Did you know that there are Provigil alternatives that can restore mental health, clarity, and vibrancy naturally?
Wakefulness-promoting medications like Provigil may have served a purpose temporarily during a time of real need. However, Provigil alternatives could offer more beneficial results without the potential liabilities and limited workability that often accompany pharmaceutical products.
Do Your Symptoms
Alternative to Meds has been the expert on antidepressant alternatives for over 15 years. We have published evidence regarding our clients’ tremendous success. Underlying issues can and should be exhaustively searched out and treated before resorting to prescription drugs. We find quite often that certain medical conditions were overlooked, or that the factors that contributed to the crisis situation, as in day-time sleepiness, were never investigated. Provigil is associated with off-label use which can result in psychosis or other critical outcomes. It is not at all unusual for a doctor to misdiagnose a patient prematurely due to critical omissions in pre-treatment testing.
15 Years Experience by Professionals Who Understand Your Journey.
Commonly, relatively healthy people whose job entails shift work rely on the drug to help them stay alert. People whose work or school demands extended waking hours leading to sleep deprivation such as pilots, combat soldiers, students cramming for exams, and truck drivers may take Provigil to stay awake.
However, the drug is FDA approved for combating daytime sleepiness in chronic health conditions such as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and shift workers who suffer from sleep deprivation.
There is a significantly large percentage of the population who would prefer taking natural and herbal supplements instead of prescription drugs when dealing with chronic fatigue and daytime sleepiness. Some herbal or natural remedies have proven neuro-stimulant effects, but they also carry some safety concerns, such as ephedra and even too much caffeine can be a cause for concern.9,10,11
Safe, effective alternatives to Provigil for daytime sleepiness:
Improve your sleep by improving your dark-light cycles. Providing enough “dark time” is profoundly important in improving sleep, far more impactful on quality of sleep than diet. (Diet/nutrition is also extremely important — see more on diet below). Take an inventory of your sleeping area and remove or block electrical and blue light devices, as these can lead to suppression of sleep hormones at night. If needed, use amber-colored blue-light blocking glasses for a few hours before bedtime to reduce the neurostimulation effects of light and other devices in your environment.12,13
Ensure your bedding, pillows, and mattress, room ventilation and temperature are suitable for comfortable, restful sleep. Light-blocking and noise-reducing curtains or other insulations are recommended.14
Melatonin is known to synchronize circadian (sleep) cycles. Can be taken in supplement form. It is produced in the pituitary gland and a diet that supports the natural production of this hormone would include tart cherries or tart cherry juice, eggs, milk, fish, a variety of fruits, grains, and vegetables, particularly tomatoes, grapes, olives, olive oil, rice, walnuts, and barley are very high in melatonin or its precursor, tryptophan.13
V-8 juice, eggs, and milk are all high in tryptophan. Tryptophan is also available in supplement form.15
Avoid caffeine sources before retiring — caffeine can suppress melatonin.11
A deficiency in folate, zinc, magnesium, and other nutrients and micronutrients can suppress melatonin production. Get tested, and correct these and other deficiencies if they are present.13
Maintain a healthy gut microbiome. A healthy gut supports the hormones and energy cycles that regulate sleep. Dysbiosis (out of balance bacteria) in the gut sets you up for fragmented, poor-quality sleep and dragged-out days. Prebiotics and probiotics in foods and supplemental forms along with a healthy, sugar-free diet can dramatically put things right.17
Lab testing can show accumulations of neurotoxins that can be overstimulating, and disruptive to normal hormonal balance. Avoid products containing toxic chemicals in the home, at work, in body care products, and in cleaning supplies. Cleansing out the build-up of these from the body can help hormones to begin functioning at their optimal levels again. Clearing these neurotoxic accumulations can actually brighten cognitive function and memory as well, making daytime energy and a brighter outlook much more present naturally. Bio-absorption of nutrients also improves markedly when toxins are removed as toxins block nutrient uptake. Cleansing neurotoxins can set up a wonderfully positive, ongoing feedback loop, as deep sleep actually helps to clear toxins from the brain according to research out of NIH.18,19,20,21
Provigil — Important Facts
Provigil (generic name modafinil) is a wakefulness-promoting drug, and like virtually all pharmaceutical products, the exact mechanism of how it works in the brain and CNS is not known.1 According to the FDA label, modafinil (Provigil) appears not to strongly bind to the usual receptors involved in sleep/wake cycles, such as the norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, GABA, adenosine, melatonin, benzodiazepine, and histamine receptors. However, Madras et al published research in 2006 that reports modafinil does appear to bind to certain dopamine and norepinephrine receptors in certain areas of the brain, citing animal and in vivo studies.3 While generally not known for a high risk of addiction, Madras’s research shows Provigil may share similar neurochemical characteristics with other stimulants, such as amphetamines and cocaine which do bind to such receptors.
