Looking to get a promotion? It could be as easy as taking a pill.
In a new analysis published in European Neuropsychopharmacology, University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School researchers looked at studies done on the drug modafinil, which, in addition to being an aid for narcolepsy and other sleep disorders, improves your cognitive function. Meaning yes, it could probably give you just that push you need to get ahead at work.
According to The Atlantic, the researchers found that modafinil (sold by the brand name Provigil in the US and similar to Nuvigil) can help improve decision-making and planning skills. It can also help with flexible thinking, combining information, or coping with novelty.
"What emerged was that the longer and the more complex the task... the more consistently modafinil showed cognitive benefits,” Anna-Katharine Brem, a neuropsychologist at Oxford and one of the study's authors, told The Atlantic.
But how does it differ from other drugs that promote productivity, like Adderall? According to some psychiatrists, modafinil and Adderall have similar effects; however, their chemical makeups are different. Adderall, or amphetamine, boosts levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, which leads to greater feelings of alertness and concentration.