A Lifetime of No Sleep

Can a super drug unlock the world of limitless conscience? Perhaps it goes by the name of “Modafinil”

By: Lindsay Addawoo

It seems as though the producers of hit movie Limitless might have been on to something. As it turns out, a real life version of NZT-48 may actually exist. This super drug boasts the ability to allow its users to sleep a mere two hours a day, while increasing attention to detail. Essentially, it is an increase in daily productivity. What is this magical drug you might ask?

It goes by the name of “Modafinil”.

Modafinil; a drug that is now more commonly known by the brand-name “Provigil” in US was originally created in France to treat people with sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy and extreme insomnia. It is believed to have been developed in 1986, was soon considered a “great French discovery” that helped students to complete exams.


Image courtesy of AngryParsley via Flickr

Later, it became a regular prescription drug under the name of “Modiodal“.

It is unclear as to whom this drug benefits most. Though in theory, Modafinil is ideal for those with sleeping disorders, it also has multiple uses in the professional and educational world. Soldiers serving in the army, who must learn to grow accustomed to days (or even weeks) without sleeping while performing with optimal concentration, strength, and focus would probably be first in line for a revolutionary drug like this. The next users would probably be the mainstream crowd, most likely the “blue and white-collar” workers; whose jobs demand their full attention in a world that provides us with so little mental relaxation.

[pullquote] The key to limitless productivity, energy, focus, and just plain feeling good every single day can now be found in 100-200 mg capsules. [/pullquote]

However, as superhero tales remind us time and time again, with great power comes great responsibility. Because of it being relatively new on the market, there isn’t much extensive research available on its long-term side effects. In fact, according to the US National Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus, the only real side effects reported to have occurred involve things like nausea and headaches (to name a few). However, users are warned that it can also get a bit more serious. For women who take birth control pills, Modafinil can lower its effectiveness. In some cases, it can accelerate your heartbeat, make you hallucinate, or cause anxiety.

So why the craze now? After all, this drug was first created in the 1980s.

The answer might be able to be summed up in two words: modern society.

In our fast-paced, ever-changing society, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to keep up with our day-to-day demands. Couple that with rising bills, education fees, cost of living, healthcare etc., and you’ve got one heck of a chip on your shoulder (and by shoulder, I mean individual shoulder – no one’s even mentioned family life yet).

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