This personal account is originally from my Danish lifestyle blog Stayclassy.dk where it first appeared on Danish. Since I have had a lot of positive feedback on the original article I decided to translate it into English so you guys could read it too. It’s a long read of 5000 words, but here goes.
Modafinil: my experience with the real life Limitless-drug
What if there was a pill that would enable you to see things clearer, focus better and thereby increase productivity?
Most of us have seen the film, Limitless with Bradley Cooper in the lead, where he goes from being a depressed writer with chronic writers block to a wonder kid of enormous proportions where he writes books in four days, learn several new languages in a few weeks and control the stock market by applying advanced pattern recognition. Beautiful women line up to get his attention and renowned businessmen suddenly wants to work with him. In short, the Limitless-drug — with the formal and by the way fictional name NZT-48 — gifts Eddie Morra with a new and drastically improved life.
The idea of a drug such as NZT has since 2011, when the film was released, created a mainstream interest among the masses, which has sent the demand for smart drugs through the roof. The only problem, though, is that no smart drugs with similar effect such as NZT exist.
What is Modafinil?
You probably have already heard about Modafinil. Or maybe you haven’t. Either way I will tell you.
Modafinil was created as a medical helper for people who suffer from narcolepsy. If you suffer from narcolepsy you suffer from the inability to stay awake throughout the day without suddenly fall asleep.
Maybe you remember the scene from that terrible, but also funny movie, Deuce Bigalow, where Rob Schneider is a male gigolo who at one point takes out this woman who falls asleep at very inconvenient times. That’s narcolepsy, however probably pushed to the extreme.
Perhaps you’ve already figured out that Modafinil has an invigorating effect that ensures narcoleptics can have a somewhat functional and normal everyday life. But what if you don’t suffer from narcolepsy, but still take Modafinil? This question has some people at some point asked themselves, which obviously led to an experiment.
The result of the experiment was that Modafinil has a number of benefits with a general conclusion being that you simply become a better and upgraded version of yourself. The benefits include improved cognitive function, increased focus, increased motivation, increase in productivity and general higher quality of life.
This of course has resulted in a widespread and ever-increasing popularity among the general population. Modafinil is therefore not an unknown drug on a global scale. Alone in the United States, it is estimated that more than 20% of students has experimented with Modafinil, which is why it is probably safe to say that a large number of students are using Modafinil as a continuous aid in scoring a high GPA.
Modafinil has actually existed since the late 70’s, which is why we have a significant track record that makes it somewhat legitimate, although not conclusive, to say that this drug doesn’t hold potential debilitating side effects in the long run. The truth is that Modafinil is hardly associated with any side effects at all. The only common side effect is headache, which is relatively rare (around 11% experience it).
In many ways Modafinil seems too good to be true. Normally I always say that when something is too good to be true then it probably is. Still, I had to immerse myself and thoroughly research this drug, because what if this is actually legit?
My natural skepticism surrounding Modafinil
I consider myself a reasonable person capable of making decisions based on a rational foundation. Therefore I wasn’t quick to go get a shitload of Modafinil. First I had to test my natural skepticism with as much reliable information as possible.
The first time I became familiar with Modafinil was when I read an article on Bulletproofexec.com, where Dave Asprey, who is guy behind the website as well as his hugely popular Bulletproof podcast, explains how this smart drug is capable of improving performance. As Dave Asprey has a pretty solid name (although many dislike him), it wasn’t hard to take Modafinil serious immediately. What Dave Asprey has become renowned for is sharing his own experiences and knowledge about how the body and mind can be hacked. These experiences come from years of tests and experiments on Dave’s own body. As an example Dave Asprey has used Modafinil for more than 9 years and still use it occasionally although he says that he doesn’t need it more.
In this interview Dave Asprey explains how Modafinil has improved his life. The interview also sheds light on Modafinil from a general perspective as well as who all the people, that use Modafinil, are. In the video they say Provigil, but it is exactly the same as Modafinil.
