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Modafinil Dose?

Hi. I need some help figuring out how Modafinil works. I basically have something which seems like Insomnia but it isn't. I believe I suffer from Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome. I have had it since I was 15, I am 25 now. The problem is that, I can't maintain a proper schedule. I can never sleep at a particular time everyday. It keeps moving as every day passes by. For example, right now I am sleeping at around 9 AM everyday and then I am getting up at around 5 PM. After a few weeks, it will change from 9 AM to 10 AM, gradually of course. But when my so called 'sleeping time' does come, I don't have any problem falling asleep so clearly, this isn't insomnia. I have been to a number of doctors and I had been prescribed a number of hypnotics. I still have a prescription of Xanax and Ambien but I don't want to take these drugs.

In the past I have used chronotherapy to fix my problem. Like today I'll be going to sleep at 9 AM. Instead of going to bed at 9 AM, I don't sleep at all and instead I'll sleep at around 11 PM (13 hours later). The issue here is that, staying awake for 24 hours is a complete ordeal! So I talked to my current doctor who too doesn't know much about the problem I have and I asked him if I could take a drug which could help me feel awake during this 24 hour period. He said he knows about a drug known as Modafinil however he said he isn't sure what dose would be appropriate for me.

Does anyone here have experience with Modafinil? He gave me a prescription of 100 mg. I am thinking I'll take one pill at around 9 AM. Would it be enough to keep me awake and alert for the next 12 hours?

I am very much looking forward to a response! Thank you very much.

Best Regards.
Best Answer
Avatar universal
Hi there,

How were you diagnosed with this sleep disorder?

I have a prescription for Modafinil which was given to me by a sleep specialist at the hospital.  My instructions are to take it if I have to drive for more than 10 minutes.  I take a 200mg dose and it does help somewhat but certainly doesn't keep me alert for 12 hours.

Everyone reacts differently to medications so all I can say is to give it a try and see how you feel.  The first time I took it I made sure I didn't have anything important to do that day as I didn't know how I'd react.  Quite honestly, I don't usually bother to take it unless I'm feeling really, really drowsy and I HAVE to drive.  Then I'll take 200mg in the morning and head out right away to get my stuff done.

Good luck...you can stay awake for another 12 hours.  I know it's hard and you'll feel yucky, but hopefully the good sleep you get tonight will be well worth it.  

I'm interested to hear more about your condition and about what tests you've had done.
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1355118 tn?1298564879
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi, welcome to the forum, modafinil mainly acts by decreasing GABA-mediated neurotransmission. GABA is known to suppress the general alertness and can cause induction of sleep.  Modafinil increases high-frequency alpha waves while decreasing both delta and theta wave activity which shows generalized increase in alertness.

Hence, Modafinil Improves wakefulness in patients with excessive daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder (SWSD). Once the drug is taken, it has the effect for 12-15 hours. It comes in 100 mg and 200 mg. For appropriate dosage and prescription consult physician. Take care and regards.
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Avatar universal
@Dr Rajput: Thanks for sharing that, it was helpful! :) Do you think the problem I have described sounds like delayed sleep phase syndrome?

@Janit: Hi, thanks for the reply. I have always been wrongly diagonized as having insomnia. I realized this around 2 years back when I suffered from a 'true' form of insomnia which lasted a month or so. The cause of this insomnia was the anxiety I was suffering from. The thing that sets apart insomnia from what I have is the fact that I don't have any problems falling asleep when my 'time to sleep' arrives. It's just that, this time, it keeps shifting! Insomnia is defined as the inability to fall asleep when the time to sleep has arrived. But when my time does arrive, I have no problem falling asleep niether do I have any problems staying asleep.

The current psychiatrist I am visiting was just puzzled when I asked him if I have DSPS. I wouldn't blame him because based on the research I have done, DSPS is pretty uncommon and not very well understood or ducumented.

When I was around 17, I had apparently reinvented the wheel. I thought I had invented 'chronotherapy' only to find out years later that it already existed and is something that's well documented :)

I don't know if I have DSPS or not but what I do know for sure is that it's not insomnia and that I shouldn't be resting my hopes in hypnotic drugs.

I am going to give Modafinil a try. I can't express how difficult chronotherapy can be. Specially when you have to do it like 4 times a year. It's been a year since I stopped fixing my problem because I didn't see the point. I always know even after so much suffering, few weeks or months later I'll be back to where I had started off from in the first place.

PS: My mother tells me my grand mother had the very same problem. She just couldn't sleep in the night. She slept in the morning while she did everything else during the night hours.
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Avatar universal
Shadow, thanks for explaining your issue.  It's really fascinating.

I've suffered from insomnia a few times but in general, I'd say I'm more like you.  I've always considered myself a "night owl" and have always felt the most energy in the evening and night time hours.  Now that I no longer work, I've sometimes just "gone with it" and I'll sleep when my body feels like sleeping however, every doctor I see seems to want to get me on a night time sleep schedule.

I've never heard of DSPS but I think maybe it's time for me to do some research of my own.

Good luck to you !!!!
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Avatar universal
Oops, one more comment....

Have you tried seeing a sleep specialist about this rather than the psychiatrist?  I go to a sleep clinic at one of our local hospitals and have had numerous different types of sleep studies done.  Once they have the results of the tests the sleep specialist sees me and gives me his recommendations which is how I ended up with the Rx for Modafinil.
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Avatar universal
Janet,

It's 3 PM here. Yesterday I got up at around 10 PM. I was waking up at around 6 or 7 but yesterday I decided I'll get as much sleep as I possibly can so here I am, it's 3 PM and I have begun the chronotherapy. I was sleeping at around 10 AM. I took 200 mg of Modafinil and I hope it will work (fingers crossed)! Sleep deprivation makes me feel sick, specially in my stomache. I am hoping to go to bed at around midnight today.

I think you should listen to what the docs have to say and try following a night schedule. I once read this blog post, I don't know if whether it was written by an expert or not but it basically dealt with the importance of night sleep. The author used an analogy of two identical twins. He basically wrote that if one of the twins follows a night schedule where as the other one follows an opposite schedule, years later the one with the night schedule would be better compared to his counterpart. That article had put a lot of influence on me and since then I have been wanting to follow a normal schedule.

What is the primary problem that brings you here Janet? Is it a sleep disorder?
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