make you feel extra anxious. On the flip side, if you feel like modafinil is starting to wear off, a cup of coffee will help perk you back up. Just be careful not to overdo the caffeine.
- Don’t take modafinil if you have important meetings or meetings with clients that won’t be straight to the point. Whenever I took modafinil, I was laser-focused and wanted to smash through tasks. I moved at a very fast pace at work, so anyone that would not stick to the point or who talked about non-work related topics would annoy me A LOT! I felt like my blood was boiling as they were wasting time that I could have spent finishing tasks.
My experience with different brands of modafinil
As you probably already know, different companies sell different versions of modafinil, and each brand has a slightly different way of making and packaging their drug. Some brands sell modafinil, while others sell the modafinil extract, armodafinil. There is a difference between modafinil and armodafinil as well as between other brands of modafinil. I have tried most of the brands out there, and I documented the effects for learning purposes. Here is my experience with the four main brands.
Note: Please keep in mind that everyone is different, so it’s always best to try them all for yourself. Still, I’m hoping my take on the major four brands will still be useful to you.
Modafinil (Modalert vs. Modvigil)
Although Modalert is more popular (and more expensive), I found that it wasn’t as potent as Modvigil. In my opinion, Modalert was about 20%-30% less effective, purely due to potency. With Modvigil, the effect of the drug kicked in about an hour after taking it. However, I did prefer to take half a tablet in the morning and another half at lunchtime to spread out the effect. This was not the case with Modalert. I was able to take a full 200mg tablet of Modalert at once, and the effect was not as strong as modvigil. (Be sure to research the dosage of the drug before you try it.)
Armodafinil (Waklert vs. Artvigil)
I found Waklert to be the more potent of the two, so I preferred it to Artvigil. Aside from potency, the effects were pretty much the same.
Armodafinil vs. Modafinil
Although armodafinil lasted longer than Modafinil, I didn’t feel like it was as effective. Armodafinil seemed to be really good for mundane tasks, but if I needed to be creative, I found that modafinil was much better. Also, I noticed that modafinil completely suppressed my appetite, whereas I was able to eat properly after taking armodafinil.
Pros of modafinil
- Modafinil enhances your alertness. After taking the drug, you won’t feel sleepy (no yawning at your desk), and your mind is sharp.
- It improves memory. I was sceptical about this at first, but after a while, I noticed a significant improvement in my recall ability. I’m the sort of person that would walk into a room and forget why I went in there. I could only remember why I entered the room when I went back to where I first had the thought. Modafinil improved this issue for me.
- It improves creativity. I feel this effect is a result of improved alertness. When you are alert, you are more aware of your thoughts and environment than ever before. So, it is quite easy to piece words together or draw inspiration from your environment. After taking modafinil, my thought flow is precise and brilliant. This is very helpful when I’m trying to do something creative like writing a sales copy or ads. It also helps with any tasks that involve integrating creativity into logical thinking.
- It improves productivity. With modafinil, I get a lot more work done in less time. This is because the drug improves my focus, alertness, and endurance, allowing me to work on my tasks with enhanced creativity, focus, and tenacity. With these qualities, anyone can bulldoze through their task list.
- It is great for organising your TO DO list and prioritising tasks. With the focus boost I get from modafinil, boring tasks such as organizing a to-do list become bearable and sometimes even fun.
- It boosts your energy. I have more energy in general, and I’m more optimistic. I also enjoy exercising a lot more when I take modafinil (usually, I find excuses not to go to the gym).
- It improves mood. Call it what you like, but I noticed that after taking modafinil, I had a lot of interesting conversations with people, especially with my partner. Since we started using modafinil, our morning routine and conversations became more lively and fun. We no longer moved about like wet logs of wood trying to get to the office on time because all we wanted was sleep. With modafinil, my partner and I always will talk about our dreams and our future. We come up with great ideas to manage the kids and home life, etc.
Well, the downside to this is that we usually have these conversations on the way to work, and once at work, we don’t want to get off the phone.
On multiple occasions, we found ourselves standing outside of work chatting for what seemed like 5 minutes but was actually 30 mins.
- Sex is amazing with modafinil. This makes sense because modafinil improves your alertness, and your brain is responsible for interpreting the experience you get from sex. When I take modafinil, I am more in touch with my body, and my senses are sharper.