Based on Dave Asprey’s personal experience I of course began researching Modafinil from various reliable sources in order to obtain a diversified perspective. Who says bad things about Modafinil? Who says great things? What scientifically proven facts do we have? What are people’s general experiences with Modafinil? In order to try Modafinil myself, I had to find answers to all these questions.
I found that Modafinil generally was associated with good things. Especially on Reddit I have found many personal experiences, where some people go as far as saying Modafinil saved their lives. Also in terms of what has been scientifically proven there really aren’t articles or tests that cement neither physical nor psychological risks. The only conclusion neurologists and other experts in the field have come to be that we do not know what the effect of prolonged use is.
Of course it is scary to risk long-term adverse effects as a result of Modafinil, but like most things in life you make a calculated decision. At least that was my conclusion that subsequently led to putting down money on a bag of pills. Truth is that we take many risks on a daily basis. We don’t know for sure if negative consequences are associated with long-term use of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and similar everyday radiation. And how about the food we eat? New products with ingredients we sometimes don’t know much about. We can also discuss alcohol and cigarettes, which, as most people know, are documented to literally kill millions of people every year and yet we keep drinking alcohol every weekend if not everyday. Many of us are even prone to have a cigarette in the hand while pouring the beer down the hatch.
Life is one big risk and that is why it isn’t crazy running a risk with Modafinil. It is also important to remember that sometimes the upside can be just as great as the downside. What if Modafinil is a win?
Why even experiment with Modafinil?
Because it’s interesting to test the brain. To challenge it and see what effect it has. Of course that doesn’t mean that I put my brain to any or every test “because it could be interesting”. Before I jump into drugs such as Modafinil, but also every other drug (not that I test that many drugs) I make sure to do my homework properly. I read everything worth reading and even analyze the components of the given drug. Anything else would be the height of stupidity.
It’s also about keeping an open mind. I’ve talked about Modafinil with many people who got infuriated asking what the hell I was thinking and if I was mentally retarded, whereto I usually reply “not yet”.
So far my experiments have turned out well. I think it’s a shame to categorically reject something you haven’t looked into with an open mind. Not that we have to discuss all sorts of drugs, but if we take magic mushrooms as an example, it’s amusing how many people have strong opinions with a desire to speak in negative terms without having any knowledge, scientific insight or experience. That’s also the reason why the arguments usually don’t amounts more than “it is only drug addicts and helpless abusers who do those kinds of drugs”.
If we are going to discuss drugs I think it’s fair to expect a minimum level of knowledge.
My experience with Modafinil after two months of continuous use
There’s no doubt that Modafinil has a pretty solid reputation, but what is my own personal experience with this alleged Limitless-drug? Has it really acted like brain steroids?
Once again, I’d like to make clear that I am a person of critical and natural skepticism about most things here in life including Modafinil, which is why I want to draw you a true picture of Modafinil that isn’t bogus.
First time I tried Modafinil
Around the 6th or 7th of January 2016 I received my first batch of Modafinil. Wrapped in bubble foil in an envelope it had, to my surprise, made it through my narrow letterbox, ready to be opened. It would be an understatement to say I was quite excited.
From order to delivery it went surprisingly fast with a total wait of 8 days. As I received the batch around afternoon I had to wait for the following day to try it. This was because Modafinil works as a wakefulness-promoting agent making it very hard to fall asleep at your usual bedtime if taken after 9 am, as the half-life is around 15 hours. Of course I knew this already due to my extensive research and preparation.
I start with half a pill…
Around 7 am the alarm rings. Next to my bed I have prepared a bottle of water and one of these, hopefully, magic pills. This is it. My Modafinil virginity is about to be taken.
One standard Modafinil pill (Modalert) is 200 mg and can be split into two. First time you try Modafinil it’s a good idea to see the effect of half a dosage, which by the way is plenty for most people. At least this was my strategy.
