How Long Does Modafinil Stay In Your System?
Modafinil is the current Nootropic superstar. It boosts productivity, improves focus and cognition, makes you more energetic and happier. Most importantly, comes with little to no downsides. It is a drug, though, and as such, it’s a foreign substance in your body. So how long does Modafinil stay in your system?
It’s effects eventually wear off as you metabolize it. So the question arises: How long does Modafinil stay in your system? And more importantly, what are the implications of the answer.
This is what we will try to examine in this article. We are keeping it simple, concise, and straightforward, without going into too much pharmacokinetics.
Half Life and Bioavailability
Your body’s response to any foreign substance is basically “Get it out!”
When we ingest drugs, we do that to achieve a certain outcome. Drugs are active but only for a certain time. Your system will eventually eliminate them.
The half-life of a drug describes the amount of time in which it loses half of its’ activity. In the case of Modafinil, it gets metabolized into Modafinil acid and Modafinil sulfone. Those metabolites are inactive (although there has been some evidence to suggest some mild effects) and will eventually end up in your urine.
The half-life of Modafinil can range from 10 to 15 hours, with 12 hours being the average for most people. This will depend on your personal biochemical makeup, of course.
Before it even gets the chance to enter your bloodstream, Modafinil will have to pass through your gastrointestinal tract and your liver. With the exception of fats, all other substances that get absorbed in your intestines have to pass through the liver.
Modafinil is relatively non-toxic but it is still a foreign substance.
By the time it manages to get into the bloodstream, around 80% of the original amount you took remains. This describes the bioavailability of Modafinil, and it is highly dependent on liver function. If you have liver problems, it might be wise to take a lower dose.
Modafinil is not soluble in water but it is soluble in fat. Fat does not have to initially pass through the liver, too. This is why taking it with a fat source might be the way to go. Bear in mind, though, that food can slow down the absorption although it does not lower the total amount absorbed.
How Long Does Modafinil Stay In Your System?
Modafinil and Your Sleep Cycle
The most common concern regarding how long does Modafinil stay in your system is that users wonder how the drug affects their sleep.
Because Modafinil is an extremely efficient wakefulness-promoting agent, it essentially erases fatigue while it is in your system. What is more, some users have said that even after the 12 hours had passed, they still felt the quality of the sleep they were getting was diminished. In theory, this should not happen and any sleep you do miss usually does not require compensation.
However, there has not been any research on how Modafinil affects the amount of REM sleep you are getting. Not getting enough hours of REM sleep has a detrimental effect on cognition, which defeats the purpose of taking a cognitive enhancer in the first place.
For new users that still have little to no experience with what Modafinil does for them, it is important to stay on the safe side. Take Modafinil as early as 15+ hours before you plan to go to sleep. In most cases, this is an overkill, and you will notice the effects wear off in 12-ish hours.
It is still a good idea to be a bit extra cautious at first so as not to mess up your sleep cycle and the quality of the sleep that you are getting. 15 hours is not very convenient but it is doable — if you plan to go to bed at 11 PM, take it by 8 AM.
Once you get a feel for how Modafinil affects you personally, feel free to move on to leaving just 12 hours.
How Long Does Modafinil Stay In Your System? With And Without Food
As I mentioned above, food only affects the speed of absorption. It makes sense, of course. If there is food in your stomach, you first need to digest and absorb that before moving on to the Modafinil.
For that reason, it is widely accepted that Modafinil should be taken on an empty stomach.
Depending on the effect you are looking for, there is no harm in taking it after breakfast. Bear in mind that you will have to allow for an additional 1-1.5 hours for the effects to kick in.
How About Fat?
Yes, Modafinil is fat-soluble and it is not soluble in water. If you drink bulletproof coffee (or any other butter coffee) in the morning, this could help Modafinil absorption. There is not a lot of reliable research on the matter, though. Experiment with it to see for yourself.
If you are going to take it in a non-fasted state, go for a meal rich in healthy fats before. Any oil-based supplement you are taking will also do the trick — Omega-3, flax seed oil, etc. are all wonderful fat sources and brain enhancing, too.
Planning Your Modafinil Intake
What it is not that good at is helping you differentiate important tasks. If anything, Modafinil can encourage you to spend your time and energy on what could only be described as semi-procrastination. By the time you come down, you realize that you have practically wasted the increased cognition.
If you don’t want this to happen to you, I suggest planning your work in advance.
The clarity of Modafinil is deceptive but it is still acting on your brain. Whether you realize it or not, Modafinil will be doing its’ thing and you will be more likely to do unimportant tasks before the ones that you were supposed to.
I would go as far as saying that you should lay out your materials beforehand — the documents, programs, books, whatever it may be that you need for the task you plan to spend your Modafinil ‘high’ on. This helps immensely and besides, you can go straight into hustle mode once the Modafinil hits you.
Although Modafinil is a psychoactive drug, it will not alter your consciousness the way a recreational drug would. There is virtually no such thing as a bad trip with Modafinil. Some users that were more sensitive to the drug have reported increased awareness of their inner monologue but that does not happen to such an extent where it becomes a bad trip.
Still, you could experience some negative effects. The most common are anxiety and headaches. This is why at first you should be a bit more cautious about dosage as you still don’t know how exactly you react to the drug.
Whether you are a newbie or an experienced user, it might be beneficial to develop your own little routine for when you want to come down. Exercise is a popular choice and it works because it speeds up your metabolism, plus you sweat out a bit of the toxins. Modafinil can improve your athletic performance so that is another benefit.
If exercise energizes you too much and you are afraid you might not be able to fall asleep afterward, I suggest eating a large and nutritious meal. Steer clear from simple carbs, though, as they cause a spike in insulin levels, which is stimulating in itself (and harmful for so many reasons). Your post-modafinil meal is the perfect opportunity to get those brain-friendly nutrients. Healthy fats, antioxidants, fermented foods (because gut health is brain health) etc.
The meal will draw blood to your digestive system and away from your brain, which relaxes you as the effects of modafinil wear off.
What Is The Best Way To Take Modafinil?
The best way to use Modafinil will depend on your personal needs. Generally speaking, it is a great idea to pinpoint what exactly you are using Modafinil for. What is it that you are trying to achieve? How long will that task take you? What is your motivation behind it? If you are the type of person that tends to procrastinate a lot, it can be very beneficial to write all of this down and to have it visible while you are on Modafinil.
Once you have an end in mind and a time frame to achieve it, decide on when you want to do it. Wake up earlier, have your coffee/fat source if you want to—but other than that take the modafinil on an empty stomach.
Maybe even take it right after waking up. The effects will kick in while you are doing your morning routine.
Around 1 hour after you have taken it, the effect will become very pronounced. Sit down and start doing your work. Although Modafinil can feel truly amazing, don’t let the feel-good wave sweep you away from what you are taking it for. You will notice that your self-control will improve so it should not be too hard to concentrate on the task for hours on end.
If you have taken it on an empty stomach, don’t forget to at least have a snack/light meal in a few hours. You don’t want to be starving yourself.
Once you have done your work, you can do your coming down routine or just relax while the effects wear off.
Tolerance to Modafinil can build up quite quickly for some, so try to avoid taking it on consecutive days.
If you can’t help it, plan at least a few days off in the week. During those days try to follow a sleep enhancing regimen — maintain your sleep schedule, don’t abuse other stimulants etc.
If you’ve got any questions regarding how long does Modafinil stay in your system, or anything else about Nootropics—drop them in the comments below an I’ll get back to you ASAP.
PS: I get all my Modafinil right here---there is no one better.