A beginner’s guide to microneedling for acne scars
A beginner’s guide to microneedling for acne scars

Amanda Kavanagh

My Career: Screenwriter and theatre-maker Sian Ní Mhuirí
My Career: Screenwriter and theatre-maker Sian Ní Mhuirí

Sian Ní Mhuirí

‘We have opportunities every day to be creative’: Lilly Higgins on the cyclical nature of crafting
‘We have opportunities every day to be creative’: Lilly Higgins on the cyclical nature of...

Lilly Higgins

Women in Sport: Longford athletics star Yemi Talabi on motivation, misogyny, and mindfulness
Women in Sport: Longford athletics star Yemi Talabi on motivation, misogyny, and mindfulness

Yemi Talabi

What to bake this weekend: Coffee and walnut pavlova with coffee-poached pears
What to bake this weekend: Coffee and walnut pavlova with coffee-poached pears

Graham Herterich

Trust me. You don’t need that for your baby
Trust me. You don’t need that for your baby

Amanda Cassidy

Why we love a good celebrity feud
Why we love a good celebrity feud

Amanda Cassidy

Prepare for a Paul Mescal supremacy — 5 upcoming or new releases from the incredible Irish actor
Prepare for a Paul Mescal supremacy — 5 upcoming or new releases from the incredible...

Sarah Gill

Three newly opened Irish restaurants to try out this weekend
Three newly opened Irish restaurants to try out this weekend

Sarah Gill

Author’s Bookshelf: Clodagh Finn on paying homage to the women who have made Ireland what it is alongside Lord Mayor Alison Gilliland
Author’s Bookshelf: Clodagh Finn on paying homage to the women who have made Ireland what...

Sarah Gill

Image / Editorial

Scientists Are Finally Studying Human Hibernation


By Niamh ODonoghue
23rd Jan 2017
Scientists Are Finally Studying Human Hibernation

And it would be great if they hurried up, please.

Scenario: it’s a cold winter’s day and you’ve just settled for the day on the couch with Netflix. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could skip every other part of winter (going outside/work etc), and just sleep until it’s over?

This is not some premature April Fools Day joke. Scientists are actively researching whether or not humans?have the ability to hibernate. Okay, technically the research is aimed at space travel?and figuring whether astronauts can be sleep-induced for long-haul space flights, but it’s knowledge that we can hopefully use in the not-so-distant future.

Hibernation is a particularly frustrating subject for scientists – and for the rest of us who have to be awake – ‘simply because we don’t understand it yet. We can’t wrap their heads around?how some species’do it (bears, groundhogs etc) while others don’t, and how animals are able to dramatically slow down their metabolism. And if we were able to successfully hibernate, how would a lengthy time from consciousness affect us?

Our complex bodies might not be able to withstand long periods of sleep, though, and there is a chance we could actually wake up sleep-deprived as explained by?hibernation researcher Kelly Drew, a neuropharmacologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, to?Smithsonian Magazine;

“Hibernation is really energy conservation,” she says. “It’s an adaptation to resource limitation.” Much like migration for birds, hibernation evolved to allow animals to make it through periods of extreme hardship”.

Scientists haven’t yet detected any unique?genes in animals who hibernate, but what’s exciting is that there is a real possibility for deep-sleep; which was once purely isolated to Hollywood Sci-fi films like The Martian?and Passengers

Now, if only we could hibernate for the next four years…

Sign. Us. Up.