Recently I met up with some old buddies that are in the long-haul trucking business, yes, they’re truck drivers. Pretty exciting gig, good pay, see the country, drive to your heart’s content. The perpetual problem they have though is keeping awake for those long hauls. There are laws that prevent drivers from driving more than 11 hours in a given work day, but some seem to just use that as a guideline more than a law as this is difficult to enforce I understand. Personally, I hope most of them are not abusing that law since I don’t necessarily enjoy the thought of getting hit by a big rig.
This brings me to the point of this post, a little off topic, but the majority of these drivers I know were talking about how they stay awake on long drives and we got a mixed bag of the following:
- Red Bull
- to a lesser extent, 5-Hour Energy
- Good old fashioned caffeine pills
- and something I haven’t heard of in years, Modafinil pills
What the heck is Modafinil?
According to the good Wikipedia, it’s an FDA-approved drug that treats wakefulness disorders of narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea. It’s often sold under the brand names: Alertec (CA), Modavigil (AU, NZ) and Provigil
. Most importantly, the guys that use this drug can’t say enough good things about it’s ability. It sort of reminds me of that movie “Limitless” and the NXT drug that Bradley Cooper got hooked on that gave him amazing mental abilities until the effects ran out and he was fiending for more.
So where’s the negative in all this?
A quick search on WebMD and I was able to find these pretty innocuous side effects: Headache, nausea, nervousness, anxiety, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping may occur. Not the worst things to trade in for a temporarily amplified brain.
Why isn’t everyone using it then for endurance drives and epic studying sessions?
Turns out the body builds a tolerance to it pretty fast so it’s not wise to take it every day, you need to pace yourself. Another major turn off is the price, it’s often so expensive to fill an RX in the US that people are buying Modafinil online from Canada, India & Turkey to save a few bucks.
Am I also a medical doctor?
Not at all, so do NOT take anything I say as medical advice. Consult your own physician before taking anything mentioned here, besides, you need a prescription anyways.
Would I take it?
Probably not. I’m not much of a pill popper, so I would recommend these alternatives to pills from Marc & Angel’s blog. Would love to hear anyone else’s experiences with using Modafinil to stay awake while driving and if they purchased Modafinil online or from their local drug stores.
Enjoy and drive alert!
Reference: Truck driver legal driving limit times found at this handy site.