Sleep is for suckers!
August 23, 2005 8:16 PM   Subscribe

The experimental wake-up drug CX717 is the the talk of the internets. But who needs it when Modafinil (aka Provigil, aka Alertec) has been available by prescription since 2001? And if you don't want to get a prescription, there's always Adrafinil, its metabolic precursor, which is marketed as a "supplement". After all, caffeine is, like, soooo last century.
posted by exhilaration (24 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
woot, I think. is there a Dr. in the house?
posted by tiamat at 8:20 PM on August 23, 2005

At this point, you'd have to be an unreasonable optimist to think that there won't be significant side effects from this sort of drug. Maybe one day we'll have a more comprehensive understanding of how the brain works. Until then, I would temper my enthusiasm for novel stimulants and psychoactive drugs, or at least let someone else serve as guinea pig.
posted by mert at 8:27 PM on August 23, 2005

Uh, if I understood this correctly the buzz is not over it because it keeps you awake, but rather because it keeps you from going insane due to lack of sleep.
IANAE, but I should think those are two different things.
posted by nightchrome at 8:29 PM on August 23, 2005

So I've got a drug to wake me up, a drug to keep me awake, a drug to keep me from eating too much, a drug to help me when I can't eat enough, a drug to help me go to the bathroom, and a drug to put me to sleep.

Where's the drug that does my job for me?
posted by wakko at 8:37 PM on August 23, 2005

Have these guys ever heard of speed?
posted by angry modem at 9:22 PM on August 23, 2005

Not long ago, a psychiatrist in private practice telephoned associate professor of psychiatry Robert Stickgold, a cognitive neuroscientist specializing in sleep research. He asked whether Stickgold knew of any reason not to prescribe modafinil, a new wakefulness-promoting drug, to a Harvard undergraduate facing a lot of academic work in exam period.... “No—no reason at all not to,” Stickgold told the psychiatrist. “Not unless you think sleep does something.” When people make the unlikely claim that they get by on four hours of sleep per night, Stickgold often asks if they worry about what they are losing. “You get a blank look,” he says. “They think that sleep is wasted time.” Harvard Magazine via previous mefi post
posted by roboto at 9:58 PM on August 23, 2005

How come modern drugs are all named like the swords of elven kings?
posted by coelecanth at 10:36 PM on August 23, 2005 [1 favorite]

I bet it's not by accident.
posted by Balisong at 10:43 PM on August 23, 2005

Which Elven sword was named CX717?
posted by weston at 10:50 PM on August 23, 2005 [1 favorite]

Of course I just meant the drugs that are on the market. And I'm sorry I forgot to capitalize "Elven."
posted by coelecanth at 11:33 PM on August 23, 2005

You better be sorry!
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:19 AM on August 24, 2005

This must be a new press release, since 'news' about this "wonderful" AMPAkine has been around for atleast a year and a half. When does it hit the market?
posted by Gyan at 1:28 AM on August 24, 2005

Actually, angry modem, white-collar speedfreaks use modafanil to mellow the amphetamine craziness on weekend binges. See: 72 Hour Party People. Fun article.

Appropriately, I'm pulling an all-nighter right now. I really enjoy sleep, but I really enjoy getting things done. If I could pick the latter without the associated brainmurder the next day, that would be neat. A little transhuman-y.
posted by rfordh at 3:06 AM on August 24, 2005

Sleep is for suckers, it's true. Unfortunately it's also for the rest of us. I like speed as much as the next guy, but there are few situations that so clearly illustrate the "robbing Peter to pay Paul" principle as does not sleeping to get things done.

On the other hand, I have a close friend who takes Modafinil for depression, and feels that it really really helps her.
posted by OmieWise at 5:28 AM on August 24, 2005

I once read a (probably apocrophal) story about how Einstein trained himself to need less sleep. He would sit down, and hold two weights over his un-shoed feet. When sleep overtook him, he dropped the weights, instantly woke up, and repeated the process. Doing this over a period of months, he was able to reduce his sleep dependence to four hours a night.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:49 AM on August 24, 2005

I really enjoy sleep, but I really enjoy getting things done.

Which is why you're posting on MetaFilter in the middle of the night.
posted by ook at 6:48 AM on August 24, 2005

coelcanth, you win.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 7:30 AM on August 24, 2005

Modafinil certainly wakes you up, but I don't think it lives up all this hype as a pill to sleep completely optional.

I tried it out around 5am during an all-nighter. Within 10 minutes, I felt like my awakeness had been cranked up to 11. But the next day, it became very apparent that being "awake" and being "not tired" are two completely different things. I still had all the weak muscles, sore joints, dry eyes, slow thinking, and irritable attitude of being up all night. I still felt like crap-- maybe even a little worse because I was alert enough to fully experience the crappiness.
posted by 4easypayments at 9:01 AM on August 24, 2005

I've used adrafinil and I'm going to have to echo 4easypayments - although I had no desire to sleep, I definately wanted to rest. I was just as worn-out and still had the mental fog and reduced functionality - I was just less tired, so I actually had to stay up and endure the duration of my uselessness. It's not like with amphetamines, where you stay awake and get +4 Alertness until they wear off. The article says "CX717 appeared to increase activity in the brain's frontal cortex" and that it "[improves] performance under normal conditions"., so it sounds like it might have some stimulating mental effects that modafinil/adrafinil don't.
posted by nTeleKy at 9:17 AM on August 24, 2005

I third 4easypayments and nTeleKy.
posted by daksya at 10:16 AM on August 24, 2005

Great. I can stay awake even longer. Now my boss can squeeze even more work out of me.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:35 AM on August 24, 2005

Get back to work, Thorzdad.
posted by OmieWise at 1:28 PM on August 24, 2005

I love sleep
posted by Hal Mumkin at 2:35 PM on August 24, 2005

Thanks for the info, 4easy, nT, and daks (all get abbrs). I was curious about adrafinil, but I think I'll pass now. I sleep like a baby.

Malcolm X also supposedly only slept 4 hours a night. Look what happened to him. Murdered, that's what.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:39 PM on August 24, 2005 [1 favorite]

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