How to Sleep on Modafinil [#1 Online Guide in 2021]

Modafinil is one of the best wake-promoting drugs on the planet. While it does a great job of keeping you wide awake and alert when you need to be productive, it can deprive you of sleep when you really need it – if you don’t take it correctly. In this guide, we’ll show you how to enjoy your regular sleep still while using the drug.

How to Sleep on Modafinil

Modafinil is an excellent medicine for anyone looking to eliminate daytime sleepiness and boost productivity, but many first-time users make mistakes when taking it. They often either take the wrong dose or the right one at the wrong time, making it impossible to sleep when they normally should. Indeed, it is possible to be an active modafinil user without sacrificing your sleep architecture, but there are certain do’s and don’ts an individual must know. If you’ve been looking to use modafinil but are scared of losing quality sleep, you’ll learn how to get the best out of it in this guide.

What Is Modafinil?

Modafinil is a wake-promoting medication often marketed under the brand name Provigil. It was developed in the 1990s and has since been approved by health regulatory bodies in different parts of the world for treating sleep-related disorders. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it for treating narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). In the EU, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has restricted its use to only treating excessive daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy [1][2].

Although modafinil is a popular medication commonly prescribed for treating sleep disorders, it is even more popularly used off-label. Engineers, pilots, college students, airport traffic wardens, top executives of large corporations, and other individuals looking to improve productivity depend on it for enhancing cognitive performance and alertness during active hours.

Some of the benefits of the drug include:

  • 12+ hours of laser-like focus;
  • improved mental acuity;
  • increased motivation;
  • increase in creativity;
  • enhanced alertness.

It is worth noting that this medicine is not without adverse reactions. Like every other drug, it has a few side effects that may arise while using it. Some are mild and go away without any treatment; others may be severe, often requiring medical attention. Headache, drowsiness, nausea, upset stomach, dizziness, runny nose are the common side effects of modafinil [3]. Some people experience them when they use the drug for the first time and then do not experience them anymore during subsequent use.

Modafinil Pills

On the other hand, the severe adverse reactions that may also result from modafinil intake include rashes, hallucinations, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, depression, mood swings, and fever. Luckily, they are infrequent and mostly linked to the misuse of the drug. Seek urgent medical attention if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above [4].

It is advisable to consult a doctor before using modafinil, as it isn’t safe for some people. These include those with a history of mental problems, addiction, and cardiovascular diseases. Also, it may not be safe for patients who are allergic to any of the ingredients it is made of. See the drug information leaflet or consult a doctor to find out all the ingredients contained in it. Modafinil may only be used by individuals who are 17 years old and above.

The Basics About Sleep and Nootropics

Sleep is an essential biological function that enables the mind and body to recharge in order to become more alert, focused, and refreshed upon waking up. It keeps the brain active and the immune system healthy enough to ward off diseases. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to function properly [5]. However, this is far from the case, as many people in most cities deprive themselves of sleep to stay afloat in today’s highly competitive society.

According to American Sleep Association, most Americans now have less than 6 hours of sleep every night, and some people still think they need less. Sleep disorder statistics have shown that 50–70 million American adults suffer from one sleep disorder or the other, with 37.9% of the entire population accepting to have fallen asleep unintentionally during the day [6].

Cognizant of the fact that sleep deprivation negatively affects productivity, many college students, professionals, and people whose jobs require a high level of concentration turn to stimulants such as modafinil. They do this to fight through the effect of sleep deprivation and perform exceptionally on less than the required 7 hours of sleep.

Modafinil is safe and highly effective. It has proven to be capable of keeping people awake, alert, and active for about 12–15 hours without the jittery feeling associated with some other nootropics like coffee. It works by altering the levels of dopamine, serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and certain other neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate the wake/sleep cycle and mood.

