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  • Nick Holderbaum

Hacking the Tired Brain: Modafinil for Firefighters

What is Modafinil?


Modafinil is a nootropic. A smart drug. Nootropics enhance your cognition, in particular when it comes to motivation, creativity, memory, and other executive functions. They play an important role in supporting memory and promote optimal brain function. Caffeine is the world’s favorite nootropic, consumed by millions every day. But, if you’re like me, you’ve developed a tolerance for caffeine.

Modafinil is one of the strongest nootropics out there. So strong in fact, modafinil is categorised as a schedule IV drug. That being said, you need a prescription from your doctor. Most people cannot get a prescription from their doctor for modafinil and even if they can, find it is cheaper to buy it online than with medical insurance. If you’re reading this, however, you're likely a sleep deprived firefighter suffering from shift work sleep disorder who fits the bill.


Is it Safe?


My first experience with Modafinil was horrible. I made the mistake of taking it on an empty stomach, after 2 cups of coffee, resulting in a minor panic attack. I managed however, to speed-read through a 300-page book in record time. The first time you take modafinil should not be on an empty stomach. Doing so vastly increases its potency and can completely overwhelm you with dizziness and anxiousness. As for dose, do not take any more than 50mg. Assuming you possess the modalert 200 variant, the pill is 200mg and thus a quarter of a pill is 50mg. Cut the pill in half, then cut it in half again. An entire 200mg pill is too high a dose for sensitive responders like myself.


Modafinil is arousal promoting, not stimulating. You can technically sleep after you take it. It’s not a narcotic and not addictive – there is no street value for it. With that being said, here are a few tips when taking Modafinil:


  • Eat 3 large eggs or 5 regular eggs before taking modafinil, the choline in eggs will prevent you from getting migraines. One of the primary functions of choline is helping brain cells in the production of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter for mental focus and learning.

  • Make sure you’re hydrated to prevent headaches. Add a pinch of sea-salt to your water upon waking.

  • To minimise the risk of heart palpitations or cardiac issues, you should supplement with 200mg of L-Theanine.

  • Avoid coffee, tea, and alcohol when taking Modafinil.

  • Take it within 4 hours of waking to avoid sleep disturbances.

  • Consult with your doctor before taking Modafinil.

What Are the Benefits?


If you are sleep deprived, you will feel more alert. If you have problems concentrating, concentrating will become easier. Modafinil allows you to unlock your full potential and properly own the day, there is nothing else like it to reliably boost productivity. I’ve found greater focus and clearer thoughts, and improved short-term memory recall. Many people report elevated mood when taking modafinil, likely due to increased dopamine in the brain.


I don’t think it’s necessary to take Modafinil after a proper night's sleep or to help one stay awake longer. In my opinion, Modafinil is a great tool for firefighters on their first day off in combating the dangers of sleep deprivation. There are few substances out there that can give you the mental boost the way modafinil does. As always, You’re ultimately responsible for your own health, so use intelligently.


Disclaimer: The material provided here is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. The information contained in this site should not be used to diagnose or treat any illness, metabolic disorder, disease, or other health problems. The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Nick Holderbaum, unless otherwise noted. Use of the programs, advice, and other information contained in this site is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.