Orexin A is a promising candidate to become a “sleep replacement” drug. For decades, stimulants have been used to combat sleepiness, but they can be addictive and often have side effects, including raising blood pressure or causing mood swings. The military, for example, administers amphetamines to pilots flying long distances, and has funded research into new drugs like the stimulant modafinil and orexin A in an effort to help troops stay awake with the fewest side effects.
Certainly, there are pros and cons to this. Tricking the brain into believing it is well-rested is not the same as the whole body getting solid, good rest. There is simply no substitute. Therefore, we can presume that the potential abuses of this drug will be great as it becomes more and more readily available.
What could some of the implications of this new drug be?
Well, here’s just one of a slew of them.