Within 15 minutes I start feeling the effect…
As I am always ridiculously groggy and tired in the morning I closed my eyes wanting to sleep after having taken half a pill. The excitement was too great though, which is why I of course couldn’t fall asleep, and it also wasn’t more than 15 minutes that went by before I could feel something.
It was a weird sensation, but in a good way. To begin with I didn’t know exactly how so. As we all know most things that are tried for the first time have a stronger effect, but Modafinil was in no way overwhelming, but nice and subtle, which is also one of said advantages of the drug. There was no sense of euphoria, but a perfect mixture of calmness and clearness.
Sort of like a real life pop-up blocker…
That’s how it felt. All the usual distractions such as Facebook, online tabloids, iPhone notifications and so on were annihilated. By brain solely wanted to focus on important tasks. For my part the important tasks were writing a shitload of articles. After 45 minutes of work on the laptop in bed I had to switch over to my workstation. The motivation for getting things done was incredible and it came like thunder from a clear sky.
I take the other half of the pill…
Even though the effect was highly noticeable in the form of me smashing away on the keyboard, I couldn’t resist taking the other half. This is typically me, but I wanted to experience the full effect. That’s just how I am. Anyway, by adding the other half of Modafinil the effect seemed complete. It was overwhelming in a liberating way as it felt like I was finally cured by this never-ending spell of procrastination and devotion to destructive distractions.
100% tunnel vision…
With the Modafinil working as hoped for it was only about work and important tasks. This was the only thing I could focus on and on a level where I felt a sense of angriness, when people messaged me on Facebook. Of course I didn’t have any distracting windows open on my computer, but iPhone was turned on, however after ten minutes I put it on flight mode. From there it was 100% tunnel vision engaged.
No anxiety or incontrollable thoughts…
One of my biggest problems is that I find it difficult to focus on one task at a time. I have no problem working relatively effective, but I have a bad habit of multi-tasking and that, I am simply not capable of. I can sit and write and article and suddenly think of an e-mail I hadn’t addressed. Then I start writing the e-mail until a sudden new idea for an article distracts me, and now I am doing a keyword analysis. And this circle rarely ends. It’s incredibly destructive, as I don’t properly immerse myself into the important task. On Modafinil I have zero problems with sticking to one task. That effect alone was enough for me to fall in love with this drug.
I don’t feel particularly more intelligent, but…
Having this sense of calmness in your body and control over your thoughts combined with a motivation-filled body make things more manageable. I felt my intelligence had fewer boundaries in the form of distractions, which in a way made me feel sharper. It makes it easier to connect the dots.
Nine hours later…
From approximately 7.30 am to 5 pm I was working like a flawless machinery. I didn’t really take any breaks. I just kept on solving task after task. The output was four relatively long articles and shitload of other practical work. In short it had been a very satisfactory workday, but I wasn’t done. The tank was still what felt like full. I decided to take a break though, however this break took place in the gym. This was the first gym session since three weeks and my body had barely digested the disgusting amount of food and beverages I had eaten and consumed during Christmas and New Years Eve, yet it was no hurdle to pack my training clothes and get to it.
I jumped on the treadmill and ran close to five miles at a speed of 8–9 miles an hour, which was pretty good considering three weeks with an intolerable unhealthy lifestyle. It went smooth however. I also managed to throw around with some weights and after around 90 minutes of full-on exercise I felt that my body had had enough.
I still hadn’t eaten anything…
After 12 hours my stomach was still empty, as I hadn’t eaten anything. I simply wasn’t hungry. This is a side effect, as some may call it, that Modafinil is known for, which is why Modafinil also is associated with weight loss. Of course it isn’t healthy not eating anything, but on the other hand nothing bad comes from fasting just one or even two days. Regardless of my non-existent appetite I decided to eat a (somewhat healthy) bagel.
And it just kept on…
I spent close to an hour with my first proper break of the day eating my bagel and reflecting on the day that had almost gone by. Obviously I was very satisfied with the effect of the pill. At that current time of day I could feel that the effect was taking off, but I still had energy to get more work done. I worked until midnight, which was equivalent of another four hours of work, before I forced myself into bed. And here I have to put emphasis on force, as it wasn’t easy to sleep, however not impossible. I managed to fall asleep after roughly 45 minutes.