Cons of modafinil
You might talk more quickly. One of the significant downsides of modafinil, at least for me, is that you talk really fast! Multiple people asked me why I was talking so fast! Now that I am aware of this, though, I make a conscious effort to speak slower.
You lose track of time. Modafinil is useful for improving focus and getting many things done, but it is very easy to lose track of time. To keep that from happening, I have to set alarms, as I don’t tend to keep an eye on the time.
It disrupts my eating pattern. If you’ve read about the side effects of modafinil before, you should know that it suppresses appetite. My experience with the drug confirmed this as well.
I found the best thing to overcome this is to divide your food into small portions for each hour of the day. This way, you will be sure that you are eating properly, and you won’t starve and lose weight unintentionally (unless you want to lose weight, of course).
You might get headaches. This can be one of the ugly side effects of using modafinil. Sometimes, I’ve felt mild headaches after taking the drug—although this might be a result of not eating and drinking water as I should; I am not sure. However, I have learned to eat properly and stay hydrated whenever I take modafinil, and that helps me avoid headaches. Also, I try not to use the drug for days consecutively. With these efforts, I rarely experience a headache.
You might get neck soreness. Well, this happens because I work for long hours without a break when I take modafinil. You might say it is self-inflicted; still, it is a potential side effect that is worth noting.
Make sure that you take regular breaks (even just to stand up and stretch each hour).
The problem is that when you are so focussed on your work, you don’t even want to take a one-minute break. But, trust me, it’s better than having a sore neck that can also bring on migraines.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:
If you’re over reading anymore you can find instructions on how to claim the free samples here.
If you’re still reading, it means you want to read the full story of my personal experience using modafinil. I am grateful for your interest, but before I start, you should note that this is quite a long read. So, get comfortable and dive into my story with me.
Like anyone who is passionate about self-improvement, I started looking for ways to enhance my productivity after a long period of poor output at work. It wasn’t that I did not go to work or skipped hours; rather, I felt I had nothing substantial to show for the long hours I spent working in the office. I always had to move daily tasks to the next day, and then the next day, and so on. I guess you could say I wasn’t productive with my time and sometimes lacked motivation.
After doing some research, I discovered nootropics. The reviews and literature behind it convinced me to try modafinil. I looked for reputable sellers online and offline. I decided to purchase from an online store, modafinilxl.com, because of the convenience (you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to order, and they ship to your door). And I purchased the free sample pack that came with 20 pills (I had to pay $39 shipping).
The first day, I took half a pill (100mg) and I went to work filled with enthusiasm to face the challenges of the day. When I arrived at the office, I checked to see if anyone noticed me acting differently. Well, it turns out that I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary.
After a couple of hours sitting at my desk and mostly exchanging pleasantries or listening to my colleagues talk about their weekend, I grew impatient. Was anything meaningful going to happen today? In hindsight, I guess I was upset that I wasn’t putting my enhanced brain to use immediately.
While I was still fidgeting over the slow pace in the office, I made a shocking observation. It was around 10:00 am, and I had not taken an e-cigarette break yet. Before now, this was a ritual for me; even my brain knew this so well. I always felt a strong urge for an e-cigarette starting around 09:30 am.
As the day progressed, the effect of the drug became stronger. I felt it most around 11am when I felt incredibly focussed and was plowing through my tasks for the day.
I felt completely in control, I just felt like my mind was clear and I was alert and focused.
At 12pm, I decided to take the other half of the modafinil. It wasn’t that it wasn’t strong enough; I just wanted the effects to last for the whole day.
Before 12:30 pm, I turned in my work and asked my editor for an extra assignment that he was trying to complete. For the next hour or so, I worked on the new task. At some point, I had to take a step back to check if the quality of my work dropped, but it did not. Again, I noticed that I did not feel hungry during the lunch period. I wasn’t even interested in getting lunch with my colleagues when they asked to pool funds to buy buckets of chicken wings. Well, after some rationalizing, I decided I should eat lunch.
It took over 45 minutes for the delivery man to bring the chicken to my colleague Sarah, but I was indifferent about it. The idea of eating spicy chicken wings was almost certainly causing Sarah’s head to overflow with dopamine, but I had already received a good dose from my modafinil supplement.
A couple of days later, I would ask Camila if I behaved weirdly during the lunchtime break.
“You were good,” she stated.
