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Dr Mehmet Yildiz

Pure Nicotine Helped Me Write 10,000 Words


I share my experiment on the cognitive effect of pure nicotine in achieving strenuous mental tasks based on studies in neuroscience and cognitive science.
Photo by Michal Vrba on Unsplash

This article is not an endorsement for smoking or the regular use of nicotine. I only share my personal experience and informed experiment on how I occasionally use pure nicotine safely to achieve challenging mental activities.

Coming from a cognitive science and technology background as a postdoctoral researcher, I keep an open mind for creative solutions with caution. I make personal lifestyle decisions only based on double-blind clinical research on humans.

I am NOT a smoker. And I do NOT recommend anyone to smoke. It is a harmful habit that was scientifically proven. Case closed with this caveat for my story.

The first time I heard about nicotine's benefits on the human cognitive process was when I was undertaking my doctoral studies in the mid-90s. The effects of nicotine on the human brain was communicated to us by one of our cognitive science lectures in an elegant way.

As students, we were all surprised by the science behind the little known benefits of nicotine. They were preliminary studies. Some smoker students were nodding with triumph. However, the lectures had nothing to do with smoking. Unfortunately, there were many smokers in those days.

Since then I came across some further studies conducted on short term benefits of pure nicotine, especially on memory, in a very low dose, such as implemented in the form of patches, lozenges, sprays, or gums.

For example, this study in the Journal of Neuroscience was interesting to read for me. It is titled Nicotine Enhances Visuospatial Attention by Deactivating Areas of the Resting Brain Default Network.

I won't go into details of several scientific studies in the literature, but the studies I reviewed in the neuroscience journals were particularly pointed out that nicotine should come from the patch, gum, lozenges, or sprays but not cigarettes as the smoke of cigarettes was proven to hold multiple toxic agents harmful to one's health especially to lungs. We know that smoke of cigarettes can be terrible for the brain.

Due to health reasons and the disgusting nature of cigarettes, I don't smoke. I gave it up 40 years ago. However, I tried nicotine gums, lozenges, patches, and sprays occasionally during difficult exams later in my postgraduate studies and complex problem-solving sessions at work.

Taking a very low dosage of nicotine was helpful to reduce my stress and anxiety and keep my motivation as far as I needed. It gave me good feelings without a crash.

My focus in this story is the benefits I gained from a very low dose of nicotine in my writing profession. As part of my career, I write technical books, professional non-fiction books, academic papers, educational materials, blogs, and articles. Needless to say, hundreds of emails.
Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash
I need to write at least 10,000 words a day to achieve my writing goals.

To focus and keep my attention in writing, I used to drink lots of coffee. Drinking coffee used to help me, but after a while, it started upsetting my stomach. Besides, it lost its impact. To get the desired effect, I had to drink more, but my body did not accept drinking coffee. I had to give it up.

I was looking for an alternative solution. I remembered my school days and the exciting words of our science lecturer. Since I read a lot about the benefits of pure nicotine from preliminary studies, I decided to experiment with low dose nicotine.

With the help of my pharmacist, I purchased sugar-free lozenges containing 1 mg nicotine from the pharmacy. It does not require a prescription. I specifically chose the best brand she recommended to me. They are used as smoking cessation aids.

After taking 1 mg of nicotine, I noticed that my attention substantially increased. It sustained at least three hours. I only take it in the morning because I know that nicotine may impact sleep quality. Taking it in the morning did not affect my sleep.

I produced 10,000 words in a single session with full focus and attention.

I also tried the gum but did not like chewing gum. Fortunately, I did not experience any side effects except some bitter taste of the gum.

One time, I tried a nicotine patch, but it made the patching point very itchy for me, so I did not continue using it again.

However, since I haven't come across long-term established studies on the effects of supplemental pure nicotine yet, I am hesitant to make this as a usual supplement for myself; therefore, I occasionally use it—only when I really need it such as times I need to produce 10,000 words in a single session.

Thank you for reading my perspectives.

If you enjoyed this story, you might also check my other stories on News Break about fitness, health, and lifestyle experiments that I take and share with my readers.

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