The modern biohacker can take advantage of cutting edge solutions to improving physical and mental performance. One of the most popular nootropics used by these forward-thinking individuals is Modafinil also called Noopept, Provigil and other individual titles.
Biohackers favor Noopept for its singular capacity to reverse the effects of the sleepy time cycle and allow for increased output from the body and mind. Noopept also stimulates the brain to cut through fogs achieving greater focus and cognitive capacity.
In the following reading, we will take a close look at how Noopept effects brain function.
Modafinil in the Brain
Modafinil, as Noopept is more commonly known, is typically ingested in a capsule form for addressing conditions of daytime drowsiness and narcolepsy. It has also been applied to improving the productivity of shift workers internationally. While the medical community is aware of the cognitive boosting properties of Modafinil, the FDA has only approved its use for treating conditions of narcolepsy.
When ingested, Modafinil is absorbed into the bloodstream through the gastrointestinal tract. Modafinil has the special ability to traverse the blood-brain barrier and take action within the brain itself. Here it performs a number of functions.
One of the primary functions of Modafinil is to boost the activity of orexin, or hypocretin. These neuropeptides are found in the hypothalamus and have an important role in regulating sleep cycles by stimulating arousal. Animal studies have shown that an impaired orexin function can lead to conditions of narcolepsy.
The stimulating power of Modafinil is partly due to the enhanced function of orexin.1
The enhanced functions of orexin stop the brain from entering the relaxation phase and quickly replenish the brain’s supply of chemical communicators. Dopamine is one of these chemicals and also plays an important excitatory role in the brain and on goals.
Modafinil goes on to enhance the function of dopamine by blocking the transporter chemicals required for carting dopamine away. With no way to leave their biological post, dopamine activity is prolonged in the brain.2
Modafinil has a similar effect on serotonin, which is an important neurotransmitter for brain functions. Modafinil works to prevent the reuptake of serotonin in the meaning the brain has greater quantities of this inhibitory drug. This keeps the brain functioning at optimal levels without becoming exhausted.3
GABA is the body’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter which means that it works to relax the brain. GABA is especially important at the end of the day when it comes time to wind down. GABA plays a key role in allowing the synapses of the brain to relax during the sleeping cycles and when levels begin to rise, the brain begins to lose its acuity.
Modafinil provides up to 12 hours of uninterrupted mental functioning and primarily works to avoid sleepiness. In addition to the enhancement of orexin activity, Modafinil has been studied to lessen GABA activity in certain areas of the brain and thereby improve wakefulness.4
Biohacking Benefits of Modafinil
Modafinil is best known as a wake-promoting agent and a leading treatment for narcolepsy. Nevertheless, the high-quality brain-stimulating effects of this drug have important biohacking potential beyond staying awake.
What follows are some of the reasons biohackers will choose to stack with Modafinil:
Cognitive performance relies heavily on the activities and communications networks within the brain. Modafinil tweaks these settings to improve the functional capacity of the brain, even after the sleepy time cycle begins. Modafinil resets the chemical activities in the brain to gain a few more hours on a tight work schedule.
Studies have shown that Modafinil supplementation improves the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which work to maintain, repair and possibly reactivate memory systems in the brain.
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Biohackers have reported long forgotten memories suddenly resurfacing in their awareness relative to a current thought process. In the long-term, BDNF positively affects long-term potentiation. Potentiation is the health and quality of synapses over time which improves the resilience of cognition and memory to the effects of time and possible injury.5
Improved Speaking and Social Skills
Unconfirmed and anecdotal evidence shows that Modafinil support could make the individual more loquacious. Reports tell how speech and writing capacity is bolstered by a greater variety of vocabulary and grammatical versatility. Additionally, many biohackers report feeling less self-conscious and more amicable under the effects of Modafinil.6
Modafinil has been compared to Adderall in its capacity to affect mood and balance emotions. This allows the mind and body to better cooperate in any particular direction. Noopept has been studied for its potential in addressing the effects of PTSD, anxieties, and even simple environmental stress.
Risks and Precautions
While serious side-effects and allergic reactions are very rare, there are some important reasons that Modafinil is only available under prescription. As a very potent brain enhancer, Modafinil can interact poorly with other prescription drugs and street drugs.
Prescriptions medications, birth control pills, and caffeine can all be affected by Modafinil. Let your doctor know if you are a smoker, currently taking any medications, consume alcohol, or have any health conditions.
Common Side Effects
The most common side effects of Modafinil use are more prevalent in those with heart conditions or allergies. Modafinil use should be halted immediately and medical attention should be sought after if any of the following symptoms present themselves:
- Fast or irregular heartbeats
- Allergic reactions – inflamed lymph nodes, itching, swelling in the face, difficulty breathing, etc.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Modafinil should only be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding as recommended by a medical professional. Discuss the benefits and risks with a doctor before taking Modafinil.7
Final Notes on Biohacking with Modafinil
Modafinil has a healthy set of benefits for biohackers looking to fine tune their brain function with an advanced solution. Just remember, taking a slow and intuitive approach based on plenty of research is the best way to achieve biohacking success.
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