As soon as I ate my chicken, there was no “walk around the block for lunch to go down,” no “let’s have a dessert to get rid of the chicken taste,” not even the sacred “after-lunch smoke.” I simply sat back down to finish my work. By the time my editor returned to his desk, it had been done. “Already?” my supervisor asked, wide-eyed. I casually nodded as if it was totally normal for me to complete my projects so quickly.
However, my incredibly productive workday nosedived when I drank a cup of coffee. Minutes after I had drained my cup, I noticed that my heart was beating at an abnormal pace. The psychological effect was even more disturbing. The regular questions and jests thrown at me by my colleagues made me irritated or anxious. I couldn’t help but fantasise about everyone being on modafinil so we could all focus on work and talk less.
I don’t think having the coffee soon after taking the 2nd half of the modafinil pill was a good idea and I took note of this.
There was nothing unusual about after-lunch chats and end of day jests, but I found it irritating all the same. As the day progressed, I felt that my workspace, which I shared with six others, wasn’t supporting my productivity. So, I headed over to a meeting room instead. Before entering the meeting room, I had my first e-cigarette. Again, my heart started beating rapidly. I tried to compose myself as I walked into the meeting room. Thankfully, it passed quite quickly and I found a seat at the conference table and got to work.
My second task of the day was to input figures (by time and location) into an Excel worksheet. I had to copy this data from a PDF file into an Excel spreadsheet. From the description, you would agree that this task is extremely boring, and it is. Normally, I performed such tasks passively while scrolling through my Facebook feed. But with modafinil, I felt up to the task, and I worked at it until it was done. Although I popped into Facebook occasionally, I quickly closed the tab to continue my work.
A few days after my first experiment, I took another tablet (half in the morning and another half at lunchtime). The initial effect was the same—excitement and desire to go to the meeting room. Like before, I was in a hurry to get to the meeting room and get stuck into my work without any distractions.
Halfway through the day, some work colleagues came in to use the meeting room and I was infuriated that I would need to go back to my desk and work with all of the office distractions.
I contained my anger and picked up my laptop and headed back to my desk.
Needless to say, my afternoon was filled with work colleagues bugging me with “stupid” questions and talking about non work related topics.
On getting home at the end of the day, much to my partner’s dismay, I continued to do more work, even though there wasn’t really any reason for me to. I didn’t have any deadlines I needed to meet; I simply wanted to finish off what I was doing.
I finally stopped working after a few hours and dimmed the light and poured a glass of wine.
After a few sips, I started watching a comedy show that I usually love. This was normally my favourite part of the evening; however, it didn’t give me half as much pleasure as it usually does.
I got up and started sorting out the fridge, then the pantry, then my hall cupboard. The extreme pleasure I was getting out of sorting and cleaning was actually quite disturbing. How could I possibly enjoy cleaning and sorting over relaxing and watching my favourite show?
It seemed as though my desire to tick items off my to-do list was getting in the way of things I usually find pleasurable and relaxing.
Funnily enough, my partner didn’t have the same urge. He was more than happy to relax on the sofa with a glass of wine. The only difference I could think of here is that I had 2 sets of half pills where he had the whole pill first thing in the morning, so it may have worn off sooner.
An Interlude: How Modafinil Works
Modafinil could be the least fun drug out there, however, in the corporate jungle that is modern-day life, it’s the only drug that fits the situation. It’s strange, isn’t it? The same generation who enthusiastically welcomed love pills like Ecstasy and similar products are actually now into taking drugs like modafinil–which, ironically, just makes you appreciate work more and become unsociable.
Would I take Modafinil again? For sure… I have already incorporated it into my weekly routine.
I use it around 2-3 times per week, but if I’m not working, I don’t take it, as I like to give my body and mind a rest.
Is it the miracle pill everyone says it is? Well, I wouldn’t say it’s a miracle, but it certainly improves my work and leads me to clean my house and car more often than I used to. In general, my life feels more “in order.”
I do believe if I took modafinil daily, it would negatively affect my relationships with friends and work colleagues, as I have no drive to interact with them and lose my patience with them easily when I’m “in the zone.”
However, aside from that, in my experience, the positives certainly outweigh the negatives. I do think it is important to be aware of the potential effects, but you wouldn’t really know what it is like until you try it for yourself.
If you are interested in trialing Modafinil or Armodafinil (or both), ModafinilXL offers new users a sample pack.
You can find instructions on how to claim the free samples here.