Hello there! I feel that mornings are the toughest part of the day, especially the waking up part. But once I am up I feel active and ready, but for a few of us, it doesn’t end there.

Are you someone who feels sleepy all the time? Do you feel that you would do better with a little bit of help? I have some good news for you! The magic drug Modafinil is the help you are looking for. Let me get started with a little bit of introduction about the drug.

What is Modafinil?

Modafinil(also known as Provigil) is a wakefulness enhancing drug which was initially developed to treat daytime sleeping disorders such as Narcolepsy. It is also a memory-improving and mood-brightening psychostimulant which can improve attention, capacity and also has other cognitive benefits. It is a eugeroic that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of sleep-related ailments.

It is often confused with Adrafinil which is a precursor of Modafinil. Though both seem to have more or less the same impact on the body, both these drugs are different.


Modafinil was developed in 1970 by Michel Jouvet. The drug was then prescribed for treating various sleep ailments such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea in the year 1986.

Ever since the drug has been used by people who suffer from daytime sleepiness and also by people who lack sleep due to working in shifts.

Soldiers who had to stay awake for long hours were also prescribed with Modafinil as it also has other cognitive benefits such as improving alertness and productivity.

The drug is marketed under the name ‘Alertec’ and is also available under various generic brands since the year 2006.

How does Modafinil work?

Modafinil, as you know, is an oral drug. It promotes wakefulness by stimulating the brain. The mechanism of neurostimulation by Modafinil includes the histamine effect and the increment of the neurotransmitter dopamine by inhibiting its uptake and leaving enough amounts for transmission of neurosynaptic impulses. The drug also works by increasing the availabilities of other neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine.

Increased norepinephrine comes with various benefits such as increased memory, improved learning, and attention. It also increases energy levels by stimulating the autonomic nervous system which in turn increases the heart rate and blood pressure.

The elevation of histamine levels has also been associated with the drug’s impact on neurons such as orexins. These neurons play a significant role in promoting wakefulness and alertness.

Benefits of Modafinil

Modafinil serves the primary purpose of promoting wakefulness and is highly beneficial for narcolepsy and sleep apnea patients. The drug improves focus and also instills a sense of clarity.

The increased level of norepinephrine improves memory, focus and learning ability. The histamine effect is the reason for the various cognitive benefits. The drug has also been observed to improve mood.
The drug provides 10-12 hours of wakefulness, and hence it is strictly advised that it should be taken early in the morning.

Modafinil improves the productivity of the individual. It has the same effect as caffeine except it does not cause any jitters, and it also lasts much longer.

As already mentioned, the drug increases and retains cognitive function which benefits people suffering from sleep deprivation.

Usage of Modafinil

Modafinil can be taken with or without a meal. It is highly recommended that the drug is taken early in the morning as it can keep you alert and active all day. It takes an hour to work, so if you are leaving for work in an hour, consume it right away.

The dosage depends on your requirement, but it is highly advisable that you consume the minimum dose as this will keep you from all possible side effects. The drug can be taken three times a week.

As you go, you can increase the dosage as the body’s tolerance level towards the drug improves. Continuous usage of the drug should be avoided, and it should be taken only in cycles. Take it for a week then give a one week break and so on.

There is no doubt that the drug promotes wakefulness, alertness and increases productivity but it is recommended that you consult a doctor if you have a previous history of addiction.

The recommended dosage of the drug is 200mg per day. If it is your first shot at using stimulants get started with 100mg, then go with 150mg. Once you feel your body has improved tolerance towards the drug, you can use 200mg dosage.

Possible Side effects

Like all other drugs, Modafinil comes with a list of possible side effects such as headaches, nausea, hypertension, lack of appetite and in some cases it can even lead to weight loss.

People suffering from heart conditions are strictly advised to consult a doctor before taking Modafinil or any other stimulant for that matter. The rise in blood pressure and heart rate can be very risky for heart patients.

Final Thoughts

Modafinil can help you overcome your sleepiness and also significantly improve your productivity. Before you get started on the drug, consult your doctor as stimulants are not suitable for everyone.

Author's Bio: 

Luke writes about mental wellness and benefits of brain supplements @nootrina. He’s a big fan of Yoga and mindfulness and feels that these two are the real key to mental well-being. Being a foodie, Luke loves cooking and brings several cuisines to bear at his dinner table. He’s looking to improve the awareness about mental health issues and share ways to handle them among people of all ages.