This section is from the book "The Hygienic System: Fasting And Sun Bathing", by Herbert M. Shelton. Also available from Amazon: The Hygienic System Vol III Fasting and Sun Bathing.
Of possible human hibernation, it has been said that it is "a condition utterly inexplicable on any principle taught in the schools." Nonetheless, there are a number of peoples who practice a near approach to hibernation during the winter season. This is true of the Eskimos of northern Canada, as well as of certain tribes of northern Russia. By putting on fat and wintering very much as does the bear, only much less completely, the Eskimo reveals that man has some hibernating power. By keeping warm, usually by huddling together in the home, and moving very little, he goes through the long winter on half the usual food. At the onset of winter, the Eskimo will sew himself up in his fur-lined parka, leaving accessible openings for certain physiological necessities, and will stay in his hut for the duration of the winter, existing on dried salmon, hard-tack, ground corn cakes and water. The fact that he undertakes very little physical activity reduces the amount of energy spent, thus aiding him in sustaining the food reserves accumulated in his body at a level at which there is no danger of systemic detriment.
Certain Russian peasants of the Pskov region have been known to sleep around a fire during most of the winter, awakening once daily to eat. There is no evidence that this is anything other than a quasi-hibernation, as they employ fire to keep themselves warm, awaken daily to eat and, it should not be forgotten, it is easily possible to take all the food required by an even active life in one meal daily. Reports that certain Indian fakirs have been able to assume a dormant state and survive burial for a year or more, must be treated with skepticism.