Why NoFap is Not Working For You (THIS Could be The Problem)

Why is NoFap Not Working For Me?

Have You been doing NoFap for a while now only to see little or maybe even no benefits at all?

And now you are wondering: “why is nofap not working for me?”

Answer: The reson for this is probably because you are doing things that prevent your dopamine system from upregulating. You need to remove other dopamine destructive things that are holding you back. Let's take a look at them…

First, when we talk about you getting no benefits, here's what we mean…

And by benefits, let's first list the most common ones, so everyone knows what we are talking about.

In no particular order, here they are…

  • More energy
  • More motivation and drive
  • More confidence
  • Higher libido (especially for real life partners)
  • Improved short term memory
  • Improved focus and concentration

There are more, but those are the most common ones.

Well, before I continue, I would like to ask you if you know what most of those benfits have in common?

Do you know?

That's right, they are all strongly associated with having a healthy and fully functional dopamine system. And one of the best things about giving up fapping to porn is that it does wonders in terms resetting your poor, overtaxed, dopamine system.

The biggest reason for why NoFap can give you massive benefits…

In order to figure out why NoFap isn't working for you, it's very important that you understand what you just read.

In short…

  1. Fapping to porn messes up you dopamine system.
  2. When you go on NoFap you are upregulating your numb dopamine system.
  3. With a new and healthy dopamine system, you will experience things like the listed benefits you just read.

So let's go a bit deeper and see what you might be doing wrong, if NoFap isn't working for your.

The likely reasons for why NoFap isn't working for YOU…

You have a dopamine reserve.

Think of it like your brains “currency”.

For example binge drinking costs “X” amount of dopamine, and then fapping to porn costs “Y” amounts.

If you keep spending and spending, before long, there's not enough of left for other things, and you can no longer feel the same pleasure from other activities.

You run out of it and may even end up with a deficiency (although that is a very simplistic way of putting it).

Also, keep in mind that dopamine is not just about pleasure. It's also about energy, confidence, motivation and drive.

Remember now, it's not an on off thing, as if you do any of those you're done. No, not like that. But they all add up, taking their toll on your “dopamine bank”.

Alright, so here follows a list of a few things that also hammers your dopamine system…

  • Viewing light between 11pm and 4am
  • Drinking alcohol every week
  • Scrolling on social media for several hours a day
  • Eating junk food several times a week
  • Playing vide games all day long
  • Smoking, vaping or using other drugs
  • Getting too little sleep
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle

After people read this list there will undoubtedly bee a lot of questions hanging in the air.

So let's take a closer look at them one by one in order to clarify things.

Viewing light between 11pm and 4am

According to professor Andrew Huberman, viewing light of any wavelength between 11pm and 4am can cause a disrupted dopamine system.

He says, “it is like we are rewarded to look at bright light in the morning, but punished if we do it late at night.”

Andrew Huberman is a professor in neurobiology at Stanford university and he really konws his stuff. I highly recommend his podcast, Huberman Lab.

He talks about late night light viewing, and how it messes with your dopamine system in several videos, for example at 19:00 into this video you can listen to some of that…

How big of a problem is this one?

It's difficult to say.

I would like to see some more research on it. Obviously it depends on how much light you are exposing yourself to in the middle of the night.

Turning on the light while going to the bathroom, while just quickly checking something on your phone, is not going to be much of a problem. But if you spend a lot of time blasting your eyes with light, then yeah, it might indeed be a part of what's preventing you from seeing good results.

Keep in mind that all these things add up and, often times, it is not just one single thing that is holding you back.

However, now that you're aware of the problem, do you're best to not view light between these hours, and if you really have to, at least use some blue light blocking glasses.

Here are a decent pair on Amazon (aff link). They do not completely protect your dopamine system (because Huberman carefully pointed out that “any wave length is bad”), but at least they might midigate the problem a bit.


It's very hard to know exctly how bad this is. We need more research, but if you don't belong to the group of peaople who have to work at night or do a night shift somewhere, why mess around with it?

Just go to to bed, alright?

Discover >a good online course for quitting porn<

Drinking alcohol every week

Another thing to watch out for is alcohol.

Here you have to be honest with yourself and take a close look at how much you're consuming.

How big of a problem is this one?

A glas of wine with dinner, or a beer or two every now and then, is not going the hold you back at all. However, if your only goal with drinking is to get a buzz, then it might be a problem…

…especially binge drinking.

We all know that alcohol can lead to addiction, but even if you're not addicted, binge drinking still hammers your dopamine system.

