Fall into Hibernation: How the Season Change Affects Sleep
Pumpkin orange, squash yellow, and beetroot red are colors only seen during that fall. As leaves change to brilliant colors and days get shorter, the temperature gets cooler, and it signals a major change in the season. The autumn instinct to pack on the pounds is essential for the survival of many animals as they go into hibernation. Unable to migrate to warmer climates, a number of animals survive by hibernating through the lean months of winter as they enter a state of “suspended animation.” Hibernation means their breathing and heart rates slow, the animal’s body temperature drops, and they stop eating, and in many cases stop excreting. This state can last for months and if the animal hasn’t stored up enough body fat, it is not going to survive. Autumn is the signal to pig out and store up body fat. Admit it – even you probably feel it as you push aside fruits and summer salads and begin to crave a big slab of pumpkin pie!
As evolved human beings, we don’t hibernate. Hibernation is a natural response to cold temperatures and reduced availability of food. In addition, our ancestors lived in tropical climates with no history of hibernation and humans only migrated to temperate and subarctic latitudes in the last thousand years which is not long enough to evolve metabolic adaptations needed to hibernate. Humans discovered fire, shelter, farming, hunting, and gathering which are more effective means to survive cold weather and lack of food sources. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t learn anything from our hibernating furry friends!
Woodchucks have been recorded to drop their body temperature to about 38 degrees Fahrenheit (down from the normal 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit) and sleep in their burrows until about late April or early May. North American bears are excessively eating and drinking to add as much weight and fat as possible to prepare for the long winter hibernation, a process known as hyperphagia. Most people would suffer serious health effects from an extended period of obesity and inactivity, however, bear genes are regulated differently by reducing sensitivity to insulin, so that their blood sugar stays at a normal level and is reserved for use by the brain, which is needed during the long sleep. This also allows the big mammals to metabolize fat during hibernation, something resting humans can’t do.
Various animals have been hibernating since recorded time yet many misconceptions surround this powerful adaptation. Hibernation is a state characterized by the active inhibition of metabolism, and in this state, the activity of the brain differs significantly from sleep and may be closer to wakefulness than many people realize. In fact, it may actually leave some animals with a sleep debt after they awaken from it.
Torpor – a cold, hibernation-like state can benefit humans in ways like reduced aging, space travel, and intensive medical care protection. Unlike hibernation which involves really extreme physiological changes, torpor is more like really deep power naps in the cold where your body temperature drops and your metabolism, heart rate, and most other physiological functions slow down.
HIBERNATION & ITS EFFECT ON SLEEP
Hibernation is different from sleep and doesn’t have the same restorative benefits. Animals hibernate to survive cold weather and limited food resources. Humans sleep to balance, repair, and recharge mentally and physically. Without sleep, our brains don’t function properly which may affect our ability to concentrate, think clearly, and process memories. So what’s similar to hibernation and sleep? Body temperature and metabolism. To get optimal sleep your body must cool down which triggers the brain to initiate the sleep cycles. Your metabolism is made up of two processes; anabolism (build-up) and catabolism (break down). As it slows down during its resting state, the brain starts to cool down which initiates our NREM and REM cycles.
Once in the sleep cycle, the goal is to maintain the lowered body temperature throughout the night. Traditional memory foam, used by most brands, doesn’t allow this process to happen organically. They either use phase changing chemicals or some gel infusion to create a cooling property which increases the risk of VOC exposure. Closed cell memory foams trap air and are notorious for causing hot sleep, which makes them less desirable for those seeking a cooler mattress. Essentia organic mattresses offer a natural solution for hot sleepers. Our patented technology, organic ingredients, and advanced machine processing capabilities create the perfect mattress with natural thermal regulation for uninterrupted sleep.
At Essentia, we understand many people sleep hot, and is a major sleep disruption stimulant. Our goal is to eliminate all sleep stimulants and allow your body to naturally thermo-regulate so you can get into longer and restorative sleep. Active Cooling, Accelerated Recovery, Optimized Oxygen and Posture Support are features and benefits we focus on to optimize your sleep. We do all this with only natural ingredients, minerals, crystals, essential oils, and water. No petro-chemicals, toxic additives, or unknown substances. Eco-friendly and sustainable, all managed in our GOLS/GOTS certified factory.
As technology pushes forward and the search for new habitable planets are unavoidable, will human hibernate exist? Can we artificially induce hibernation? Thermotherapy is now a medical method adopted by many hospitals. This method helps reduce patients’ brain energy requirements during stroke or cardiac arrest, thereby protecting brain function. For space travel, we can debate several factors such as food, mental health, and muscle-bone health. During hibernation, you consume zero food or water which reduces waste and requirements for long travel. Hibernation reduces psychological stress due to living in microgravity conditions and away from the earth. Finally, muscle and bone, the body of astronauts lose earth’s gravity stimulation, their muscles gradually lose strength, and their bones become more fragile. Surprisingly, hibernating animals are inactive for several months and they do not show symptoms of muscle weakness and osteoporosis. Studies also have found that hibernating animals gain a high resistance to biological damage caused by radiation. It is believed that the protective mechanism is caused by the stagnation of cell activity during hibernation. When the cells don’t divide, the DNA does not replicate, so it can be more protected.
Essentia protects and eliminates stimulants from your bedroom and household. Our organic ingredients, patented latex formulation, and machine injection systems create the ultimate performance mattress. Get the sleep you deserve with the only product that naturally addresses all sleep stimulants.
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