Good Mood

Over time, several studies have been carried out to determine the extent to which the drug can keep an individual awake while maintaining the same level of cognitive performance. And in most of them, the results were impressive. In one of the studies conducted on individuals with mild to moderate cases of OSA, 200 mg of modafinil decreased the feeling of extreme daytime sleepiness and made their reaction time quicker [7].

One other study involved French military men who went without sleep for 64 hours straight. To put modafinil to the test, the participants were administered the 300 mg strength every 24 hours. The results were remarkable, as the men functioned as though they had been sleeping normally [8].

Although modafinil can help people function optimally without sleep, it is inadvisable to use it in place of getting enough sleep.

How to Sleep on Modafinil: Best Ways & Tips

Many people who are unfamiliar with modafinil and its effects often hold tight to the belief that it makes it completely impossible to sleep and drives people crazy. However, this is not entirely true, as it is easy to sleep on modafinil if used correctly. There are a few tips that, once followed, will enable you to have the drug in your back pocket.

So, here’s how to sleep on modafinil.

Maintain Good Sleep Hygiene

Before using nootropics, it is essential to cultivate good sleep hygiene and track your sleep quality so you can gauge the effects of the stimulant on your sleep architecture. Generally, it is crucial to imbibe a lifestyle habit that enables you to sleep before midnight every day, unless you work late-night shifts.

You can do the following to get a better sleep [9]:

  • put off all your electronic devices, such as smartphones, computers, and TVs;
  • do not eat large meals, drink alcohol, coffee, or take any stimulant just before bedtime unless you intend to stay awake;
  • strive to be physically active during the day, as it can help you fall asleep more easily at night. It can also increase your quality of sleep. You can do some exercise about 30 minutes before going to bed – it works wonders;
  • be sure to go to bed at the same time at night and wake at the same time every morning. By so doing, your biological clock gets accustomed to the timing, making you feel sleepy once that time of the night comes and alert once you wake in the morning.

Note that this is not a comprehensive list of the things you can do to maintain good sleep hygiene. But you can start from here to begin to see improvements.

Try to Reduce Your Daily Modafinil Dose

Modafinil is mostly available in strengths of 100 mg and 200 mg for a reason; it’s because they’ve been found through human trials to be effective for most people. Taking higher doses may lead to discomfort and adverse reactions, including insomnia, restlessness, and hallucinations.

Reduce Your Daily Modafinil Dose

Although the effects of the drug may indeed vary from user to user, it is best to consult a doctor before increasing your dosage or if you’re not sure of what to use. Some modafinil users have reported experiencing restlessness with higher modafinil doses, as seen on forums like Reddit and Quora.

Furthermore, under no circumstance should more than a single modafinil dose be taken within 24 hours unless advised otherwise by a doctor. Some individuals often consider taking one 100 mg dose in the morning and another late in the afternoon for heightened effects. While the benefits might linger on, studies have shown that splitting the doses this way makes it less possible to sleep late in the evening compared to taking the recommended single dose per day [10].

Don’t Use Other Stimulants (Mainly After 4 pm)

It is worth noting that not every stimulant is a drug. For example, coffee is a stimulant, and combining it with modafinil can increase the drug’s effectiveness. While this might sound like good news, it can cause discomfort, worsen the side effects of the drug, as well as make it difficult to fall asleep when you plan to. For reference, stimulants such as caffeine and methylphenidate have a half-life of 6 and 2 to 3 hours, respectively.

Furthermore, note the half-life of any nootropics you plan to take and use them when you know their effectiveness won’t last up to your sleep time.

Take Prescribed Modafinil Dose Early in the Morning

Once you’ve fixed your sleep architecture, the next thing to do is avoid taking modafinil close to bedtime. The drug typically stays active in the body for 12–15 hours upon administration; thus, the best way to go is to take it early in the morning. Doing so will keep you wide awake and alert during the day and let you sleep normally at night. You can take the pill around 8:30 am; this way, you can rest assured it won’t interfere with your sleep later in the evening.