Download >>My FREE Guide<<  For Harder Boners Now!

How much can you get away with?

Since we're all different, there's probably no exact answer to this. But even if you're just binge drinking on weekends, I'd say it's highly likely it will hold you back, since binge drinking really burns your dopamine receptors.

If you binge drink on weekends, the million dollar question then becomes, is 5-6 days in between going to be enough for your dopamine system to recover? The answer is: probably not. And even if it that would be enough, you have to factor in all the other dopamine destructive things you are doing in life.

If your'e doing NoFap, you can't see any benefits and you're a guy who likes to get hammered on weekends, do yourself a favor and cut back on your a consumption and see where it takes you.


If you binge drink every week then it will hold you back, at least to some degree. Binge drinking is probably worse than the light viewing in terms of preventing you from seeing NoFap benefits.

It's probably much worse for your general health as well.

Scrolling on social media several hours a day

For some people social media and phone use might be the hardest one to control of all of these. That's too bad because, in terms of your dopamine system,  I don't think it's the least destructive one on the list either.

How big of a problem is this one?

Social media can be a problem, no doubt, but how big of a problem is it?

Can it slow down your recovery?

The anser is: most definitely, yes!

It really hammers your dopamine system.

What to do about it?

The solution is simple, albeit not easy: limit your use!

Andrew Huberman, the professor I mentioned earlier, recommend you keep your social media / phone use to under 2 hours a day in order to avoid ADHD like symptoms.

Now, ADHD like symptoms is indeed caused by a disrupted dopamine system.

Here's the thing though…

Most people use their phone far more than that every single day. You have to understand that almost everyone is a bit desensitized in today's super stimulating world.

In today's world we might have to sacrifice a bit, as when it comes to technology, it's a matter of trying to balance the cons and pros.

And it's not like you can't enjoy your life if you are, lets say only 97% there (just an example).

Desensitization is not an on – off thing. It's a spectrum.

What I personally do…

I try to limit my use by turning off mobile data (and the whole internet) a couple of hours before bed time, every single day.

I also wait for an hour or two before turning it on in the morning.

By doing so, I probably “only” use my phone for about 2-4 hours a day. Which, yes, might  still be too much to get me to a 100% healthy dopamine system, but hey, if I “get stuck” at say 95%, well perhaps that's good enough for me.

Just try to avoid excessive use and it will most likely not prevent you from getting the NoFap benefits…

…and you'll be just fine.

And by “just fine” I mean to the point of being dopamine healthier than 99% of other people out there.

That said, if you really want to get to a 100% clean and sharp dopamine system, then yeah, then you should try to keep your phone use to under 120 minutes a day and preferable even less.

Related post: NoFap and social media


It's one of the more serious things on the list and it's really something to consider. Today's technology is powerful and come with a lot os positives, but it can also hold you back. One thing you can ask yourself is; am I using my phone or is my phone using me?

Discover >a good online course for quitting porn<

Eating junk food several times a week

Eating a lot of junk food also messes with your dopamine system.

Ever heard of food addiction?

Yeah, you probably have. And why do you think it can cause an addiction? That's right, because you abuse your dopamine system by eating a lot of junk.

By the way, don't forget that sugar also falls into the “junk category”.

How big of a problem is this one?

Treating yourself to some goodies every now and again is no problem at all.

However, if you are eating a lot of crap, in almost every meal and to to point of you being obese, then yeah, your dopamine system is not going to be working at optimal levels (see study).

What to do about it…

Try adapting a healthier diet and consider doing intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting may actually help reset your dopamine system, even if you're not overweight or eating junk.


Probably not the most serious things on the list, but binge eating junk food is definitely something that is powerful enough to cause a disrupted dopamine system. It will hold you back!

Playing video games all day long

Video games can also release quite a lot of dopamine, kind of like social media.

But can it become a problem?

How big of a problem is this one?

This going to depend a lot of what kind of games you are playing.

It's probably not as bad as social media, because here you are actively engaging in something where you're trying to achieve an objective. Whereas on social media you often just aimlessly browse and get dragged along by whatever happens to grab you, clicking, following and drifting.

I think it would be safe to assume that the more stimulating the video game is, the more potential effects on your dopamine system it will have (if you play it for many hours in a row).


It's probably not as bad as being a social media junkie. I would estimate that this is of the least destructive activities on the list.

That said, if you're playing for several hours a day, I still think it would be wise to try to reduce your amount a bit because today's video games are indeed dopamine driven machines and we know they can be addictive.

