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Tuesday, December 07, 2010


On Monday morning I was up early and posted the following message to Usenet:

'Graham and I drank some brandy last night. Not a terrible amount, but we were slightly light headed. I went to sleep fairly quickly, but - as usual - woke up to obey a call of nature at 4.30 and couldn't get back to sleep. This is a fairly recent phenomenon, and only seems to happen after I have imbibed. The fact that there was a large bulldog snoring in my ear undoubtedly didn't help! This is why I am up and bloggifying so early!'

One of the replies I got was from Lawrie Williams:

"I thought most men wake up at least once and often 2 or 3 times at night for a pee. It refreshes the system to have to move around and I suspect it is the result of selective pressure - no joke intended - in that the head of the family gets to detect enemies and predators and infidelities. For a typical clan grouping of 20 people it would mean someone was always up and about during the wee small hours".

Is this true? Or a modern legend arising from the physiological changes in ageing men? And why can I never get back to sleep when I have had a drink or two?


Dale Drinnon said...

There might be something to that. My brother Benny and I both ordinarily get up at least once a night to urinate and sometimes as many as three times in a night: and our sessions are slightly offset from one another. So there might be an adaptive advantage to it.
As to the young males-they famously tend NOT to get up and to wet the bed instead. That might also be part of the same adaptation because the bedwetters are also at their most vulnerable small size and it would put them at risk to rouse and urinate.

Now in order to check this out you need to ask out among genuine primitives like African Bushmen and Australian Aborigines if it is true their mature men get up to pee at least once a night while the Young Pups wet their beds instead.

Ego Ronanus said...

Speaking as a 62-year old, I can tell you it has to do with the aging process. Did you know that the original Mick Turition was an Irishman, official Steward of the Chamber Pot to Henry VIII? You can get his autobiography "Mick Turition hys Boke" from Effluent Publishers on Amazon.paraguay.

Wuff said...

Hi all,
If you read up on "sleep hygiene" you will find that "while alcohol has an immediate sleep-inducing effect, a few hours later as the alcohol levels in your blood start to fall, there is a stimulant or wake-up effect."

Whether a trip to the loo is called for depends for some on what one was drinking; 4% beer produces excess fluid, red wine seems about neutral, while spirits cause some people to wake up thirsty and needing to rehydrate.

For the lazy, red wine seems to be the answer :-)