“It’s quarter to three, there’s no one in the place ‘cept you and me
So set em up Joe I got a little story I think you oughta know
Were drinking my friend to the end of a brief episode
So make it one for my baby and one more for the road
I know the routine put another nickel in that there machine
I’m feeling so bad won’t you make the music easy and sad
I could tell you a lot but you gotta to be true to your code
So make it one for my baby and one more for the road“
Songwriters: Harold Arlen / Johnny Mercer
Yesterday, I had a couple of ginger ales at the magic Wine O’Clock, and really felt good about it. Taking this approach — so far — works. Something liquid in my hand feels like ceremony, which seems to be part of my Wine O’Clock ritual.
As the layers peel away, I realise that I am no longer waking up at 3am. For the last two years, I was very regularly waking up at 3am. In reflecting on this problem, I’ve discovered a number of reasons why.
- There is actually a medical reason! And it comes down to the abuse of your liver – which is of course a reflection of your drinking. In Chinese medicine, any repeated issues that occur at a particular time of the day suggest an imbalance in the corresponding organ. 1-3am is ‘liver time’. Many people wake at 3am because the liver is cleaning out (or trying to) and bile is moving down the bile duct.
- Alcohol disturbs your sleep patterns. Time magazine reports “Having a drink before bedtime might make you fall asleep a little faster. But when you actually go and look at what is happening while they sleep, the quality of that sleep isn’t good.”
- Emotional turmoil leaves you exhausted. Drinkaware says “If you suffer from anxiety, you might think that a couple of drinks will help you relax. In fact, alcohol can make an anxious person feel worse. … You initially feel calm as the alcohol affects the brain. You feel anxiety as a symptom of alcohol withdrawal as your body processes the alcohol. Tossing and turning from anxiety and worry.”
It dawned on me this morning that I am no longer waking up at 3am on the dot. And that’s a very good thing.
And then there’s the romantic ties to 3am – the bars are closing, and the sad and lonely, who don’t want the session to end and have to face their feelings … No better song to feel those emotions. One of my favorite artists – Mr. Frank Sinatra… singing this torchy sad song around the 3am phenomenon.