I first heard about Modafinil from my private, invitation-only virtual community of location independent Internet entrepreneurs. I must say I was intrigued, but as a "plant medicine" person, I had made a conscious choice to steer away from taking "drugs made in a lab". It was mostly guys raving about it in the forums, how it was a miracle drug for productivity. The mind-hacking, body-hacking, handsome buff Internet marketing guys were all taking it. Not a lot of women talked about it, though it was a woman entrepreneur in this community who started the company MyModafinil.net (which sadly has been taken down), with the intention to "see how it goes", only to find her venture explode. She only accepted Bitcoins for payment at that time, and that time was the cybercurrency's meteoric rise to well over $1000 USD per Bitcoin, so I imagine she made out like a bandit. It was one of the few places that seemed to provide good, undiluted Modafinil. Faced with some impending deadlines, my NASA scientist and psychedelics-loving boyfriend at the time purchased several packets of Modalert 200, which I inherited after we broke up.
My Experience with Modafinil
I started with taking entire tablets of Modalert 200, but found it to be a little too much for me. It would make me extremely thirsty (remember to drink water), a little bit too hyperfocused to the point of feeling like my brain was gripped in a vise, and downright irritable when disturbed by anything unrelated to work. All I'd want to do is get shit done, cross shit off my to do list, and not have to engage with social pleasantries, let alone have difficult relationship conversations about my ex-boyfriend's need for me to co-habitate with his ex-wife. Indeed, Modafinil does have a tendency to make you love work, but hate everything else, and, in retrospect, certainly contributed to the acceleration of my relationship breakup due to its ability to make you relentlessly focused on anything, especially with winning an argument that cohabitation with the ex-wife is dysfunctional.
Another problem was, 200 mg of Modafinil would also keep me up all night long. Even if I'd take it in the morning, and be in bed by midnight, I'd find myself tossing and turning until 5am. This wreaked havoc on my sleep cycle and productivity in the following days.
In order to sleep, I'd take Melatonin or 5-HTP supplements. Normally either one brings on sleep like a charm, but I did not like either one at all on Modafinil. It made my heart do strange things. Like flutter. It was weird, and made me feel anxious. I also tried over the counter sleep aids like diphenhydramine and doxylamine, but these would make me feel groggy the next day, so whatever gains in productivity I made on Modafinil, I was losing the next day.
So I took a break from Modafinil. It didn't feel like it was worth it to me. The sleeplessness. The groggy next day.
How I Started Microdosing with Modafinil
I found myself in a period where work-wise, everything was being piled on at once. My business is launch-based, and Internet marketing can be really complicated - strategically and technologically. Furthermore, the range of tools and options to help you achieve your goals can be both mindboggling and overwhelming. Drinking 2 cups of coffee a day was only making me highly agitated, impatient and jittery. What I needed was calm, sustained crystal-clear focus. Fortunately, I had hung on to my inherited stash of Modalert.
Remembering my Modafinil phase while coworking in Thailand, I decided to experiment with smaller quantities. Because of the prolonged sleeplessness, I had started cutting the tablets in half, then in quarters. I eventually discovered that the "perfect" dose for me is 1/8th of a Modalert 200, in other words 25 mg.
And when I was in Hawaii, I discovered the perfect sleep aid, an all natural plant medicine, with no grogginess in the morning - Kava Kava. In fact, I must admit, after being fully introduced to Kava on the Big Island, I confess to a bit of a Kavaddict. Kava makes me sleep SO GOOD.
Finding Your Optimal Modafinil Micro Dosage
With non-presecribed Modafinil use by people who don't have narcolepsy being a bit of a legal grey area in many countries, online retailers of the drug abound to service global demand, but there appear to be challenges getting good quality Modafinil. In other words it's hard to know if my Modalert 200 is going to be the same as your 400 mgs of Modafinil. Ultimately you are going to need to test this out yourself and find the right microdose for you.
Why I Might Be Microdosing with Modafinil as a Lifestyle Choice
This 25 mg dose of Modafinil is what I wish coffee would do for me. It's the perfect pick me up, sans jitters. The key is to take Modafinil early, so I try to take it no later than 10am, with some food in my stomach first. Starting my day with a pharmaceutical drug on an empty stomach is like smoking a cigarette before noon - in my opinion, a slippery slope. I feel it come on usually within 30 minutes. It feels like an emergence into crystal-clarity, pristine lucidity, like someone wiped the fog away from my brain and buffed it up all shiny and nice.
Not only do I cross shit off my to do list like a pro, it makes me want to do the onerous tasks that I have to do as a business owner, that my brain may have been resisting for weeks. In my opinion:
- Modafinil cures writer's block.
- Modafinil eliminates procrastination.
- Modafinil unlocks creativity.
- Modafinil puts you in "the Zone".
- Modafinil cures depression.
What? I'm no psychiatrist or doctor, so DO NOT take my observations as medical advice.
But one thing I can say, is that I have a long history of mild mood disorders, that is, I skew towards slightly depressed. Thanks to my period-tracking mobile app, I've discovered that the mild depression is very linked to my hormonal cycle, and can be positively impacted by taking the right supplements and regular exercise, both of which I sometimes fall off track doing. Microdosing with Modafinil immediately uplifts my mood, with no "down" the next day. Not only do I feel great, I see possibilities for my future that I genuinely look forward to, positive outlooks that tend to be obscured by the slightly depressed, brain foggy feeling I get during the 2 weeks before my moon cycle...every friggin' month.
