Is it hard to sleep on modafinil? Can you even succeed at it? These are questions most newbies to the world of modafinil ask. The good news is that you can, so if you want to use the drug, you may go ahead. Most of the complaints you’ll find on forums like Reddit regarding the difficulty in sleeping after taking modafinil are from newbs who take it wrongly. They take it a little too close to bedtime, and that’s the source of the problem.
If you’re new to modafinil and looking to jump the beginner-level mistakes and tap right into its benefits, this guide is for you; you’ll find all you need in it. Let’s dive in.
What Is Modafinil Pill?
Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat 3 major sleep disorders:
- shift work sleep disorder (SWSD);
- obstructive sleep apnea (OSA);
However, it is more commonly used off-label by healthy individuals looking to improve cognitive function, increase productivity, as well as gain a competitive edge at work or school . This is why, today, you’ll find countless professionals, students, engineers, software developers, celebrities, analysts, and others from all walks of life taking it.
Although the effectiveness of modafinil for cognitive-enhancing purposes is still widely debated, the fact that more and more people continue to buy it suggests one thing — it works!
However, before diving into your local pharmacy or online to grab a bottle of this productivity wonder, it is worth noting that it is a prescription medication. Besides the fact that it requires a prescription to be gotten, it should be used cautiously.
Do well to consult a doctor before starting treatment with it.
The Basics About Modafinil and Sleep
Sleep plays a super important role in the area of physical and mental health . This is why its importance can’t be overemphasized. Unfortunately, people aren’t getting enough sleep, and it’s a global matter. In the United States alone, statistics reveal that about 40% of Americans do not get enough sleep and that the deprivation accounts for about an annual loss of about $411 billion. Money that would have been actualized if everyone were in tip-top shape — getting 7 hours of sleep at least.
Rather than get enough sleep, most people who notice a drop in productivity turn to “smart drugs” such as modafinil and armodafinil to keep them awake, alert, focused, and super-productive. While it works perfectly well, it does something else to them — it increases deprivation and stress in the long run. This is why experts advise against replacing sound sleep with the drug or taking it more than 3 times per week .
But how does the drug really affect sleep?
Well, remember we stated earlier that modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting medication? It works by preventing or slowing down the release of sleep-promoting brain chemicals while increasing the abundance of dopamine, serotonin, and histamine, among other chemicals that foster alertness, focus, and wakefulness. While the process in itself isn’t problematic, modafinil’s long duration of action is the reason many people experience insomnia — people who don’t know how to use it anyway.
Compared to most other nootropics, modafinil provides a much longer duration of action — up to 12+ hours. And the mistake newbies make is not taking it early enough for its effects to leave their bloodstream before bedtime. There are a couple of tips you can follow to better enjoy the benefits of modafinil without losing sleep. Let’s talk about it.
Tips on How to Sleep Better on Modafinil
It is possible to use modafinil and still get proper sleep during bedtime. Here are some tips that will help you avoid insomnia, regardless of how long the drug lasts in your body.
Stay Aware of Modafinil’s Duration of Effects
Before popping a pill, always remind yourself that modafinil’s effects last for about 12 hours and that the best way to avoid insomnia is to take it as early in the morning as possible. Make it a habit of counting 12 hours from the time you intend to take the drug; and if it turns out that its duration of effects will coincide with your sleep time, abort the mission. Once you follow this tip, you can kiss sleep problems with modafinil goodbye.
Lower Daily Modafinil Dose
When it comes to drug administration, lower doses are often always best. We’ve observed that taking more than 300 mg of modafinil per day is an excellent recipe for night sleep problems. We advise starting with the lower dose of 100 mg and only stepping up to the 200 mg dose if you find it ineffective. What’s more, avoid splitting intake. I.e., if you intend to take the 200 mg dose, do so as early as possible, do not take 100 mg in the morning and another later in the day as that is bound to affect your sleep .
Maintain Proper Sleep Hygiene
The difficulty in sleeping some individuals experience after taking modafinil is oftentimes a result of poor sleep hygiene. Before altering your modafinil dose, it is advisable to try out some good sleep habits. Here are a few to have at your fingertips:
- try to sleep and wake at the same time each day. This helps to tune your internal clock, so you naturally feel sleepy as your bedtime approaches;
- avoid taking grapefruit, grapefruit juice, or caffeine-based drinks as they can prolong modafinil’s duration of effects;
- drink enough water (2-4 liters) every day; you don’t want to miss this while taking modafinil as the drug often causes dehydration, which is known to affect sleep;
- turn off your light, computer, and smartphone before bedtime so you can fall asleep easily.
If possible, halt modafinil usage and try to track your sleep patterns before resuming treatment with it. This way, you’ll be able to tell if the drug is the reason behind your sleep deprivation and what to use to counter it. You may follow up with reducing the administered dose next.
Avoid Coadministering Other Stimulants
Do not take modafinil with other stimulants such as caffeine-based beverages like coffee or energy drinks, as they can make it more difficult to sleep at night.
If you must take coffee or any caffeine-based drink, endeavor to do so only on your modafinil-free days, so they don’t interact with it.
Side Effects of Modafinil: Insomnia
Modafinil sometimes causes mild side effects such as headaches, flushing, nausea, runny nose, and dizziness . However, they’re usually short-lived and tend to go away without treatment. Insomnia is also considered an adverse effect common with modafinil use. If you experience this condition while taking the drug, one of the best things to do is to halt the treatment and monitor your sleep pattern. If after weeks you still find it difficult to sleep, there is a high chance that your insomnia is caused by some other condition. In such a situation, consult a doctor or healthcare provider to help you.
So, How to Sleep on Modafinil?
If you’ve been looking for what to use to improve sleep while taking modafinil, you can stop now. The best way to keep enjoying your sleep while taking the drug is to take it exactly as recommended and follow the tips we’ve provided in this guide. When in doubt, count 12 hours from the time you intend to pop the pill and avoid taking it if your count coincides with your bedtime. Remember to consult your doctor before starting treatment with this drug.
- Modafinil. Retrieved: February 16, 2022. Wikipedia.org.
- Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency. Retrieved: February 16, 2022. Nhlbi.nih.gov.
- Modafinil oral: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures Warnings & Dosing. Retrieved: February 16, 2022. Webmd.com.
- The off-prescription use of modafinil: An online survey of perceived risks and benefits. By Rachel D. Teodorini, Nicola Rycroft, et al. Retrieved: February 16, 2022. Journals.plos.org.
- Dose effects of modafinil in sustaining wakefulness in narcolepsy patients with residual evening sleepiness. By Jonathan R L Schwartz, Neil T Feldman, and Richard K Bogan. Retrieved: February 16, 2022. Pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
- Side Effects of Provigil (Modafinil), Warnings, Uses. Medically Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP. Retrieved: February 16, 2022. Rxlist.com.