2. A motionless, sleep-like condition characterized by lower body temperature and reduced energy consumption; as well as, heart and breathing rates: In certain climates, snakes find holes or cracks when autumn comes and they sleep in these places in hibernation during the winter; then, when they come out of hibernation, they start hunting for food.
In the course of hibernation, arctic lemmings are able to avoid severity of iciness by confining their life during winter to activities beneath the snow cover.
Some insects go into hibernation as eggs, larvae, nymphs, pupas, or adults. Since they can stand very low temperatures, few of these forms die if the bleak temperatures are within their normal range.
Even rather fragile creatures; such as, some butterflies are able to survive the frosty air in low shrubbery, where they may be completely covered by snow and ice for three or four months of hibernation.
Winter hibernations among reptiles are similar to the hibernations of mammals; however, instead of experiencing long, sustained periods of inertness, some hibernating reptiles move around occasionally to drink water; but they may go without food for several months.
When adders (nonvenomous snakes, such as the milk snake) experience temperatures of about 8°–10° C (46°–50° F), they start to look for suitable places in which to survive. Since these conditions vary, the adders' periods of hibernation extends from 275 days in northern Europe to 105 days in southern Europe, and it is about two weeks in the United Kingdom, where the Gulf Stream provides warmer conditions.
The term hibernation is often loosely used to indicate any state of sustained torpor, inactivity, or dormancy that an organism might exhibit; however, use of the term should be confined only to warm-blooded homoiotherms—i.e., birds and mammals whose feathers or fur serve as insulation to reduce heat radiating from the body and aid in the maintenance of constant body temperatures, which normally are independent of those of the environment.
Hibernation and sleep are somewhat similar in that essential body processes continue during both periods at a lowered level. In sleep, the heart beats less rapidly, and breathing is slower; the body produces less heat, making it necessary for a sleeping person to be protected from the cold with adequate covers.
This Hibernation link has much more interesting information about this topic.
2. The act of retiring into quiescence: The author emerged from his artificial hibernation to produce his first book after several years.
3. A condition of the retarded vital activity of an organism in warm-blooded animals, including humans, which is created in a simulated way, similar to the condition of an organism during the winter: Artificial hibernation can be created through nerve-blocking techniques which stop the neural and endocrine mechanisms of bodily thermoregulation or heat regulation.