My following interaction with Modafinil
After a day of Modafinil, as just described, there wasn’t any doubt in my mind that I need to experiment further with this narcolepsy drug. This was also the plan from the beginning.
On my second day with Modafinil the effect was again highly noticeable although not as much as the first day. I didn’t expect it to be so. The important thing was that the pill was able to provide the desired effect enabling me to power through all the tasks. With the exception of weekends Modafinil became an integrated part of my daily supplement. It is important to note that the effect of Modafinil correlates with your general mood. This means that if you have a really good day, then Modafinil works really well. On the other hand, if you have a shitty day, and yes it is possible even on Modafinil, the effect is reduced.
After 14 days of Modafinil it had been an amazing trip looking back on the general work output. Generally I also felt that my mood had improved, which was a positive side effect I hadn’t expected although increased productivity is linked to a higher degree of general satisfaction with life.
With Modafinil my work output has doubled, where this screenshot illustrates how the amount of monthly written words has gone from ~16.000 to ~35.000. That’s pretty epic in my opinion.
What other effects has Modafinil had on me?
Scientific research has shown that Modafinil has potential effects other than increased motivation and productivity. Modafinil has shown itself useful in treatment of ADD and generally mental disorders such as addictions, depersonalization and neurodegenerative diseases, but also, as mentioned earlier, weight loss.
The reason why Modafinil has proved effective in treating abovementioned conditions is that the attributes of the drug improve cognitive abilities. Modafinil simply helps creating new connections in your brain that increase consciousness and the ability to solve problems rationally.
In this regard I also feel that Modafinil has had a positive effect on me. In terms of all my ambitions and goals in life, I am quite aware of what I need to focus on, and this is where Modafinil has helped me in maintaining and even sharpening this focus. I am much better at saying no to things that aren’t of constructive substance.
Let me give you a few examples.
Less need for fun and games
In the course of the last couple of months my desire for watching shows and new films have hit an all-time low although I used to watch a couple of hours of The Office US or whatever before falling asleep. Not anymore. Instead I see relevant programs, usually on YouTube, from which, I can learn something. It can be a Ted Talk or a philosophical input from Terrence McKenna.
Additionally I have noticed that the need for going out/binge drinking, eating at delicious fine dining restaurants and generally things within the confines of the good life has almost vanished. Where I used to go out at least twice a week I now find it somewhat tough to find motivation for just one night of fun and games. In a way it is terrifying, as I feel too focused on being productive and on par with reaching my goals. I do, however, make a conscious effort of spoiling myself once a week as well as maintaining social competences by hanging out with friends. If life is taken too serious and you dig yourself too deep into a project it may be true that progress will be rapid, but in my opinion it is important not to distance oneself from the best of what life has to offer. In short I force myself to celebrate, when celebration is in order.
Better control over my emotions is another positive side effect, I have noticed after having taken Modafinil. I don’t, however, believe that Modafinil is the sole reason for this as I also meditate on a daily basis. Meditation has been of great importance to me throughout the last half year, where my mental strength has increased noticeably.
The combination of meditation and Modafinil seems to have an even better effect compared to my ability to control emotions before being on Modafinil. I find that it continues to improve. For example I find it easier to handle failure, rejection, the dark winter months and the cold weather (it can be tough in Denmark). The fact that I’m not knocked out by these things that used to fuck me up badly has of course made my life better as I now accept and recognize bad days making the good days even better.
Generally I can’t describe the effect of Modafinil any better than another user who said:
Career-wise Modafinil has let me work at my best at any hour of the day. I’m inquisitive, I’ll dig, and I’ll write great things. It makes any time of the day high performance. I don’t have the ‘I am a great golden God’ feeling but I feel good all the time. It has let me see connections I wouldn’t have seen before. Is it because I’m more awake? Or some activated level of understanding unavailable without lots of sleep and nutrition? Without it, I’m still good, but it’s a bandwidth expander. It lets you step back and learn things. The effect doesn’t go away when the chemical leaves your blood. The connections it gives you stay with you. It helps me have a rational rather than emotional response to irritants.
