Difference Between Sleep And Hibernation

The major difference Difference Between Sleep and Hibernation is that, in hibernation, the organism does not actually “sleep”. It is an activity that is used to conserve energy for long periods of hardship, typically freezing winters where food is rare or during blistering summers where soaring temperatures lead to drought.

Difference Between Sleep And Hibernation

Another major difference between Sleep and Hibernation is that all metabolic activity shuts off or at least slows down considerably. For example, bears that hibernate do not urinate or defecate. Instead, the body reabsorbs the digestive contents to preserve nutrients. Here are the major differences between sleep and hibernation:

Difference Between Sleep And Hibernation



Rate of breath is reduced

Rate of breath goes down drastically compared to sleep

Body temperature may be regulated according to their surrounding ambient temperature

Body temperature is considerably lower, sometimes reaching 0 degree celsius

Rate of heartbeat is lower

Rate of heartbeat is very low, and this is essential to reducing the metabolic rate during hibernation

Sleep duration is short

Duration of hibernation is much longer, often months together

Metabolism rate is unaffected

Metabolism rate becomes slows down considerably to conserve energy

Digestion is unaffected

Digestive processes shutdown, urine and feces are reabsorbed to preserve and utilize nutrients

Alternatives to hibernation

Hibernation is a physiological response used by organisms during times of hardships such as long cold winters or searing summers. But some organisms just adapt to the situation and others may migrate or move to other favourable places. A good example of this is zoo animals: even though winter sets in, the animals in the zoo do not hibernate because they have a constant source of food and water. Even their enclosures are temperature regulated. Hence, there is no need to conserve energy, and thereby forgoing hibernation.

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