Mood elevation is one of the positive side effects of Modafinil use. Even though there isn't a lot known about how exactly Modafinil works in the brain to promote wakefulness, studies have shown it to have possible benefits in the treatment of depression.
Modafinil significantly improved depressive symptoms in several open-label studies but not in 2 controlled trials.
Microdosing on Modafinil is exactly how I want to feel every day. Positive. Clear. Productive. Enthusiastic about the future. Limitless possibilities.
Is Modafinil Safe to Use Long Term?
While long term studies haven't bee done, Modafinil is considered to be the world's first safe "smart drug", according to researchers at Harvard and Oxford. It has few negative side effects and no addictive qualities.
Unlike conventional stimulants, modafinil has minimal risk for abuse or dependence.
I think the thing that really sealed the deal for me was discovering that Dave Asprey, creator of the Bulletproof Executive website and Bulletproof Coffee products, used Modafinil EVERY DAY for 8 years straight as a Silcon Valley high-tech executive.
How to Achieve Maximum Productivity with Modafinil Microdosing - Step by Step
If you want to experience the productivity-enhancing benefits of microdosing with Modafinil here are my suggestions.
- Take it early in the morning, with food & vitamins. I take double multi B complex for clarity. I've noticed less energy and clarity if I forget to take my supplements with the Modafinil.
- Have a to-do list of all the most important tasks you want to complete in the day by your side.
- On your other side, keep a liter bottle of water. Remember to drink a lot of water throughout the day.
- Avoid visiting distracting social media sites like Facebook or YouTube. Otherwise you might find yourself deeply immersed in Facebook for hours.
- Drink a big steaming cup of Yerba Maté, if you find it wearing off. The green tea will make it kick back in in a nice, sustained way for at least 2-3 more hours. This usually happens for me in the early to mid afternoon.
- Remember to get up and stretch. It's easy to get in the Zone and discover you've been hunched over your laptop for a solid 4 hours. I keep a yoga mat and large balance ball next to me for some nice back stretching.
- Don't forget to eat real food. It's easy to let this one slip, but you will feel a Zone-enhancing burst of energy after eating a good, healthy meal.
- Start taking Kava extract at least a couple of hours before you intend to be asleep. I've noticed that the Modafinil and Kava kind of counteract each other, so I have to take more Kava earlier to get to fall asleep at the time I want.
- Alternate days, or do 1 day on, a few days off. I find this keeps the freshness of the modafinil lucidity. While modafinil is not known to be tolerance-building, I find that taking Modafinil for several straight days reduces the feeling of elevation.
Here's a great video about Modafinil use, pharmacology, risks and benefits.
Business Use Cases for Modafinil
I couldn't resist using the phrase "Business Use Cases" with Modafinil. Oh to be able to stick that into a Powerpoint presentation in my last corporate job!
I found my Modafinil microdosing to be particularly effective in the following scenarios:
- GSD coaching sessions with my coach. I am invested in a high-end coaching program, where each coaching session I receive effectively costs $1000, twice a month. I find that I maximize my takeaways from these sessions when I am on Modafinil.
- Kicking ass on sales enrollment conversations. Sales is a skill that I've had to learn and master. There are days when I totally botch the calls. However, when I am on Modafinil, I offer precise, clear strategies, and conduct the call with calm, unattached confidence which positively impacts my sales conversion rate.
- Having difficult business conversations. In business, sometimes unexpected situations arise where, as a leader, you have to have a difficult conversations. Modafinil helps with conducting those calls like a boss.
- Cranking out legal contracts. Contracts are boring, time-consuming, and probably the least fun part of my business. But spending the time to create clear, detailed contracts will save you hassle down the road. With Modafinil, I can sit down and get it done.
- Delivering a kickass webinar. Because Modafinil enhances your cognitive abilities, a positive side effect is enhanced communication and public speaking skills.
- Building marketing funnels. Marketing funnels are a complicated, intricate blend of copy, offers, digital media, graphic design, web pages, and backend technology systems that all have to be strategically designed and correctly implemented lest they don't work or burn up your ad spend. Modafinil makes the entire daunting thing seem doable.
Given the United States' obsession with productivity, I'm surprised that Modafinil is a Schedule 4 drug in the US, meaning that you must have a doctor's prescription to legally buy, use, or possess it. Since it has been around for quite some time and has been observed to have very few negative side effects, off-label use of Modafinil has become increasingly popular among Silicon Valley professionals, entrepreneurs, and students wanting to have a competitive edge.
Some consider this to be cheating. Others consider it to be "better living through chemistry", a solution to managing the complexities and demands of modern life.
What are your thoughts?
Warning and Disclaimer
This experience is entirely personal, subjective, unscientific and should not be taken as medical advice. Every individual has a unique set of health circumstances and metabolizes chemical compounds differently. If you are interested in using modafinil, consult a physician. We do not endorse activities that may be illegal in your locale.
In fact, you should simply assume that these first person narratives are a work of fiction.