Modafinil is probably the most powerful nootropic available and when you use it (with a prescription of course) it’s important to get the most from it.
Important disclaimer: Modafinil is a scheduled substance in certain countries, and may require a prescription to obtain. Please be sure to understand the legalities in your country before ordering anything online.
On days where I take modafinil I plan my whole day out, wake up extremely early, make my lunch the night before, and have a (long) list of things I want to get done that day. In general this works great and I usually accomplish at least 2-3 times as much as I would in a normal day.
My experience in general with modafinil has been very good and these are modafinil “best practices” if you will.
Everything in this post is based on my experience and of course your experience may be different. People react differently to different things and it’s important to experiment and find out what works best for you. Here’s what has worked best for me.
Wake up extremely early in the morning
I would recommend waking up at 5am and taking the pill immediately upon waking. The half-life of modafinil is long (15 hours according to Wikipedia) and it will keep you awake at night if you do not take it early. 15 hours is the half life, so if you take 100mg at 5am, at 8pm there’s still going to be 50mg in your system, which is certainly enough to feel some effect.
Early mornings also make for great working conditions because 1) you already feel positive and productive if you force yourself to wake up early and 2) no one will bother you in the morning because they’re still asleep.
Make a list of what you want to do the day before
Make a to-do list, so you don’t waste any time thinking about what you need to do or get sidetracked. (I find sometimes it’s very easy to get sidetracked on modafinil, you get distracted from your task and then become extremely focused on the distraction.) When you make the list, plan to do more than you think you can (overbook yourself) and you will be surprised at how much you get done.
Go somewhere where you won’t be disturbed
This might be a personal preference due to me being introverted but when I take modafinil and work for the entire day I don’t want to be disturbed at all. I like to go to a library or coffee shop that opens early and where it’s unlikely I will run into anyone I know. I’m perfectly OK with not speaking to anyone and sitting in a corner with headphones in for the whole day.. in fact that’s how I’m most productive.
If you are lifting/working out, remember to eat and drink water
Modafinil suppresses your appetite and it’s easy to forget to eat and drink water regularly. If it’s a rest day, then this is not a huge deal. But if you’re planning to lift in the afternoon, for example, and you forget to eat for the whole day then you will show up at the gym dehydrated and “flat”. By the time you realize this (already at the gym) it’s usually too late. So make some food to bring with you, remember to eat, and keep a bottle of water handy as well.
Combine modafinil with caffeine for extremely good effects
Every time I take modafinil I sit down to work with a nice big cup of black coffee and I have only ever had good results. I think caffeine is a great compliment to modafinil. The perfect companion.
Don’t use modafinil too frequently, and don’t use it multiple days in a row
In my experience, tolerance to modafinil builds up very quickly. The best frequency for use—to still get the same positive effect—is once per week (at most) and really ideally once per month. Infrequent use also helps avoid developing dependency.
Prepare for your sleep schedule to get (slightly) out of whack
Even if you take modafinil extremely early in the morning, it’s still probably going to mess up your sleep schedule somewhat. This has been my experience at least, and there have been times where it has kept me up for 18 or even 20+ hours. I just accept it as part of the process and recommend you do the same. As far as I can tell, this is the only major downside. For the benefits that modafinil provides it’s a pretty good tradeoff.
Do you use modafinil? Do you have modafinil “best practices” like I do? What are they? Let us know in the comments below.