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#239431 - 01/16/12 03:55 PM Re: "falling asleep in cold weather = death"? really? [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3544
Loc: USA
Thanks for the info! Welcome to ETS!

#239436 - 01/16/12 04:25 PM Re: "falling asleep in cold weather = death"? really? [Re: chaosmagnet]
wileycoyote Offline

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 291
Loc: eastern Oregon & west TX

thnx for piping in, doc!

#239437 - 01/16/12 04:26 PM Re: "falling asleep in cold weather = death"? really? [Re: DrGiesbrec]
AKSAR Offline

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1208
Loc: Alaska
Dr. Geisbrecht, I have been following your work for a number of years now. I believe you are having a profoundly positive effect on peoples understanding of hypothermia. Welcome, and thank you for joining this forum!
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

#239444 - 01/16/12 05:45 PM Re: "falling asleep in cold weather = death"? really? [Re: DrGiesbrec]
thseng Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 900
Loc: NW NJ
Welcome, Doctor. I'm an ice machine engineer by profession, so naturally I take great interest in your work!
- Tom S.

"Never trust and engineer who doesn't carry a pocketknife."

#239469 - 01/16/12 08:07 PM Re: "falling asleep in cold weather = death"? really? [Re: DrGiesbrec]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Thanks a lot, it is great to stamp out that old myth by someone who knows what he talks about.

#239515 - 01/17/12 06:23 AM Re: "falling asleep in cold weather = death"? really? [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Phaedrus Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2892
Loc: Big Sky Country
Wow, great to have the definitive source here at ETS! Welcome, Doctor!
“I'd rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” —Richard Feynman

#239540 - 01/17/12 06:55 PM Re: "falling asleep in cold weather = death"? really? [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
comms Offline

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
thanks Doc. and stated in a way a guy like me can repeat to others.
Don't just survive. Thrive.

#239548 - 01/17/12 07:32 PM Re: "falling asleep in cold weather = death"? really? [Re: DrGiesbrec]
Arney Offline

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: DrGiesbrec
A severely hypothermic victim will become unconscious as a result of significant brain cooling; this is not going to sleep and is an inevitable progression towards death.

Thanks for the input, doctor.

The logical follow-up question is whether keeping the severely hypothermic person awake (or concious, in this case) out in the field can forestall death for any significant length of time? Or is that basically out of anyone's influence at that point due to brain cooling?

#239562 - 01/17/12 09:41 PM Re: "falling asleep in cold weather = death"? really? [Re: NightHiker]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7507
Loc: southern Cal
Let us hope he will find this forum useful and won't give us the cold shoulder.....
Geezer in Chief

#274733 - 03/31/15 07:26 PM Re: "falling asleep in cold weather = death"? really? [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
Today I stumbled across Paul Kirtley's bushcraft blog and noticed another confirmation that one shouldn't worry about sleeping in cold weather. If your body gets cold you will wake up.

"All the photos in this article were taken in northern Sweden, well inside the Arctic Circle. I slept out in the shelter depicted in night-time temperatures that hovered between minus 20 and minus 30 degrees Celsius. This is colder than inside a domestic freezer. I did so without the aid of any sleeping equipment – no sleeping bag, bivvy bag, blanket or the like. Moreover, I was not at all concerned about freezing to death and I did get a reasonable amount of sleep...

...There is a common myth that you will not wake up if you get too cold. I can assure you that as soon as the fire dies down a little and you start to feel the chill of the night, you will be awake."

Here's another example where survivors needlessly forced themselves to stay awake for many days straight in the belief that if they went to sleep in the cold conditions, they wouldn't wake up. Their ordeal was made significantly more miserable by their mistaken thinking.

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