Provigil use, like any psychostimulant drug, is subject to abuse and addiction. Provigil can produce stimulating effects and euphoria, changes in mood, and changes in thinking that are in some ways similar to other anti-fatigue stimulants such as amphetamines, and cocaine. For these reasons, some people may begin to use it habitually to obtain a brightened cognitive state. In animal clinical trials, monkeys were found to self-administer Provigil in a similar pattern to how they self-administered cocaine.2
Provigil was FDA approved for chronic daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, for people who work shift work, and for sleep apnea-related daytime sleepiness. However, off-label uses have developed such as to counteract the sedative effects of psychiatric medications and to enhance concentration while studying. Using Provigil as a cognitive “enhancer” is highly controversial, as it has been associated with psychosis in otherwise healthy individuals, at both high doses and at low doses.5,6,7
Provigil taken randomly to counteract sleepiness can cause sleep disturbances and trouble with focusing later, as in driving a car for example, according to a published review of the literature in the National Library of Medicine.16 Despite much ongoing research, and much eagerness to use Provigil for a laundry list of off-label uses, everything from combat fatigue to studying for an exam, the drug’s exact action on the highly complex brain remains elusive at best, and indicates we should remain cautious about relying on psychostimulant drugs for staying awake. Provigil alternatives are designed to be a much safer, more predictable way to address issues regarding sleep.4,23
Provigil Side Effects
The most common Provigil side effects are euphoria, headache, nervousness, and depression. Repeated use can lead to an impaired immune system, sleep disturbance, anxiety, jitteriness, psychiatric symptoms, and addiction.4,23
Of concern, there are multiple case reports of psychosis, hallucinations, paranoid delusions and other undesirable features of drug-induced psychosis at various dosage levels.6,7
Provigil can cause another rare but troubling side effect — Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, or “SJS,” which is a quickly developing rash or allergic-type reaction to the drug. Important to know, the condition can quickly escalate into a potentially life-threatening severe skin reaction.1,8
Also, the drug caused a decreased effectiveness in certain types of contraceptives where a woman takes Provigil concurrently. Though rare, the drug manufacturer placed warnings on drug packaging to bring awareness of these potential side effects.1
As noted in the FDA label information, Provigil can also over-stimulate the heart, so is not recommended for people with heart conditions.1
Potential Harm from Chronic Sleep Deprivation
Chronic sleep deprivation can cause a debilitating cascade of negative physical and mental health effects. Besides the frustration of never feeling fully rested, sleep deprivation is so destructive that it is used inhumanely as a form of torture for the purpose of interrogation (though ineffective at data retrieval).22
The neurocognitive effects of sleep deprivation have been the subject of much clinical research. We understand that over time one can even adapt to a constant feeling of fatigue and poor performance because of continual poor quality sleep. It is estimated that up to 30% of the global population suffers from some degree of chronic insomnia, meaning that daytime sleepiness is a symptom of poor or disrupted sleep. It’s a big problem for a lot of people.24 However, the pharmacological “solutions” that are offered are just not acceptable for many due to the side effects and the fact that they do not fix the problem. Duct tape might temporarily fix a leaky pipe, but eventually, if you don’t get to the root of the problem, that leaky pipe is going to cascade into bigger problems.
Chronic sleep deprivation can be addressed, even if it means rolling up one’s sleeves and getting to work using Provigil alternatives. We can help.
Are you looking for a healthier set of Provigil alternatives?
Alternative to Meds Center provides sound strategies that guide clients safely toward their highest health goals. An investigative, pro-active approach can find the root causes, and help repair the negative impacts that drugs may have brought about. Alternative to Meds Center has developed non-drug-based remedies and uses lab tests to uncover the underlying causes for insomnia and other troubling symptoms. Sometimes, there are underlying but undiagnosed medical reasons that contribute to the problem, making it persist. Addressing environmental stress, personal counseling to assist with the effects of unresolved life situations, or difficult relationships, removal of toxic accumulations, malnutrition (not as uncommon as you might think), comfortable withdrawal techniques, spa services, Qi Gong, yoga, IV & Nad therapy, and other adjunctive therapies that have achieved positive results according to our clients. For more information, please contact us at Alternative to Meds Center and find out more about our effective, non-drug-based Provigil alternatives and inpatient treatment programs for eliminating symptoms that are blocking your natural mental health.
This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.
Dr. Samuel Lee
Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente. He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.
Diane is an avid supporter and researcher of natural mental health strategies. Diane received her medical writing and science communication certification through Stanford University and has published over 3 million words on the topics of holistic health, addiction, recovery, and alternative medicine. She has proudly worked with the Alternative to Meds Center since its inception and is grateful for the opportunity to help the founding members develop this world-class center that has helped so many thousands regain natural mental health.
Medical Disclaimer: Nothing on this Website is intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided on the website is intended to encourage, not replace, direct patient-health professional relationships. Always consult with your doctor before altering your medications. Adding nutritional supplements may alter the effect of medication. Any medication changes should be done only after proper evaluation and under medical supervision.