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Caffeine's Smarter Sibling
Citation:   Medifinil. "Caffeine's Smarter Sibling: An Experience with Modafinil (exp100310)". Sep 21, 2021.

T+ 0:00
200 mg oral Modafinil (pill / tablet)
  T+ 5:00 1 cup oral Coffee  
Modafinil has been on my wish-list for a long time now. I've always had a lot of trouble focusing at the desk, especially when my mood is low or I've had less than about 8 hours of sleep. Until today, caffeine, regular exercise and long hours of sleep had been my only antidotes to the agitation and restlessness that accompany poor focus. In the medical field, I'm expected to have mental clarity at all hours of the day. In addition to a punishing timetable of variable start-times and long hours, the sheer amount of knowledge I'm required to retain and use is overwhelming at times. For someone with a long-standing interest in psychoactives and a chronic desire to be successful, utilising all the tools at my disposal seemed inevitable.

And so some weeks ago, I found myself ordering a generic brand of modafinil from a foreign retailer. If the personal reports and clinical studies were to be trusted, 12 hours of non-addictive mental clarity for the price of a Coke was a seductive proposition. They arrived as promised and stayed unswallowed for a week. I'm usually cautious when trying a new drug. I had told myself to wait for a weekend or a day of private study, so I could experience the effects in a fully comfortable environment.

But on this morning, when my alarm battered me awake at 7am sharp, I was bleary-eyed and irritable from less than 4 hours of sleep. I was dreading a lengthy day at the hospital and knew my performance would not be optimal. And thus my cautious restraint was intellectualized away and I immediately swallowed a 200mg pill. I felt a little anxious from the outset, but this isn't abnormal for me. At this point I should mention I'm caffeine dependent, consuming up to 500mg a day in the form of coffee and energy drinks. I believe this had a later influence on my mood and mental state. I chose to abstain on the day of testing to prevent any confounding effects.

My experience with modafinil is was Subtle, Natural and Consistent.

Subtle & Consistent: The onset was gentle; equivocal effects were felt at 30 minutes and undeniable effects at 1 hour. Subjectively, my experience aligns with other experience reports. It simply makes me fully awake. Even if I am bone-tired and can feel my eyes itching - I really don't care. The idea of lying down and drifting off into blissful unconsciousness in a dark corner of the common room is laughable on this drug. Sleep is simply not a motivational factor. At times throughout the day I KNEW I was tired, I could feel my eyelids were heavy and I was slightly slumped in my chair. But where I'd usually be phasing in and out of consciousness and struggling to follow the complex biochemical pathways rattled off by a colleague, I was keeping up and even predicting where the lecture was heading. Given the lack of sleep and coffee, this was an amazing achievement for me. This state was a achieved and maintained for at least 12 hours.

As I mentioned before I'm completely dependent on caffeine, and thus found it hard to avoid a cup around 12pm. The synergy between the two was remarkable. Usually I'd drink 5 or 6 cups (~80mg caffeine apiece) without adverse effects. This time 2 cups had me feeling notably anxious and 'jittery'. I decided to avoid caffeine for the rest of the day, and the anxiety subsided over the course of an hour. This was the only bump in an otherwise smooth ride.

Natural: I would probably describe modafinil as having similar 'natural' qualities to a substance like melatonin. Melatonin doesn't bludgeon me into drowsiness like benzodiazepines or anti-histamines, the sleepiness feels indistinguishable to natural tiredness. Similarly, modafinil didn't wire my brain with that artificial sense of stimulation that cocaine or methylphenidate might. At the dose I took it merely made me feel like I do on my best day. Fast, efficient, focused, motivated. I've felt like this naturally, of course. But only after several weeks of clean-living, intense exercise, excellent nutrition, 9 hours of nightly sleep, regular sex, and a strong cup of coffee. Unfortunately for me - this happy alignment of factors is not a common occurrence in my life.

One effect I noticed that was a little alien was the compulsion to complete tasks.
One effect I noticed that was a little alien was the compulsion to complete tasks.
My overall mindset was one of a 'task-completer'. While I took a speedy shower in the morning, I was thinking of what I could accomplish next. Why don't I turn on the stove - that way I can let it heat up while I iron my shirt? Yes - let's do that. What should I study after I finish this lecture? How about the anatomy of the eye? Yes - that'll fit in nicely before the 2pm tutorial and then I can do my pre-readings after that. Conversely, not doing something felt slightly disgusting to the temperament. What would I achieve by reading a fantasy novel or watching a TV program? How about I do some push-ups then study for my exam? Yeah - let's do that.

The whole experience lasted about 12 hours before I felt my mental energy flag. There was no comedown. Unlike coke, I didn't feel a gripping desire to re-dose. The euphoria produced by modafinil is not dissimilar to that of a cup of good coffee. Noticeable, but weak and only mildly reinforcing. I must admit I was a little disappointed to relinquish the hyper-efficient state, but the decline in performance was so steady that I didn't feel a subjective sense of 'crash'. More like an 'Oh - I'm not feeling as fluid any more. Time to go exercise, eat some dinner and then get some sleep'.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. Sometimes I like feeling sluggish and unproductive, but not when I've got a lot to do. I'd like to tell myself I'll save it for the longest and busiest days - but I'm not sure that's true. Quite simply, this drug is perfectly suited to my current lifestyle and career requirements. It was literally a productive day in a pill, which in my business is equal to more money and better outcomes. In time, I hope it will find a healthy place in my life among the rest of the tools I use to increase my capacity to learn and succeed.

Exp Year: 2013ExpID: 100310
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 25
Published: Sep 21, 2021Views: 28,126
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Modafinil (217) : General (1), Performance Enhancement (50), First Times (2), Alone (16)

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