Smoking, vaping or other drugs

Perhaps needless to say, using drugs, can also mess with your dopamine system.

I mean, that's the whole nature of drugs and that's why we people use them. Because we like the way it makes us feel.

How big of a problem is this one?

Obviously it's going to depend on the drug and how often you use them.

This one is one of those that just have too many variables for me to start diving deeper into, but let me just say this:

What goes up must come down, and whenever you artificially consume, ingest or otherwise absorb something that drastically changes your state of mind you could be playing with fire.

Your body want's to maintain “homeostasis”, and in the long run most drugs will down regulate your dopamine receptors and cause a disrupted dopamine system.

Sure it depends on the drugs, for example caffeine might be an exception, but with drugs in general it really is the case.


For heavy drugs, and even milder ones, this one can definitely be the worst one on the whole list.

Now there's a big spectrum, ranging from not that bad all the way to extremely devastating, depending on what drugs we are talking about, but generally speaking; “drugs are bad mkay!*spoken like Mr Mackey in South Park*

If you're going to mess around with drugs it's up to you to educate yourself and know what you are doing. To sum it up, though; drugs can most definitely hold you back from experiencing the NoFap benefits…

…and a lot of them can hold you back from much more than that.

Getting too little sleep

Regularly getting too little sleep is bad for your dopamine system. This is also true for a bad sleep quality. E.g. if your sleep 7-8 hours, but you don't get enough deep sleep.

How big of a problem is this one?

It's definitely something to consider.

A 2012 study found that lack of sleep downregulates dopamine D2 receptors. These are the exact same dopamine receptors that we have been hammering with fapping to porn and that we try to upregulate by doing NoFap.

Conclusion, skip sleep and no amount of NoFap will be able to upregulate and reset your dopamine system.


Having a few bad nights of sleep here and there won't be a problem. But if getting enough quality sleep is something that you are neglecting, just because you think it's not that important, think again.

This one is definitely not at the bottom of the list. Dopamine receptor downregulation is a real thing.

Having a sedentary lifestyle

Physical exercise and just being physically active in general is good for your brain.

I think we all know that.

Intense exercise has even been shown to help upregulate and create more dopamine D2 receptors.

How big of a problem is this one?

This one is more of a lifestyle issue than being inherently dopamine destructive.

A sedentary lifestyle often  correlates with more video games, more social media and more instant gratification stuff in general. And, as you know by now,  these all tax your dopamine reserve.

In addition, the opposite is true, frequent physical exercise will help upregulate your whole dopamine system.


If you're not seeing any NoFap benefits, and you're not doing any form of physical exercise, what the hell are you thinking? Get off your ass and start moving your body!

You can >>Download<< my Quit Porn Guide for FREE right now!

Don't get a “dopamine phobia”

Before I end this article I think it's important to point out that dopamine is not bad in and of itself.

So do not develop a dopamine phobia and start trying to avoid everything that releases dopamine.

Dopamine that is released by normal and natural activities is not bad for you. In fact, we need dopamine. It's what gives us drive, desire and motivation and without it we wouldn't even go out shopping for food.

Many things in your day to day life increase your dopamine levels a bit. Even things like exercising, listening to music or even just drinking a glass of water (all healthy things).

The things you have to be careful with are things that cause very high dopamine levels, in an unnatural way.

For example things that biologists call “supernormal stimuli”.

A supernormal stimuli is an exaggerated version of something we are biologically programmed to respond to and is more stimulating for our brains reward system than we came equipped with being able to handle…

…e.g. internet porn.

For more information on supernormal stimuli, take a look at this video I made a while back…

I hope you enjoyed the video.

If you did, you can check out my YouTube channel, Dopamine Focused Warriors, right here.

Why is NoFap Not Working For Me?
Conclusion And Final Words

So to sum everything up, if NoFap is not working for you then consider the following three things…

  1. Are you repeatedly hammering your brains reward system with some other supernormal stimuli, other than porn?
  2. Have you given it enough time? For some people it can take a couple of months.
    (Some people feel worse before they start feeling better – See the NoFap flatline)
  3. Perhaps you just belong to the group of unlucky guys who do not see massive benefits from NoFap? (Yes, there are guys out there who see little to no benefits from living a NoFap lifestyle. These are often guys who never had a real problem with any porn addiction).

Alright, I hope you found my article informative.

Thanks for reading!

-Scandinavian Bob-

P.S. Need my help with relapses and your PMO rebooting? If so, you can reach out to me through my contact page right here.

Related posts:

Download >>My FREE Guide<<  For Harder Boners Now!


Scroll to top