The last two sentences are important to remember.
“The connections it gives you stay with you. It helps me have a rational rather than emotional response to irritants.”
Even though I for example haven’t taken Modafinil for three or four days I feel a high level of mental focus. My own theory is that it is the result of several weeks of intense focus that has created new brain connections and formed a stronger habit of focusing. This is also one of the reasons why I meditate. Applying repetition is the only way to rewire your brain and form new healthy habits.
Does Modafinil have any negative side effects?
Perhaps you’re thinking that all this sounds way too good to be true. I know I did. There has to be negative side effects of some sorts, right? As with most things here in life there are of course potential negative side effects. In very rare cases Modafinil can trigger the skin disease Steven-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), but the majority of people who are at risk are already aware of it as common drugs such as Ibuprofen and certain antibiotics also can trigger SJS.
On the basis of two months of continuous use it’s hard for me to find any negative side effects although there is one. The one negative side effect of Modafinil I have noticed is that I find it easier to be annoyed/irritated by people who, in my opinion, don’t make a lot of sense. The heightened irritability however only applies to this segment of people. This state of heightened irritability is also rarely triggered as it is during working hours that I am hooked on Modafinil and given my job as a writer on my own, I only deal with few people on a daily basis. Although it is a negative side effect I am not sure that this is a common side effect for people on Modafinil. As a personal trait I have always found it easy to be extra annoyed with confident people who are of limited intelligence, so Modafinil has just sort of boosted this trait.
There is actually also another thing about Modafinil that I would describe as negative. The level of focus that you experience on Modafinil is not always as desired. For example if you are hung-over and try to get some work one I find that Modafinil tends to increase focus on intangible things. It can be a distant thought that is of no importance or relevance and something you may not be able to put a finger on. This is where I have experienced that my thoughts can go in circles without me being able to focus on work. To some it might not be very pleasant, but it isn’t any worse than postponing work for another few hours or a day.
The fact alone that Modafinil doesn’t have huge negative side effects is a bit terrifying. If you take stimulants such as caffeine, Ritalin, Adderall there are a wide variety of side effects that problematize continuous consumption. Side effects such as anxiety, palpitation, dizziness, aggressiveness, nervousness, numbness and confusion are just some of them.
So how come there are none of these side effects? It’s a tough question and definitely the biggest downside of Modafinil that we don’t have any concise knowledge about how it affects the brain on a long-term basis.
Tim Ferris, who wrote the bestselling 4-hour-work-week, describes Modafinil and the risk you take pretty spot-on.
When I was writing the 4-hour body I used Modafinil once or twice to pull all nighters. It’s extremely hard to get a free lunch with biochemical enhancement, but that doesn’t stop me from playing around with it, but I recognize there is a cost that comes with it and you have to be prepared to pay the debt.
Is Modafinil something for you?
It’s hard not to be fascinated by Modafinil and its associated effects. So fascinated that many of us want to give it a shot. Before you start experimenting it is important, though, to ask yourself if Modafinil is really something you need at all? Everybody doesn’t necessarily need to do smart drugs just because they can.
The reason why I use the magic stuff is because I have a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done every single day. Work that there in theory is endless of, as I can write as many articles as I want. I also have goals and sub goals that must be completed, and this is why it makes sense for me to use Modafinil.
In my opinion it makes most sense to be on Modafinil if you have a lot of work that requires focus and discipline on a continuous basis. On the other hand one can argue that the unemployed person collecting a monthly well-fair check also could benefit from Modafinil, as it could motivate the person to find a job. In the end you are the one who knows best if it’s for you, even if it’s just for a single test.
How do I buy Modafinil?
