Modafinil Half-Life

Modafinil is a smart drug that has been shown to increase the amount of dopamine in your brain, making you more alert and focused. The side effects can include dry mouth, lightheadedness, blurred vision, anxiety and difficulty sleeping among others.

Modafinil is a medication that is used to increase the amount of time someone can function with their normal brain functioning. It has been shown to last for around 12 hours, but some people have reported that it lasts longer than others. Read more in detail here: modafinil how long to kick in.

Modafinil Half-Life | How Long Does the ‘High’ Last?

Are you curious in Modafinil’s half-life and how long it lasts?

According to research and user experiences, there’s no purpose in using Modafinil to improve your attention and productivity unless you know what to anticipate and when to expect it.

Modafinil has a long half-life, which makes it ideal for pulling an all-nighter. When taken at the incorrect time, though, Modafinil has been known to impede users from sleeping well.

Below, we’ll go through ways to prevent this and more.


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What exactly is Modafinil?

Before we get into the Modafinil half-life, let’s take a look at how this smart medicine works and why it’s become so popular in a range of competitive sectors.

Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting medicine that narcolepsy patients typically take to alleviate excessive daytime drowsiness and enable them function normally during regular work hours [1].

While Modafinil has been licensed by the FDA for several medical diseases such shift work sleep disorder and obstructive sleep apnea, researchers are now researching it for additional uses [1]: 

“Idiopathic hypersomnia, cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, myotonic dystrophy, post-anaesthesia grogginess, daily catnapping, and jet lag therapy have all been explored using modafinil.”

Since Modafinil has been shown to reduce weariness and improve alertness in military troops, many individuals have begun to use it as an off-label lifestyle medication. Here are a few examples:

  • Increased concentration
  • 10-12 hours of sustained alertness
  • Memory improvement
  • Mood improvement

While the mechanism of action of Modafinil is still unknown, scientists have discovered certain basic features that explain why it acts the way it does [2]:

“[Modafinil] stimulates the tuberomammillary nucleus and hypocretin (orexin)-producing neurons in the hypothalamus, and it lowers GABA release in the cortex and posterior hypothalamus.”

As a result, it may activate wakefulness-promoting nuclei while inhibiting sleep-promoting nuclei.”

It’s no surprise that students, CEOs, pilots, entrepreneurs, and surgeons are turning to Modafinil to help them get through challenging jobs.

Modafinil allows you to maintain your focus for longer lengths of time than you could in regular conditions (such as pulling an all-nighter).


The Basics of Modafinil and Half-Life

We understand how Modafinil works, but it isn’t enough to go on to the topic of Modafinil half-life.

First, we must get a basic yet comprehensive knowledge of the word “half-life.”

When nootropic users speak about Modafinil’s half-life, they’re talking about its “biological half-life” [3]:

“…the time it takes for biological elimination to decrease the quantity of a medication in an organ or the body to precisely half its initial value”

This concept is also known as the “elimination half-life” by medical researchers [4]:

“…the time it takes to drop the plasma concentration or the quantity of medication in the body by 50%.”

As a result, the drug’s concentration in the body will be half of the dosage eaten after one half-life (50 percent ). After another half-life, the concentration of the medication will be 25% of the initial dosage, and so on.

To make sure you understand how a drug’s elimination half-life works over a longer length of time, News Medical has a wonderful explanation [5]:

“As the half-life increases, proportionately less of the medication is removed. The time it takes for the medication to reach half of its initial concentration, on the other hand, stays constant.

In general, the drug’s therapeutic efficacy is deemed minimal after four half-lives, or when just 6.25 percent of the original dosage remains in the body.”

So, from now on, anytime we refer about Modafinil’s half-life, we’re talking about the biological half-life of the drug (a.k.a. elimination half-life).



What is Modafinil’s Half-Life?

So, what is the Modafinil half-life figure that we require? And, armed with this knowledge, how long does Modafinil’s cognitive-enhancing benefits last?

