Most people think that the act of yawning is simply the body’s way to get rid of excess carbon dioxide and take in much-needed oxygen. In fact, yawning will have no impact on our bodies oxygen levels instead the reason why we yawn is related to the temperature of our brain. That’s right, yawning is your brain’s natural air conditioning system, delivering cooler blood to chill out your overheated, overtired brain matter. It actually makes a lot of sense when stop and you think about when people tend to yawn. Yawning occurs when you are tired and scientists have found that our brains are a little warmer when we are tired or just before we fall asleep. You may also notice that you yawn more often on a hot summer day. You might also find yourself yawning when you sit down and you need to focus on something more clearly. This is simply your bodies way to get your brain ready to concentrate,
So how does Yawning work?
The act of yawning is made up of two parts. First, stretching your jaws wide open to yawn increases the rate of blood flow to your skull. Second, the act of inhaling sends gulp of air into your upper nasal and oral cavities which have mucus membranes covered in blood vessels that project up into the fore-brain. The fore-brain is the most important part of your bain which allows you to function. It is responsible for receiving and processing sensory information, understanding language and controlling motor functions. The air that you take in cools and changes the temperature of the blood that is entering your brain, making you more alert and makes you think more effectively.
Is yawning contagious?
You may have noticed that when one person yawns then immediately after the other person yawns as well. There are two reasonable explanations on why this occurs. Firstly, if we see someone yawning, even if we aren’t even aware of it, our brain says “that’s a good idea, maybe I should do that as well”. It can also be a reaction similar to smiling when you see another person smiling. This is a way we share feelings and can be an immediate reaction when we someone else yawn. We are naturally social creatures and sometimes we want to feel what another person is feeling so we can understand them a little better.
Another weird link to yawning is that you sometimes spontaneously stretch your arms at the same time that you yawn. Yawning stretches the lungs and lung tissue. Stretching and yawning at the same time is a way to flex muscles and joints, increase heart rate, and feel more awake.
If after reading this article have found yourself yawning. I hope it is not because you found this article boring, but because I put the idea of yawning in your head.