Explore the Use of Pharmaceutical or OTC Sedatives

If you have problems sleeping and all efforts to improve your sleep hygiene proved abortive, it may be necessary to explore pharmaceutical or over-the-counter sedatives. However, it is worth noting that such drugs can worsen sleep problems if they aren’t used correctly. Be sure to consult a doctor before using any and confirm that they don’t interact with modafinil.

Take Smart Drug Fewer Times Within One Week

While basking in the amazing benefits of modafinil, it is essential to remember that too much of everything can be problematic. Bearing this in mind, it becomes necessary to consider how long you use it per week. Note that it’s essential to take the medication a few times a week and altogether avoid taking it if you do not need it. At most, it should be taken only for 1 to 4 days per week to prevent it from messing with your regular sleep architecture.

Take Smart Drugs Fewer Times

Often, when people ask questions about how to sleep on modafinil, they’re usually asking if it’s possible to sleep while the drug is still active in their bodies. Well, it’s possible, but many people who’ve tried it reported waking up several times while attempting to sleep – a feature synonymous with insomnia. As we stated in one of the tips, it is inadvisable to take modafinil late in the afternoon or before bed unless you plan on pulling an all-nighter.

If You Have Insomnia While Taking Modafinil…

There’s very little information about the consequences of taking modafinil if you have insomnia, so we’ll shed light on how to go about a situation like this. But before we do, let’s find out what insomnia really is.

Insomnia is a sleep disorder marked by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep long enough for the body to get enough rest. Sometimes, people who experience the condition wake up several times at night and feel tired and unable to focus during the day. Insomnia can be caused by poor sleeping habits, stress, anxiety, depression, or a specific sleep disorder [11].

One thing you can do if you realize you have insomnia is to follow the tips we provided earlier on how to get an adequate sleep. If you see no improvement after this, stop taking modafinil for a few days to see what happens. And if there’s still no improvement, it could mean that your insomnia is caused by some other condition or drug you may be taking. If this is the case, consult a healthcare provider to help you determine the problem and how to fix it.

The Verdict: Can You Sleep on Modafinil?

To recap briefly…

Is it hard to sleep while the drug is still active in your system?

Yes, definitely! However, while it’s possible to sleep on modafinil, there’s a high tendency that you’ll wake several times and end up feeling tired and unable to focus when you finally wake.

Is it safe to use modafinil?

Yes, it is. Modafinil is a safe and effective drug, but whether or not you’ll enjoy all of its benefits depends on how you use it. In a nutshell, unless you intend to pull an all-nighter, it is advisable to take it early in the morning, at 8:30 am. This will provide you with 12–15 hours of laser-sharp focus and still allow you to enjoy a good night’s rest. Do well to consult a doctor before using modafinil or any other nootropic.


  1. Modafinil. Retrieved: January 24, 2021.
  2. European Medicines Agency Recommends Restricting the Use of Modafinil. Retrieved: January 24, 2021.
  3. Common and Rare Side Effects for Modafinil Oral. Retrieved: January 24, 2021.
  4. Side Effects of Provigil (Modafinil), Warning, Uses. Retrieved: January 24, 2021.
  5. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? By Eric Suni. Retrieved: January 24, 2021.
  6. Sleep Statistics – Data About Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Retrieved: January 24, 2021.
  7. Modafinil Improves Daytime Sleepiness in Patients with Mild to Moderate Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Not Using Standard Treatments: A Randomised Placebo-Controlled Crossover Trial. By Julia L. Chapman, Liora Kempler, et al. Retrieved: January 24, 2021.
  8. Modafinil During 64 Hr of Sleep Deprivation: Dose-Related Effects on Fatigue, Alertness, and Cognitive Performance. Joseph V. Baranski, Corinne Cian, et al. Retrieved: January 24, 2021.
  9. Sleep Hygiene Tips – Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Retrieved: January 24, 2021.
  10. 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: January 24, 2021.
  11. What Causes Insomnia? By Eric Suni. Retrieved: January 24, 2021.

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