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H.A.L.T. (Hungry Angry Lonely Tired)

answered 08:50 PM EST, Wed March 13, 2013
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anonymous anonymous
I have never as an adult wanted to sleep for more than 3 or 4 hours a night. My therapist says this is one reason why I am having trouble with a pattern or relapsing. I am an alcoholic in recovery. I want a second opinion. I do not think every person needs 8 hours a night. I do not feel tired and I do not think fatigue is the reason why I have relapsed. Do I really need to force myself to get more sleep than I need? Is it actually possible to be tired and not realize that you are tired? This seems unlikely to me?

Anna Deeds Says...

Anna Deeds A. Deeds
MSED, NCC, LPC

Thank you for your question. The reason your therapist is concerned about your sleep pattern is probably because some of the most common triggers for relapse are expressed in the acronym H.A.L.T. which stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired. Being tired can definitely lead a person to relapse. When you are tired, you don't always think rationally and may be more prone to wanting a chemical to "pick you up." 

In your situation, only you know for sure if you are tired and if this relates to your relapse. Normally, most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep to feel well rested. However, as you grow older, you may need less sleep. I would check with your doctor and see if he/she feels you are getting enough sleep. 

If you don't think being tired is causing you to relapse, think about what is triggering the relapses. Talk with your therapist about how you are feeling before a relapse. You may want to keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings to look for clues to what may be triggering relapses.

Good luck with your recovery!

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