I’ve had issues with sleep my whole life; it’s always seemed like I’ve gotten too much of it, or too little. And, being 22 and working an 8-5 job, I wanted to find a way to stay awake and productive each day. I also don’t want to be dead at night. Like I said, I’m 22. Every once in a while, I need a day of exceptional energy, and I can’t always muster that energy.
I’d heard about Modafinil (or Provigil) from a narcoleptic friend of mine, and I was intrigued. Modafinil is a sleep drug that’s classified as a stimulant, although it doesn’t work in the way that a traditional stimulant like amphetamines or coffee works. In fact, scientists are a bit unsure of how Modafinil does what it does. They simply know that it can keep a user alert and productive for as long as 40 hours, without any sleep deficit build up or significant short term side effects (the long term side effects are still being studied). I talked to my doctor, and decided to give Modafinil a shot.
The first day, I woke up and took the recommended dosage of Modafinil, my normal morning haze washing over me as it normally does. I didn’t feel anything for an hour and a half, and assumed that the pill didn’t work.
Around 9:30, though, it kicked in, and pretty hard–I was alert, but not nervous or jittery like you’d get after a cup of coffee, and I focused intently on whatever I was doing. I was far more talkative than I normally am, and probably got more done in a few hours than I normally get done in an entire day of work.
That night, I went out with friends and hit the bars. I didn’t drink much, and stayed up until about 3 in the morning, fully expecting to take a personal day when it came time to wake up at 6 the following day.
To my surprise, though, when the alarm went off, I fell fine–not tired, groggy, or weak in any way.
Now, I skipped the Modafinil for a few days after this experience. It’s hard to explain, but it’s easy to see why it’s not addictive–it’s a great feeling, but you don’t really want to feel like that all the time. Plus, if I was any more talkative, my coworkers would have buried my body in a shallow grave somewhere. But occasionally, when I’m extremely tired and need to cope with the 9-5 world, I’ll take some Modafinil/Provigil, and sleep ceases to be a factor, at least for the time being.
Remember that a prescription for Modafinil requires a doctor’s visit and usually, narcolepsy or seasonal affective disorder. That being said, it’s a great treatment for people with sleep disorders, and it’s worth a try for anyone with serious day to day alertness problems.
Have you taken modafinil? Post in our comments section below.