Several ranges have been proposed in various research to account for the fact that Modafinil’s therapeutic duration varies depending on the particular user:

  • “The effective elimination half-life of modafinil after numerous doses is roughly 15 hours,” according to the official product monograph [6].
  • The Modafinil half-life was reported to be 9-14 hours in one research on therapeutic breakthroughs in narcolepsy [7], and 12-15 hours in another comprehensive assessment of Modafinil’s numerous applications [8].
  • Modafinil has a 15-hour half-life in a previous research examining its acceptability in healthy male volunteers [9].

We’ll provide you a “rule of thumb” standard to follow rather than having you go through hundreds of scholarly papers yourself…

The half-life of a normal Modafinil dosage of 100-200 mg might range from 12 to 15 hours.

Which causes us to wonder about the effects of Modafinil and how long they stay.

How Long Does Modafinil Keep You Awake?

Please bear in mind that although Modafinil may linger in your system for a few days, its effects do not.

A graph of Modafinil’s blood concentration in the body over time shows that it peaks during hours 1-2 [10].

This corresponds to an established medical advice that shift workers take Modafinil around an hour before their shift starts [11].

Many of our study participants, on the other hand, reported feeling Modafinil “kick in” as soon as 30 minutes after taking the smart medicine.

They also claimed that the “Modafinil high” (i.e., increased attention and alertness) lasts 10-12 hours before fading away.

We can come up with our own rules of thumb for timing your Modafinil intake by combining the half-life of Modafinil with this information…

  • If we want to go asleep by 11pm-2am, we take Modafinil before 10 a.m.
  • We take our Modafinil dosage as early as feasible in the morning.
  • Unless we’re planning an all-nighter, we don’t take Modafinil after 1 p.m.



We may extrapolate certain advantages of taking Modafinil based on its half-life of 12-15 hours, which is validated by scientific research and anecdotal testimony from nootropic users.

Modafinil’s half-life assures a few things. Here are a few of the advantages:

Focus That Lasts

One of the most impressive parts of the Modafinil experience is the length of time one can remain focused. It’s almost as if mundane and difficult activities suddenly become pleasurable to do.

A thorough assessment of the usage of cognition-enhancing medications in unfocused kids who were not diagnosed with ADHD [12] verified this:

“Participants expected gains to be higher than they were, contributing to increased vigor, according to the authors.”

Modafinil does not appear to induce overconfidence in cognitive abilities in non-sleep-deprived participants (although the authors did find a trend toward overconfidence in post-task self-monitoring measures), while improving cognitive performance in logical reasoning (accuracy and response times), vigilance, and serial reaction time.”

Some individuals switch fully to Modafinil since it “increases alertness as much as coffee” [13].

All-Nighters Who Work Productively

Modafinil may assist maintain a high level of alertness and avoid the need to sleep for individuals who need to work beyond midnight till the sun rises [14]:

“The findings show that modafinil is effective in maintaining/restoring objective performance and alertness during sleep loss while having few side effects.” Modafinil improves performance and alertness to non-sleep deprived levels at suitable doses.”

Even government personnel would acknowledge to taking Modafinil to accomplish very tight deadlines discreetly [15]:

“In the scramble to put out Budget documents, senior public workers depended on narcotics to keep them awake during 20-hour hours.”

“A user told that modafinil was required to work a series of lengthy hours separated by as little as a four- or five-hour rest.”

“For years, federal and state budgets, as well as other economic statements, have compelled public workers in Finance and Treasury to work longer hours and remain at their desks.”

Anxiety, jitters, or withdrawal symptoms

Have you ever felt jittery or “overwhelmed” after using other stimulants? If so, Modafinil may be a viable option to consider [16]:

“Unlike amphetamines, modafinil has been observed to have little peripheral adverse effects at therapeutic levels.” It also seems to have a limited potential for misuse, does not disrupt natural sleep, and does not appear to create tolerance.”

When compared to other stimulants, Modafinil users have reported feeling far less nervous and aggressive, allowing for “smoother” and more unbroken attention [17].




Modafinil’s half-life may also operate against folks who don’t know how to take it appropriately. The half-life of Modafinil has a few drawbacks:

Sleep Deprivation / Sleep Cycle Interference

Make no mistake: Modafinil can — and will — disrupt the user’s normal sleeping pattern.

