The Hibernation Start In An Environment Of Sleep
I guess most of you feel exactly the same thing from time to time, especially during the rather cold winter days when the mere thought of getting up from bed in the morning makes one release such sounds as “Zbrrrrrrrr” followed by the rather classic “I want to sleep just a few minutes more…just a millisecond!”. It all sounds as if we beg humanity to let us lie for just a few minutes more, the whole day if we happen to feel just too exhausted to even dare face a new day. No matter the case, the hibernation syndrome exists in almost each of us and makes its presence felt especially in these rather freezing days or if not freezing then winter days for sure. Did you ever felt jealous of all the animals that spend the winter time catching forty winks in their burrows until the snow hits the road? Much like it happens in the already famous song solemnly intonating such words as “Hit the road Jack and don’t you come back no more”, the same thing happens with snow yet by some trick known by itself only it manages to come back, at least in certain parts of this planet.
Have you ever given a thought and tried to envisage a planet in which humans would spend the winter hibernating much like the squirrels, the bats, lemurs, skunks, chipmunks, possums, hedgehogs and many other small mammals do? It would probably be boring not to do anything, have no activity whatsoever and instead just linger in some place, probably on the bed or around the house. Yet, since we can not really afford to do this and we were not architecturally built to hibernate (even though many of us wish things were different) we have to wake up each morning and face a new day with a pretended energy many times, a fake appetite for work and action. I am not saying here that this happens every time (if it did then something is clearly wrong there with our internal clock), yet from time to time each of us may feel like being a little bit lazier than usually. I guess each of us felt like goofing off from time to time or simply horsing around.
Was ever a morning or a day in your life when you just felt like remaining in bed, pulling over the blanket over your nose and just taking a good long nap, a nap that would sometimes last an entire day? Mot often this happens on chilly winter mornings rather than in those beautiful sunny summer mornings. It is said that much like nature that decides to take a good sleep during winter, so does the human body, or at least this is supposedly what our mind tells our body to do. Yet there are many processes going on there in the human body.
First there is the already famous melatonin which causes us to feel sleepy then there is the cool atmosphere that surrounds our whole being and makes us look for the warmth of a blanket or of a fireplace. However, though surprisingly for many of you, evidences have come to prove that we do sleep better in cooler temperatures. It has to do something with our “core body temperature” and with how well we manage to control our internal thermostat.
But up to the moment we do that, meaning regulate our thermostat, winter time is here and hibernation settles in. Though we humans do not necessarily hide in our “dens”, closing the “store” for months at a time like animals do, we do have the tendency to make oneself at home or how some would say take a break from all the agitation that surrounds us the rest of the year and become more tranquilized as soon as the sun rays turn paler and not as strong as they used to be during the summer days long time left behind.
I find much inspiration and truth in the words once uttered by Charles Caleb Colton: “The bed is a bundle of paradoxes: we go to it with reluctance, yet we quit it with regret; We make up our minds every night to leave it early, but we make up our bodies every morning to keep it late.” This happens in my case too…yet the bed never ceases to look “appetizing” whenever I happen to feel drained of strength. I guess this is your case too, unless you happen to be more like a kind of person who thinks that sleeping is a waste of time and better stay awake and active all day and all night, in just a few words: live life to the full of it. How about the rather different perspective, the one which envisages things as Wilson Mizener said it once “The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.”? I’d say that it sounds pretty well…and that perhaps we should learn from our hibernating friends and take a good nap this freezing winter season, and while dreaming repeat such words as “Oh sleep! It is a gentle thing, / Beloved from pole to pole.” (At least this is what Samuel Taylor Coleridge thought).11