Grist to the Mill

16 March, 2004


Last Friday I drank too much (this doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to). As invariably happens a few hours after falling asleep drunk, I woke up at about 4am, wired and wide-awake. There was nothing I could do. I’ve never figured out why this happens. Someone suggested it’s a sugar hit, as your liver moves the sugar from the alcohol into your blood. (Something like that)

It’s the worst possible time to suffer from insomnia – not least because it brings the hangover forward, which you wouldn’t otherwise have to face for a few more hours. All the good things about being drunk have vanished, leaving you with only a thick head and dehydration. As if that weren’t enough, you have vast tracts of quiet undisturbed time to reflect on the evening and remember the things you said and did. And your thoughts can end up drifting back to a particular person… Four in the morning is too early to make a phonecall, start the day or have a bath, and it’s too cold to get out of bed. It’s too awful, lying there… trying and failing to get comfortable and/or back to sleep.

Why does this always happen? There must be a physiological explanation, but I don’t know it.

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