For example, if you regularly go to bed around midnight but wake up at 3 a.m. after taking Modafinil, you may have a hangover. This is frequently caused by a shift in one’s sleep cycle [18]. 

Given that Modafinil’s effects may last up to 12 hours, the “high” from Modafinil might stay far longer than the consumer would desire.

Furthermore, Modafinil is not a substitute for sleep. It may be harmful to one’s mental health if they use it to avoid sleeping 7-8 hours every night for a lengthy period of time [18]:

“If someone uses modafinil for a long time, they may acquire some of the same slow-wave sleep deficiencies as cocaine users… Slow-wave sleep is the profound sleep we obtain first thing in the morning.

However, by taking a stimulant that causes the body to remain up longer than it wants to be, you’re interfering with its capacity to control how much and what sort of sleep it receives, causing it to never feel fully refreshed.”

Even a single week of sleep deprivation may have a substantial impact on your immune system and cognitive abilities.

You MUST Work Hard.

This anecdotal adverse effect of Modafinil’s half-life has been told to us many times, and we’ve personally experienced it, so it’s worth discussing here.

It is critical to establish a game plan for the tasks that must be completed that day before taking a Modafinil dosage.

You should immediately begin working after swallowing the Modafinil tablet and maintain your attention on the job at hand. When the effects of Modafinil set in, we discover that we can work on “autopilot” when it comes to concentrating on any given task.

This, however, has worked against us.

One of our study subjects, for example, was viewing YouTube videos when his Modafinil kicked in. What do you believe occurred? Yes, he watched YouTube for the next few hours, unable to bring himself to quit and return to his job.

To put it another way, we don’t think it’s worth it to take Modafinil unless you really plan to devote your efforts to the activities that need the cognitive boost Modafinil delivers.


Half-Life Differences Between Armodafinil and Modafinil

What are the differences in half-life between Modafinil and Armodafinil, a medicine made composed of Modafinil’s most powerful enantiomer (non-superimposable mirror image)?

Surprisingly, the half-lives of Armodafinil and Modafinil are fairly comparable.

Modafinil has a half-life of 14.4 hours, whereas Armodafinil has a half-life of 16.5 hours, according to one pharmacokinetic research [19].

This makes sense since Armodafinil is the “R” enantiomer of Modafinil, which has a half-life of 15 hours against 4 hours for the “S” enantiomer.

However, one important research [20] found that the duration of effects differs significantly between the two drugs:

“Despite having comparable half-lives, armodafinil plasma concentrations are greater late in the day than modafinil plasma concentrations on a milligram-to-milligram basis.” When compared to modafinil, armodafinil’s pharmacokinetic profile may result in better alertness throughout the day in individuals with ES.”

In brief, the Armodafinil and Modafinil half-lives are identical in duration, but Armodafinil causes more prolonged wakefulness throughout the working day.


Choosing the Right Modafinil Dose

Knowing the Modafinil half-life and how long it lasts, we may ask ourselves the following questions to establish a “optimal” Modafinil dose and when to take it [19]: 

  • How long do I want to concentrate?
  • When do I want to retire for the night?
  • Do I have any unpleasant side effects from this dosage?

Even so, bear in mind that everyone’s biochemistry is different, thus Modafinil may affect them differently.

After all, 100mg of Modafinil might “work” for 12 hours in one person but just 6-8 hours in another.

As a result, we can say that most people would benefit from starting with a Modafinil dosage of 100mg taken 1-3 times per week early in the morning.

Our team members have typically begun in this manner and progressively raised their dosage in 25mg or 50mg increments, testing with the new dose for an extra week.

We don’t take more than 200mg of Modafinil per day since the effects don’t seem to improve considerably beyond that.

We’ll leave you with a few more pointers from study participants who have effectively exploited Modafinil’s half-life to their advantage. These suggestions may or may not improve your Modafinil experience and lead to the desired “Modafinil high”:

  • To maintain optimum Modafinil blood concentrations throughout the day, take 100mg Modafinil around 7-8 a.m. and another 100mg at 12-1 p.m.
  • Modafinil may have different effects when taken on an empty stomach than when taken with meals.



