How does Modafinil Compare to Common Stimulants?
People have had access to stimulants for centuries. Caffeine is the most widely consumed drug in the world, and drinks containing it have been prevalent for ages. It comes in a variety of liquid forms: Coffee, energy drinks, teas, sodas, even pills. So with such a time-tested energy source available why should you consider an alternative such as Modafinil? The answer lies in what caffeine doesn’t do and what only Modafinil can do.
What are the Advantages of Common Stimulants?
It’s safe to say that anyone reading this article has probably at some point taken a cup of coffee as a pick me up during the day, or perhaps has guzzled a Red Bull to keep going at a party or other type of event. Stimulants like these are ubiquitous and available almost everywhere. It’s socially acceptable and even normal to use them. But what effect do they really have?
Caffeine works to stimulate the central nervous system directly. Think of it as a jolt of electricity to the body. It also stimulates the brain, which acts as the CPU for the central nervous system. The brain is stimulated, allowing it to process the extra stimulus coming from the nerves. The brain also can process this information faster than normal. In other words, you feel more awake, more alert, and you are more sensitive to any surrounding stimuli. This is why we feel more productive when using caffeine. The faster response time in the brain allows us to perform more work faster.
The amount of caffeine taken in determines the level of effects that a person experiences. A soda has very little caffeine compared to coffee or an energy drink. Therefore the effects are minimal. When someone takes a very strong energy drink or a caffeine pills they feel stronger effects, and they take effect much faster.
Caffeine is also fairly cheap. A fresh cup of coffee can cost as little as $1-2 in some places, and an energy drink may cost $2-3. This low cost allows it to be part of millions of people’s daily routines.
What are the Disadvantages of Common Stimulants?
Because caffeine stimulates the nervous system directly without discretion, it can have some unwanted side effects. First of all, it affects the entire body. This includes the heart and respiratory system. Effectively the whole body goes into overdrive and this can produce negative side effects. The most common complaint of caffeine use is a jittery sensation. As the nerves in the body become more sensitive, they can become overstimulated. Much like a wire that receives too much current, the nerves in a sense “overheat” and the hypersensitivity is uncomfortable to the user. This is usually the main reason why some people refuse to use caffeine at all.
The second most common complaint about caffeine is the dreaded crash. Caffeine lasts for about 4 hours, after which it suddenly leaves you back where you started. If you were tired before drinking your coffee, you’ll probably be just as tired if not more so when it wears off. This rebound effect causes people to continue using caffeine throughout the day, making the habit more expensive than it seems.
Another issue with caffeine is dependence. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being around a regular caffeine consumer when they didn’t have access to their precious “medicine” then you know what I’m talking about. I include myself in this group as well. If you take my coffee away from me in the morning, I’m liable to commit serious crimes that I otherwise wouldn’t. Dreadful headaches, an incurable bad mood, grinding teeth, and general angst accompany the effects of caffeine withdrawal. Caffeine also becomes less effective over time, leading users to take more and more to get their desired effects.
Even an acceptable everyday stimulant such as caffeine has its drawbacks, and they can be rather serious for some people. Long term there are hazards such as heart damage from the accelerated heart rate that caffeine imparts onto the user.
How is Modafinil Different from Common Stimulants?
Modafinil sets itself apart from other common stimulants by avoiding the central nervous system directly. As a result, it doesn’t cause the jitters associated with other drugs such as caffeine or its counterparts. Instead, it basically tricks the brain into not feeling tired, allowing it to work at optimum efficiency even when the body is lacking sleep or physical energy.
The end result is that a user of Modafinil essentially feels as though they had a full-night’s sleep for the whole day. This effect is probably the most positive part of Modafinil. There’s no crash, the effects are not overwhelming, and they last for 8-12 hours. However it’s not just raw energy that Modafinil provides. It also contributes to good memory performance, concentration, and focus. Think of your body as a power tool. Taking caffeine is like speeding up the tool, turning the saw blade faster for instance. Modafinil is like sharpening the teeth on that blade, stabilizing it, and making it cut more efficiently without wearing out. Speed is great, but skill is better.
Modafinil sometimes presents side effects also. Some users have mentioned headaches, nausea, or occasionally dry mouth and nose. However these reports represent a small portion of users, less than 10% according to clinical studies. And the side effects generally are considered acceptable when held up against the positives that the pill provides. There’s ultimately no such thing as a free lunch, but Modafinil’s physical cost is low compared to other alternatives.
Best of all, Modafinil is not habit forming and does not produce any sort of withdrawal symptoms when one ceases using it. Clinical trials with thousands of patients revealed that after months of daily use patients had no problem quitting cold turkey. This makes Modafinil a more favorable option for long term use, since you can quit any time. And for short term use, it’s also a viable option. You won’t feel a craving the next day or a debilitating round of side-effects from missing your previous dose.
Modafinil can also take care of you for the whole day for a very affordable price, one that can even be cheaper than your usual coffee run. So if you’re looking for an alternative to that energy drink you’ve been taking twice a day, or if you feel like it’s time kick your morning coffee habit, consider replacing it with something better: Modafinil.