Experience:300mg Adrafinil (Oral) - No More Groggy Mornings
For years, I have been locked in a perpetual battle with delayed sleep phase disorder. My internal clock and the 24 hour day do not match up, and thus my natural sleep-wake schedule cycles around the 24 hour day. Thus, I am only in sync with the working day for about a week out of a given month, and for at least one week, I am completely at odds with it (wanting to go to bed at 3:00 in the afternoon and cycling into full wakefulness around midnight). Needless to say, this cycling presents problems. I take dextroamphetamine for ADHD, but find it completely lacking in the wakefulness department - if I'm cycling around to sleep time, even a double dose of dexedrine will not keep me awake. After much consternation and research, I ordered some Adrafinil from a nootropic vendor. The results have been positively life-changing.
Adrafinil, compared to other stimulants I've tried (amphetamine, dexedrine, methylphenidate, cocaine), is incredibly subtle. Unlike with traditional stimulants, it can be hard, at any given moment, to look at one's physical and mental state and say, "I am being stimulated by a drug." Indeed, I feel to call Adrafinil a stimulant misrepresents it - there is no sense of force, no euphoria (although a mild-to-moderate mood lift often occurs), no sense of being driven to action. There is none of the jitteriness of caffeine either, no sense of being "wired". Adrafinil is truly best described as a "eugeroic", a wakefulness promoting agent. For that is the only truly noticeable effect - a lack of sleepiness. I am often hard-pressed to identify whether or not Adrafinil is working, until I come to the point during the day (whenever it may be) that my internal clock would normally want to cycle into sleep mode at. Unlike traditional stimulants, Adrafinil does not so much "mask" fatigue or tiredness as it makes them "optional." One still notices when one is tired - but it can readily be pushed aside, and is present more as a sort of internal tension than as a biological imperative.
No other stimulant I've tried even comes close to Adrafinil in terms of its ability to combat fatigue and sleepiness. For the first time in my adult life, I feel like I have control over my sleep schedule. At the same time, Adrafinil is so mild as a stimulant that it remains fully possible to fall asleep at almost any point during its 15+ hour duration (except, perhaps, during the peak at around hours 5-7). Sleep is a CHOICE on Adrafinil - one can take it or leave it.
The only complaint I have about Adrafinil is how long it takes to reach its full effect. This is not at all like caffeine - it won't do you any good against exhaustion if you take it when already overcome with fatigue. Since it is a prodrug of modafinil, adrafinil needs to be converted to its active form, which takes around one to two hours. Even after it is converted to modafinil, there is another sizeable delay between onset of effects and their peak. For me, Adrafinil takes about two hours to start working, and another two hours to reach maximum efficacy. This means Adrafinil is not a pill one can take in the morning to combat drowsiness and enable one to face the day (such as caffeine or shorter acting stimulants like methylphenidate). It is usually perfectly possible to sleep through the come-up, however, and this has led me to the following dosing regimen: when I know I have to be up for a certain time, I'll set an alarm for 2-3 hours BEFORE I have to be up. I'll wake up, take an Adrafinil, and go right back to sleep. This lets me wake up just as the drug is starting to peak (more often than not, I don't need an alarm for this, as the stimulation from Adrafinil at this point is strong enough to make drifting back off to sleep after waking up very unlikely). And this is the greatest benefit I've received from Adrafinil: no more groggy mornings. No more do I wake up and literally want to die rather than face the day ahead. Instead, I'm bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first thing in the morning - feeling alert, rejuvenated, and ready to face what comes my way. Even with only a few hours sleep, I awaken feeling refreshed and well-rested. Due to its long half-life, Adrafinil lasts through the better part of a day (approx. 15-18 hours), meaning that one dose is all that's needed to stave off fatigue for the duration of a normal working day. After the peak, going to sleep is perfectly possible - I can have a nap any time after hour 6-7 - but it is a CHOICE, not an IMPERATIVE.