If I was a dragon, I would very much hibernate. Although I might do it in the summer to avoid the heat. Or just for a hundred years, because sleeping is the best thing to do any time of year.

The Sleeping Dragon by shimhaq98

The Sleeping Dragon by shimhaq98

You probably know what hibernation is – a long sleep over the winter months to help animals get through the period when there isn’t much food available. You basically slow everything down (breathing, heart rate, temperature) so you don’t really need much to survive, just the leftovers from the stuff you ate all summer long.

Do dragon hibernate? Yes, but they tend to do it on the scales of years or decades, rather than just the winter months. Do they do it for similar reasons? Yes and no. Yes, it can be useful when there isn’t much food about, hibernating doesn’t require a lot of energy, so if there isn’t a handy village full of sheep/cows/people nearby, and the adventurers have stopped coming into your lair to defeat you/steal your gold, then sleeping until the human and cattle populations have built themselves up again isn’t a bad choice by any means.

However, it is not the only reason for dragons to hibernate. They are also said to have pretty good healing when they slip into hibernation. It’s not regeneration, so if they’ve lost a limb, then it stays lost, but rents in scales and other such injuries can be healed with a hibernation. Also good for if you need to get rid of some scales and grow some new ones because they’ve gotten old or tarnished. A dragon doesn’t really want to be out and about when there’s a gap in their armour.

An interesting point that has been theorised is connected into the hoards of gold that some dragons collect. If a dragon breaths on the gold, not enough to melt it but enough to heat it, then the dragon has a very good blanket in which to sleep in or on for the hibernation, with occasional top-ups of heat required. This part is thought to depend on the species of dragon, as some dragons do not like heat (frost dragons) and may instead bury themselves in snow to pass their hibernation in.

Mostly I am just slightly jealous, since I love sleeping, and doing it for a number of months/years sounds like a dream. That, and the weather is just about horrible enough that getting out from the covers each morning is a draining experience. I’d much rather be sleeping under a horde of gold. Or blankets, I could very much hoard blankets.

sleeping-dragon-horde

“There He Lay” by Justin & Annie Stegg Gerard

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