Will Modafinil Keep You Awake?

Written on December 24, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

For those of you who have not heard of this Smart Drug before, let me give you a brief overview.

Modafinil has been on the market since 1998 and is used by people to treat sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder.

It is also used off-label for depression, fatigue, and brain enhancement.

It was the first 'nootropic' (smart drug) for which a prescription was required.

Modafinil is a well-known 'go-to pill' for pilots and soldiers.

How It Keeps You Awake

One of the things I find fascinating about smart drugs, and nootropics in general, is that they work on the brain in different ways.

For example, whereas most Nootropics affect neurotransmitters in the brain, Modafinil acts more directly on receptors.

Specifically, it increases dopamine and norepinephrine (epinephrine), which are two neurotransmitters that affect mood, energy levels and wakefulness.

This is why it is used for depression and fatigue in addition to sleep disorders.

Modafinil is unique because it provides a noticeable cognitive boost without the jitters and anxiety that many people feel when taking other stimulants like caffeine or amphetamines.

In fact, many people report feeling calmer and less jittery on Modafinil than they do on caffeine which I can attest to having taken Modafinil on-and-off for 1 year now.

The cognitive boost Modafinil provides also appears to be more reliable and consistent than that provided by other stimulants.

I have also found that Modafinil has a more noticeable effect on creative thinking than caffeine.

When I take Modafinil, I am able to approach complex problems in different ways and generate more ideas than when taking caffeine.

This is because caffeine only affects dopamine whereas Modafinil affects all three of the main neurotransmitters in the brain; Dopamine, Norepinephrine (epinephrine) and Serotonin.

Another huge benefit I experience taking modafinil is its ability to keep me awake for hours on end without crashing afterward.

I am a certified night owl, and it is not unusual for me to pull an all-nighter on a Saturday night with Modafinil.

What is unusual for me now is that I have such a high tolerance to caffeine that I need to drink over 2 cups of coffee in order to keep me awake and focused.

It's probably not healthy either since the crash I get from this much caffeine gives me nasty anxiety, and headaches. Oh well...

Since taking Modafinil, I have found it easier to stay awake for longer without feeling yawny or tired as well as keeping up with my workload and carry out tasks at work faster than ever before.

I have also found that it has improved my focus and attention span as well. Which is a huge plus for me.

What To Expect

Modafinil WILL keep you awake, that's for sure.. At least in my experience.

The highest dose that I take is 200mg which is the maximum recommended dose. This dosage is enough to keep me awake for 15 hours straight.

I have never been on Modafinil for more than 3-4 days in a row.

As mentioned above, I personally don't find it addictive either, but this will likely depend on the individual.

I have never felt jittery taking Modafinil either, although I did feel a little anxious at first when I started taking it.

In terms of its ability to keep me awake, Modafinil is second to none.

In fact, I like how it keeps me awake while having the same amount of energy as when I take caffeine in the morning.

And a huge positive for me is that it does not seem to be affecting my sleep cycle at all.