If you do anything consistently for a long enough period of time, your body and mind will grow accustomed to it and develop a tolerance to it.
This holds true for most things in life, whether it be food, drugs, or lifestyle habits. It's a natural survival mechanism that is built into every single human.
If you lift weights, and you follow the same routine for months on end without changing anything, your results will stagnate as your body adjusts to the load.
If you drink 10 cups of coffee a day, eventually your body will grow accustomed to the caffeine load.
If you take 10 mg of Adderall everyday for a year, your body will get used to the stimulus and cut down on receptors.
Tolerance can be a real bitch.
Tolerance can be a real bitch.
Tolerance can be a real bitch.
(if left unchecked)
At the end of the day, Modafinil is a stimulant. Just like every other stimulant on the planet, its effectiveness will continue to diminish over time if used daily. Compared to amphetamines like Adderall which have a much higher potential for dependency and tolerance, a Modafinil tolerance builds up much more gradually.
One day you'll wake up and realize that 200 mg isn't doing jack shit for you anymore. You'll think to yourself "its no big deal, I can just take another 100 mg and get results." Keep that mentality up long enough and eventually you may land yourself in a position where you will struggle to stay awake, even while under the influence of RIDICULOUSLY HIGH DOSES.
(true story: I once gave an aquaintance of mine a 200 mg dose to try out. He was a drug addict and a heavy amphetamine user. 200 mg literally did NOTHING for him. That's when you know you've got a stimulant tolerance)
The key to fighting tolerance is avoiding building one up in the first place.
As tempting as it may be, when you continue to up the dosage to get that extra little edge,
YOU ARE FUCKING YOURSELF IN THE LONG RUN.
I've seen it happen time and time again. Do a quick search on Reddit for "modafinil tolerance". You will find reports of people taking upwards of 2 grams just to function like a normal human being.
That's 2000 mg, or the equivalent of 10 full pills. Thats the result of YEARS of daily use/abuse. Its not something that just occurred overnight. If used properly 200 mg will be plenty.
The mentality that more is better doesn't apply when it comes to drugs. Jacking up your dosage isn't going to get you better results. If you aren't getting results through continuous use, more than likely your work ethic is the issue.
If that is you, I'll talk about how to handle that in a separate post, but for now, lets focus on prevention. Being safe and avoiding digging yourself into a pit is far easier than digging yourself out of one.
If you follow the guidelines I have below, tolerance and dependency will be non issues. These are just my personal guidelines that I personally use and continue to get great results from. You are welcome to experiment and tweak it to your liking, but if you stick to it the way I have it written out, I can guarantee the results.
1. Limit Use to 3 - 4 days a week
The Golden Rule for Keeping Tolerance in Check
If you're in it for the long haul, I highly recommend against dosing any more than 3 days a week on average. The reason for this is twofold. First and foremost it keeps tolerance to a minimum and sets you up for maximal absorption during dosages.
The second reason is more psychological. As great as Modafinil is, and as much as its helped me, I absolutely hate the idea of being completely reliant on any drug just to have a functioning work ethic.
If you're a lazy person or have problems getting shit done, Modafinil can absolutely help kick start your motivation.
It's meant to get the ball rolling more than anything else. In the long run, if used properly, it will enhance your natural work ethic and motivation to get shit done. The positive reinforcement of the amount of work you accomplished on an "on day" will carry over to the following day.
(The natural tendency will lean towards keeping momentum even when you're not on Modafinil.)
If you're in it for the long haul, as I recommend, and are serious about improving the quality of your life and mental performance, you will have to discipline yourself to operate well at baseline levels.
Seriously, what the hell are you doing that requires Modafinil on a daily basis? Realistically, you can get away with dosing 4 or 5 times on any given week if you need to, but just know that it is going to catch up to you pretty damn fast if you keep it up.
2. Avoid dosing back to back on consecutive days
For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to break up tolerance into "short term tolerance" and "long term tolerance". The day immediately after use, your short term tolerance is going to be at its peak. Giving as little as a 1 day break in between dosages will yield a noticeable difference in the effects. For example, lets say you dose 200 mg on Monday morning. The ideal situation would be to wait at least until Wednesday morning before you drop again.
I realize that this isn't always practical (I myself am guilty of dropping 2 to 3 days in a row many many times).
long as you keep your dosages relatively low, and follow #1, its not really a big deal. Keep in mind however that if you are going to dose multiple days in a row, with little sleep in between sessions, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to a massive energy crash when you come off.
You may feel fine and rested, but the reality is you're simply delaying the mental and physical fatigue that you normally would have incurred during the day.
3. Limit your caffeine intake on days that you dose
One thing I've noticed while I'm on Modafinil is how hyper sensitive my body feels to caffeine. The drug has a tendency to enhance the effects of the caffeine, so you actually don't need a lot to get a good buzz going.
On a solid 200 mg dose, 1 cup of coffee feels like 3. Taking 3 cups feels like 7 or 8 cups. You may have to experiment a little and find your sweet spot, but I find that when I casually have a cup or two on the side, it has a positive effect on my mood and alertness. If you're new to Modafinil, I would absolutely recommend starting slow.
It takes a bit of trial and error to find your sweet spot, and its very easy to overdo it. On the occasions that I took too much, I distinctly remember lying on my bed with an unbearable headache wondering why the heck I thought it was a good idea to drink 4 cups back to back on an empty stomach on top of a 200 mg dose.
If you have some kind of pre-existing medical condition, I would urge you even further to error on the side of caution.
4. Stay the hell away from powerful stimulants (at least on days that you dose)
If you are taking any kind of fat burners, thermogenic supplements, or preworkouts, don't touch them on days that you dose.
Nothing good can come from it. At best, you will feel like complete and absolute shit, lying on your ass for the next 12 hours. At worst, your heart rate will go through the roof and land you straight in the hospital, that is if you don't die from a heart attack before the EMTs get to you. I've never tried stacking it with any kind of fat burners or preworkout supplements, but common sense should tell you its just a terrible idea.
If you're into recreational drugs, its generally a good idea to avoid stacking them. You're probably not going to have a good experience, and depending on what you take, the combination can be quite dangerous. If you are going to do drugs, you would be better off waiting until the tail end of a dose, and avoid taking caffeine throughout the day. I still wouldn't recommend it though, as its probably going to result in complete exhaustion and a 14 hour nap once you come down.
5. Give your body a break every once in awhile with a washout period
A washout period is basically an extended period of time where you don't use any Modafinil whatsoever. The duration can range anywhere from a week or two to a few months off.
Once you've gotten a good taste of the effects, the idea of taking these long extended breaks probably isn't going to appeal to a lot of people. The good news is, you don't have to take these long extended breaks just to "keep tolerance low".
(Its completely unnecessary.)
However, taking a week or two off every 6 to 8 weeks can be quite beneficial for the same reasons as #1. You are not going to regret giving your body a short break and training your mental fortitude to work harder and longer even when you're off. If anything, it will improve your performance when you're on.
Nowadays, I personally follow every one of these guidelines.
If I had used them from day 1, I would have saved myself a lot of time, money, and frustration.
Every body is different, and there is a somewhat of a learning curve for figuring out optimal dosing and timing.