Modafinil Half-Life | The Final Word

So, what is this mysterious “Modafinil half-life” statistic that wise medication consumers should be aware of?

To summarize, a 100-200mg dosage of Modafinil has a half-life of 12-15 hours in your system.

Because the effects endure a long time, don’t expect to sleep for more than 12 hours. For most people, this means taking Modafinil in the morning or before lunch.

This does not apply to folks who use Modafinil to stay up all night.

Others use the smart medicine to stay up all night.

Whatever your objectives are, utilize the information above to make sure you’re getting the most out of Modafinil. Before acting on any information, please speak with your prescribing doctor.

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  1. Modafinil, a new awakening medication, in practice and danger. Kim D. 10.5620/eht.2012.27.e2012007

  2. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2004;28(2):97-99. doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2004.04.006. Caraceni A, Simonetti F. Psychostimulants: new perspectives for palliative care from the modafinil experience?

  3. Halves of Lives. The date is June 5, 2020.
  4. HALF-LIFE. The date is June 6, 2020.
  5. What is the drug’s half-life? Retrieved on 4 June 2020.
  6. [C-IV] PROVIGIL® (modafinil) Tablets Retrieved on 4 June 2020.
  7. Sleep Med. 2007;8(4):427440. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2007.03.004. Thorpy M. Therapeutic improvements in narcolepsy.

  8. Modafinil, a new awakening medication, in practice and danger. Kim D. 10.5620/eht.2012.27.e2012007
  9. YN Wong, D Simcoe, LN Hartman, et al. The pharmacokinetics and tolerability of modafinil tablets were studied in healthy male volunteers in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, ascending-dose study. 10.1177/00912709922007534 J Clin Pharmacol. 1999;39(1):30-40.

  10. YN Wong, SP King, WB Laughton, GC McCormick, PE Grebow In healthy male volunteers, single-dose pharmacokinetics of modafinil and methylphenidate administered alone or in combination. J Clin Pharmacol, 38(3), 276–282, 1998. doi:10.1002/j.1552-4604.1998.tb04425.x

  11. Modafinil. (accessed June 3, 2020).
  12. Efficacy of stimulants for cognitive improvement in kids with non-attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review. Bagot KS, Kaminer Y. doi:10.1111/add.12460. Addiction. 2014;109(4):547-557.
  13. A Natural Way to Boost Your Brainpower., retrieved June 2, 2020
  14. Modafinil’s effects on cognitive function and alertness during sleep loss, Wesensten NJ. doi:10.2174/138161206777698819. Curr Pharm Des. 2006;12(20):2457-2471.

  15. To remain awake and finish the Federal Budget on time, government employees utilized the stimulant modafinil. The date is June 5, 2020.

  16. Modafinil: the distinctive features of a novel stimulant, Lyons TJ, French J. 432–435. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1991;62(5):432.

  17. Modafinil & Anxiety Reduction. Retrieved June 3, 2020. r/modafinil

  18. Is modafinil a long-term safe drug?, retrieved June 2, 2020

  19. M Darwish, M Kirby, M D’Andrea, R Yang, ET Hellriegel, P Jr Robertson A randomized, open-label, crossover investigation of the pharmacokinetics of armodafinil and modafinil after single and several doses in individuals with excessive drowsiness associated with treated obstructive sleep apnea. 2010;32(12):2074-2087 in Clin Ther. doi:10.1016/j.clinthera.2010.11.009

  20. M Darwish, M Kirby, ET Hellriegel, P Jr Robertson Despite having the identical terminal half-lives, armodafinil and modafinil exhibit significantly distinct pharmacokinetic profiles, according to data from three randomized, single-dose pharmacokinetic trials. 29(9):613–623 in Clin Drug Investig. doi:10.2165/11315280-000000000-00000



Modafinil is a drug that can be used to treat narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and shift work disorder. It has been shown to have a short half-life, meaning it doesn’t stay in your system for long. Reference: how long does modafinil stay in your system reddit.

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