No matter who you are, there are going to be times in your life when you need to concentrate that little bit better. There have been instances for us all at some point in our lives where we’ve wished we’d been a little bit more focused; when we’ve been studying for a test, for example, or have had a project due early the next morning and needed to be at our optimum work level. Now, a lot of us find pretty simple ways to remain concentrated during times like this. Some of us can concentrate completely naturally, as though it simply requires the push of a button. Others may require a cup of coffee to get focused, and some might take a nap to wake themselves up properly (I know I fall into this last category). However, these orthodox methods don’t work for all of us.
For some people, study drugs have become their new weapon for wakening up their brains in times of need. Now, these kinds of supplements certainly haven’t come onto the scene without their fair share of critics. There’s been a fair amount of uproar due to the high demand that a lot of people have for them, with a lot of people becoming dependent on them. One example of these study drugs is modafinil, which is without a doubt one of the most popular. It has risen to prominence in the last few years, with more and more different people purchasing it to boost their brain activity in times of need. What actually is it, though? Is it safe to use? And are there any better alternatives out there? Don’t worry, we’re here to answer all of these questions. Stay tuned for more.
What is Modafinil?
Unlike a lot of other study drugs out there, modafinil was not originally designed for this specific purpose. In fact, it was originally designed to help people who experienced a wide range of sleeping disorders. It was first approved for use in this capacity in countries like the USA in 1998, and some of the conditions that it helps to battle include narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder. There was a lot of research which went into getting this drug on the market for conditions such as this, and it’s mostly been sold under the brand name ‘Provigil’.
In recent times, however, it’s become more popular for other uses. Some people, in one way or another, discovered that it can actually be used as a study drug by people who don’t even suffer from these kinds of sleeping disorders. Since then, it’s become widely available in a lot of drug stores and even supermarkets- more and more people start using it every year. Unlike its uses in a medical sense, there tends to be a lack of research when it comes to its practicality as a study drug. What little research there is, however, has persuaded a lot of people to start using it in recent times. There are a variety of study drugs out there that a lot of people think are better than Modafinil, but very few can rival it on sales and popularity. The frequency it’s bought at shows no sign of slowing down any time soon, which is why we presume you’d like to know a bit more about it.
How Does Modafinil Work?
So how does this study drug actually help the people who use it? One of the ways it does this is by raising the histamine levels in the bodies of people who use it. Histamine is a chemical in our bodies that is mainly responsible for regulating our sleeping patterns. It tends to have a pretty steady level which means we can sleep and be awake at healthy rates for the majority of the time. Some people have a histamine deficiency, which means their body doesn’t produce enough of it. On the flip side of that coin, modafinil actually increases our histamine levels. This means the people who use it can stay awake for longer and feel more alert during that extended period of being awake. This means they can focus on any tasks they’re performing for longer.
Dopamine levels are also altered. This is a chemical in our bodies that are controlled by synaptic signals, and more or less when a person uses modafinil the absorption rates of it are increased. Once again, and in a similar way to our first point, the user is made to feel more alert and sharp-minded. They are able to stay awake for longer and will be able to work harder and for an extended period of time.
What kinds of people use Modafinil?
There are a lot of different kinds of people who use modafinil to their advantage, so don’t worry if you don’t fall into one of the categories we’re going to be discussing. One of the groups who use this kind of drug a lot are students, and you can probably guess why. Even if you’re no longer a student, you can most likely remember the stressful times that all of them go through, how many deadlines there are to meet and (most importantly) how late most of them leave it to complete this work. I’m a student myself, and I know all about the stress deadlines bring. That’s why so many students have resorted to using modafinil; they’ll take it the night before a piece of work is due in order to stay up later and work more effectively. They tend to get better results and come up with a better end product, rather than working while drowsy and coming up with something half-hearted.
Another group of people that tend to use modafinil a lot are professional gamers to earn money from playing games. Of course, gamers of all levels could use it, but it doesn’t tend to be serious enough to require such stimulation unless it’s at a professional standard. Gamers require to be alert at all times, and reactions are one of the most important things to have in your arsenal. If you’re even a split second slower than an opponent depending on the game, it could mean the difference between victory and defeat- there’s a very fine line. By taking modafinil, gamers aim to keep themselves as an alert for as long as possible. A lot of professional gaming competitions can go on for hours at a time, and staying concentrated throughout can be a challenge. A lot of them use modafinil to counteract these tiring effects.
There are a whole bunch of people who use modafinil, so don’t worry if we haven’t mentioned you here. Chances are you can find a very good use for it (as long as it’s sensible).
Are there any downsides to using Modafinil?
Of course, as with any study drug of this nature, it isn’t all positives. There always tend to be at least a few downsides when it comes down to it, and modafinil is no different in this regard. So what are these downsides? One of the main cons to using it is the fact that it makes it difficult to sleep. Of course, this can be a positive if you want to stay up late at night. This is due to the features of the drug we discussed earlier (increased histamine and dopamine). However, if you use it during the day to become more alert and awake then chances are you’ll find it really difficult to get to sleep at night. You might experience all of the positives during daytime hours and then not be able to rest up when it really matters, which more or less counteracts all the hard work you’ve done to stay awake in the first place. Your body needs its rest, and modafinil might make it difficult for it to achieve that.
Of course, as with any drug of any nature, there’s also the chance that you could get addicted to modafinil. Drugs tend to work by blocking a specific neural pathway, and modafinil is no different. Perhaps more alarmingly, however, modafinil has actually been found to block some of the pathways that are closed off when cocaine is used. This should definitely ring a few alarm bells in your head, especially if you have any sort of history with addiction. Don’t think you’re immune if you haven’t though; addiction can happen to the very best of us and it’s not to be taken lightly. Make sure if you’re going to use modafinil that you’re well aware of any potential side effects.
Are there any alternatives to using Modafinil?
Modafinil isn’t the only study drug out there, as you’ll very well know. Just because something is one of the most popular doesn’t mean it’s one of the best either, so you should definitely give other options a look. These alternatives include adrafinil, which works very similarly to modafinil and is very easy to buy online, and sulbutiamine, which is particularly effective at improving both long and short-term memory. You should give these kinds of drugs a look before you purchase any specific one if that is indeed what you want to do.