Can Humans Learn to Hibernate During Winter?
Isn’t it amazing? Animals skipping the winter months and spending it a-sleeping in hibernation is simply one of the smartest ideas. It’s like being able to erase a certain reality for the simple reason that it doesn’t serve your purpose. It’s so practical that it’s mind-blowing.
To note, the longest duration an animal hibernated is seven months. The distinction goes to a wood frog. Imagine if humans can do it. We would save a lot: fuel, food, medicine, clothes just to name a few.
Think about how much stress would be off our shoulders if we can hibernate in the winter. You won’t have to deal with the cold. No more frostbites. No more hypothermia. Some experts say that hibernation for humans is possible. Some others dispute that fact. That’s telling you the idea itself is worth the time.
Common Misconceptions About Hibernation
Often times people ask why can’t humans hibernate? Seeing the benefits animals get from hibernating just keep people wishing they could do the same. But the truth is that many people don’t have an inkling of what hibernation really is.
Being able to separate fact from fiction would bid us all well.
First, know that mammals are not the only animals that hibernate during winter. Many other animals do have this as a coping mechanism. Top of the list are bears. The much-feared grizzly bear spends 5 to 7 months in hibernation. But hamsters, chipmunks, bats, and hedgehogs do it too.
Hibernation is like putting on a switch telling your body to slow down. It’s spot on. In winter, when hunting for food is a challenge, these animals make a timely decision. Call it a survival trick.
Secondly, know that hibernation does not apply only in winter. Winter is the time when most hibernating animals hibernate. But there are animals that hibernate during summer.
Lastly, hibernating is not all about sleeping. Think of it as a slowing down of one’s metabolic rates.
Indeed, one of the key features of hibernation is a reduced metabolic rate. As metabolism is slowed to the utmost minimum, the need for food is also put to a bare minimum.
Along with this is the drop in body temperature. Even the heart rate drops. All these happen to conserve energy. Also, staying put in one place lowers the need to spend more energy. During hibernation, animals use their stored body fat as energy. In the process, they lose 15 – 27 percent of their total body mass after hibernating.
Making the Most of Hibernation to Survive the Winter
Well, studies have explored the possibility of human hibernation. The vastness of space invites exploration wherein the prospects of hibernation can be a useful tool. But so far, there are no conclusive answers have turned up.
The closest we get to hibernation is through our daily sleep. But we can use certain elements of hibernation to our advantage.
For one, some animals such as hummingbirds and mice do hibernate on a daily basis. They use it to save energy.
Thus, if you want to save energy during winter having ample sleep is a must. That way you can energize yourself and strengthen your immune system. Studies have shown that lack of sleep has a greater tendency to get sick.
Moreover, staying warm is another important aspect of human hibernation. Animals go into hibernation during winter to conserve energy to produce heat for a long time. For us staying warm comes in different dynamics.
One is ensuring your clothing is appropriate for the season. Make sure you are well-covered. Don’t expose your body to too much cold as this can be bad for your health.
Indoors, this should mean ensuring your heating mechanism is working effectively. Having a non-functional heater during winter is the last thing you need. Too much cold could mean an increased risk of catching the flu or cold.
Making sure your heating system works is therefore a top priority. Regular maintenance is key. That also means having experts on speed dial when your furnace needs repair is thinking straight. DIY is good but if you want the job done right the first time, calling the pros can come with tons of benefits. The top of the list is being able to resolve issues fast and rest assure everyone inside is safe and comfortable.
Another important aspect of human hibernation is what you eat. During winter, opt for simple meals. That way your body wouldn’t have to do so much work as to break it down. It’s already doing enough work in generating heat. Opt for stews and soup for instance. This would help keep you warm from within. Thus helping you combat the cold.
Just as you do all these make sure there is a proper balance. Do fun activities when you can. For instance, doing yoga on certain days wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Also, doing your favorite hobby for some hours is also great. When you’re having a good time, you lessen the stress and reap better health.
Indeed, hibernation is not possible for humans, at least not yet. But it doesn’t mean you can’t have a most awesome winter. Taking a page from hibernating animals should bid you well.