(UPDATE: August 2018 - I have received a ton of messages from people asking exactly how to get their hands on Modafinil, which is why I have now answered that question here once and for all)
> For me Afinil Express has been a reliable provider of Modafinil for the last three years
- Afinil Express accepts VISA/Mastercard credit cards
- Bitcoin is also accepted and gives you an automatic discount of 20%
- If you haven’t got Bitcoins, I recommend signing up on Coinbase, which I have good experience with.
- Afinil Express does not send direct to the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Taiwan, Croatia, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Romania, Spain, South Africa or the United Arab Emirates.
- Luckily this shipping problem can be solved by using Skypax, which I have used every time since Denmark is one of the countries where direct shipping isn’t possible.
But is Modafinil even legal?
Modafinil is a prescription drug hence not legal for people who aren’t diagnosed with narcolepsy although Modafinil is common medicine like other prescription drugs such as antibiotics. Modafinil is in no way a drug that the authorities are on the hunt for, as it doesn’t have a euphoric or severe mind altering effect. Therefor you won’t be criminalized if caught with ten pills in your pocket in an airport without a valid prescription. I even brought it in and out of Dubai not so long ago. Now I bring it with me without giving it any thought. In other words Modafinil is not associated with class A drugs such as cocaine, marihuana, ecstasy and MDMA.
But prescription medicine is tough to get ahold of so what to do? Thanks to the Internet and it’s liberating tools there are several online pharmacies that sell Modafinil. It might not sound particularly reassuring and that’s because it isn’t. There are shitload of scammers on the market, however with a little bit of qualified research it is pretty doable to find a legit online pharmacy.
My own research led me various trustworthy vendors, but Afinil Express has been is my number 1 go-to vendor. They have a solid reputation on Reddit and they offer 100% guaranteed delivery so if your package is lost or confiscated they will just send you a new one.
Suffice to say everything went smooth from ordering my 300 pills to delivery. One could argue that 300 are a lot of pills, but me being me I had to go all-in. It was also cheaper to buy in bulk. I paid 294$ USD, which is around 50% off as opposed to buying 50 pills for 85$.
A huge bonus is also that they are one of few vendors who accept credit card payment, where most other vendors only accept bitcoin. They do however also accept bitcoin, which qualifies for a 20% discount.
If you take a look on Afinil Express there are four different kinds to choose from; Modalert, Modvigil, Waklert and Artvigil. All four have close to identical contents, but each one with their own special attribute. Artvigil also known as Armodafinil is said to give a stronger buzz than Modalert, but I have only tried Modalert, which is why I can’t comment on whether or not this claim is true. Additionally it is said that it is a good idea to switch between i.e. Armodafinil and Modalert in order to prevent a high tolerance. It is impossible not to build up some level of tolerance, which is why it is always a good idea to take a break from Modafinil every once in awhile. After two months of almost daily use I don’t seem to have built any tolerance though. I also never take more than 200 mg a day.
My personal recommendation is that you stick with Modalert 200 as this is the pill that this manifest you’re reading is based on. If you pick one of the other pills or already have experience with them, I would love to hear from you.
To me Modafinil seems to have the potential of changing ones life for the better. At least that’s my own immediate conclusion. You also don’t have to look hard on the web to find various personal accounts that contributes Modafinil as a true life-changer and even lifesaver.
Although I cannot attribute all of my personal growth and success to Modafinil, it has definitely helped me getting to where I am today, where I still find the energy and persistence to maintain my online lifestyle magazine as well as my YouTube channel, STAY CLASSY VLOG, where I travel around the globe with my girlfriend to find unique places, exquisite dining and just epic experiences in general. Feel free to take a look at our videos.
On a final note I will of course like to put emphasis on the fact that if you decide to experiment with Modafinil it’s your own responsibility. I don’t encourage you to buy Modafinil even though this rather extensive report might indicate otherwise. I am only sharing my own experience. My personal opinion, though, is that it would be a shame to give Modafinil a pass if it could have a life-improving impact.