Time to Hibernate

Spring ahead. Fall back. In real-time we are one week past the return to standard time. It is dark out there.

Last week, one day after the clocks were turned back, there were only three students in hip hop! It was weird. Where was everyone?

My husband says I am eating red meat more than usual. I notice I can sleep ‘forever’. At 63 I recognize the symptoms. No big deal. I am getting ready to hibernate.

Wait. Hold on. Bears hibernate. Also skunks, groundhogs, chipmunks and some bats. And it would appear, some people, too.

NaturalNews.com reports there is a natural tendency to conserve energy in winter in their article Winter Hibernation and SAD May Be Normal Human Response. Researchers are just starting to think our evolutionary heritage contains the genes for hibernation. Less sunlight increases melatonin production. Melatonin is a sleep hormone; you know. There is even a decrease in the sex drive. If you do the math, a baby conceived in winter will be born in the fall, a time that resources are becoming scarce. Not a plan for infant survival.

Getting even more interesting, the article goes on to say fire was harnessed 400,000 years ago but the oldest human remains are a million years old. That means 600,000 very chilly years! Lots of natural selection time there. Those who were equipped to survive the cold survived.

Then, to add another interesting wrinkle, the article cites evidence Neanderthal DNA may have something to do with our ability to adapt to winter. (You didn’t really think they just went extinct; did you?)

There is historical evidence of cultural hibernation as well. Years ago entire villages in Russia would “close up shop”, only stirring enough to do what was absolutely necessary until the spring.

So, to get around to where I am supposed to be going with this, although it has been an interesting introduction to write, 20% of the people in those villages were said to suffer from some form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Catherine Zandonella writing for the Daily Mail (11/13/16) reported scientists are beginning to believe SAD is an atavistic form of hibernation. To translate that sentence a bit, atavistic means “relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral”. In other words, a throw back.

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression associated with the change in seasons.

There are major differences between SAD and other forms of depression. Those with SAD eat and may sleep excessively. Those with ‘traditional’ depression do the opposite.

The bottom line here is people who suffer from SAD may just be highly evolved and in tune with the natural world. They may be responding the way we were meant to respond in order to survive.

But there is a small problem. We are no longer expected to gather in our caves and sleep the winter away. Survival now involves a new set of skills. We are supposed to be bright-eyed and ready to go in all seasons.

Solution? Well, SAD responds to full spectrum lighting…. which can negatively affect AMD. Ooops.

Looks like I am back on topic. Continued next page.

written 11/14/2016

Next: I vote for tahiti

Home

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 0/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 0/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 0/5
Time to Hibernate
Total Avg Rating: 0.00 out of 5 with based on 0 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me