For someone accustomed to rising at 4 a.m. on a typical day, getting up at 7 a.m. is a lot like sleeping in. Lately, though, I’ve outdone myself in spades. Some days, I can’t seem to get out of bed before 9 or 10. I’ve been napping a lot, too. Not just cat naps, but three-hour stretches of being out cold.
This is what I call my kill switch. During tough times, my body and brain simply check out.
In the past, the kill switch activated during periods of high tension and drama. One time a hurricane was headed for Massachusetts and, living on Revere Beach, I was terrified of storm surge. During the wait, I curled up on the floor and proceeded to sleep through most of the storm.
Another time I got into a bad fight with a family member that sent me over the edge. I fell onto the couch and slept an afternoon away.
I think it’s a survival tool, albeit an inconvenient one that can kick in at inconvenient times. I also don’t like to sleep through life. But it’s all but impossible for me to control.
When I stop sleeping late and taking so many naps, it’ll be a sign that I’m through this latest rough patch in my life.