In recent years, the prescription drug, modafinil, has been increasingly sought out by under pressure students in a bid to help them focus better and study harder.


The drug is licensed in the UK for the treatment of narcolepsy and it comes with a host of side effects including high blood pressure, nervousness and insomnia. So by no means should this drug be used to help you stay more alert for study.


With that in mind, we’ve outlined some potential (safer) alternatives to modafinil to help you focus for studying.

Co-Enzyme Q10 Supplementation for Enhanced Energy Levels

If you struggle with fatigue during the day regardless of your sleep levels, supplements one can help you ditch some of the tiredness and focus better throughout the day.


This is the main appeal of a drug like modafinil – its ability to increase feelings of alertness and thus your concentration. But you don’t need to take prescription drugs to achieve that, necessarily. 


Co-Enzyme Q10 is one natural supplement that can help with energy levels and the more energetic you feel, the easier you may find it to focus on your  

Ashwagandha Supplements for Stress Reduction and Brain Function


Stress can be a real problem for students who are trying to get ready for exams. And it feels a little like a vicious circle. Exams are naturally stressful, which puts more pressure on the studying. Studying while stressed can mean you don’t focus and progress, which in turn can leave you feeling even more stressed!


So if stress is something that is causing you problems while you study, you can find supplements to help manage your cortisol levels. Perhaps the most notable is ashwagandha, which is linked with lower stress and improved brain function.

Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi)


Another natural option here! Bacopa monnieri is a plant that has been used in ayurvedic medicine for 3,000 years to help with improving memory, reducing anxiety and even treating epilepsy.


Recent studies have added weight to its ability to help with brain power too. Researchers found that Bacopa can improve your ability to retain information and even help with processing visual information.



This might seem a little counterintuitive when you are under exam pressure. But, believe us, you will be able to focus significantly better when you’re getting the right amount of sleep. So instead of trying to dose up on drugs to stay awake, sleep regularly and for a reasonable amount of time. It will improve your focus.


There’s really no substitute for that. If you are struggling to sleep, try reducing screen time in the run up to bedtime, cutting the caffeine after the morning and staying hydrated.




As tempting as it might be to spend the day cramming, do try to give yourself the time and space to exercise. Even a brisk walk will help. It can help to reduce stress, make you feel more energized and could send you back to your studies with a renewed sense of focus.


Work to Your Most Productive Hours


We’re humans. And humans cannot be productive for 12 hours a day. In fact, some studies suggest we can only be productive for 3 hours a day.


So try to work out when you work best and build your study schedule around it. You can’t expect to study well if you’re trying to study all day long.

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