Yawning is something we all do. Sometimes it may be because of boredom, and sometimes because we are tired. If you have asked yourself why we do it, you have come to the right place. In this article I will dig deeper into why we yawn and bring to the surface some of the not-so-well known facts about it.
Why do we yawn?
The simple answer is that nobody really knows exactly why you yawn. It’s thought that when an animal (human or otherwise) is tired their body releases a chemical called adenosine. The more tired the animal, the higher the level of adenosine naturally occurring in their body.
When levels get too high, your brain starts to search for a way to lower them. Basically, it wants you to stop what you’re doing and start to prepare for going to bed.
So, what are the reasons your brain want to make you yawn? There are a few theories I have found beyond the adenisine answer above.
- Your brain may think you’re getting too excited and need some downtime. This could explain why we yawn when we watch a scary film or when we’re nervous.
- It could be that your brain wants to remind you to take a break and rest.
- You could be getting cold. Our bodies produce more heat when we’re excited or working hard, so this theory suggests that the opposite is true when we feel chilled – our body needs to generate some extra warmth!
- You are using your brain and it needs to cool off. If you use your brain for thinking, for example studying, your brain will produce heat. This is why people who are stressed out and tired are more likely to feel hot.Yawning cools your body down, because it increases the air intake and it speeds up blood flow in your brain. This process increases oxygen levels in your blood and distributes it throughout your brain.
How can you stop yawning?
The best way to control your urge to yawn is to delay your reaction for the first few cycles. This will give you a chance to find out if you are really tired or bored. Other ways to avoid yawning is the following.
- Try breathing shallow breaths through your mouth.
- Begin to force yourself to yawn, but put a finger on the inside of your nose and exhale forcefully through your nose instead.
- Ask someone nearby where they are from and what their hobbies are to keep yourself focused on the conversation.
- Drinking water can help you from feeling tired. You will stay alert and your blood flow rate will be improved, thus fighting off any need for a yawn and making it more likely that one won’t be emitted. The next time you’re stressed or bored in class (or elsewhere), just take a drink of water. Stay awake, stay alert and stay happy!
- Try suppressing the yawn with your hands. If this doesn’t work, stand up and walk around for a minute.
If you continue to want to yawn, make sure you do it before you speak or engage in any more public activity. This will help you avoid offending people with a contagious yawn.
Is yawning contagious?
It’s slightly contagious! If you tend to have a lot of yawns, it’s possible that your friend or family member will also. However, not everyone in the room is susceptible to the contagious yawn. Studies have shown that about 50% of humans will yawn during a contagious episode. So next time someone around you starts yawning while watching tv or sitting in a meeting, don’t feel like it’s weird and don’t be afraid to join them!
The scientific reason behind yawning
The scientific reason behind yawning is that it helps to regulate your sleep cycle. It also relieves headaches, soothes the lungs and muscles, and can help balance your brain pressure.
You are using your brain and it needs to cool off. If you use your brain for thinking, for example studying, your brain will produce heat. This is why people who are stressed out and tired are more likely to feel hot.
Yawning cools your body down, because it increases the air intake and it speeds up blood flow in your brain. This process increases oxygen levels in your blood and distributes it throughout your brain.
What is a funny fact about yawning?
The funniest fact about yawning is that most animals yawn, too. There are different theories about why this is true. One theory says that we share a common ancestor with many animal species and it’s a leftover reflex of our ancestors. The other popular explanation is that we yawn to revive oxygen in the brain after periods of apnea (when breathing stops).
So, what have we learned about yawning? It’s not just a reflex! Yawning has real benefits that can help you stay happy, healthy and alert. Whether it’s boredom or sleepiness (or both!), the next time you feel like yawning to relieve your symptoms from one of these two things, take a deep breath and try out some of our tips for controlling how much you want to actually do so. We hope this article was helpful in explaining why we yawn as well as providing ways on how to prevent yourself from doing so when it really doesn’t need to happen. If all else fails, make sure that before you speak publicly again after a long day at work or playing outside with friends that you get plenty of rest and will be home soon so you can rest again.