Posted on: April 17, 2015 at 2:08 pm
Last updated: August 27, 2018 at 4:15 pm

Think about yawning. Did you yawn? It’s a peculiar thing. Someone else’s yawn seems to trigger the sensation too. So what’s up with our bodies being obedient copycats to the ultimate powers of the “yawn”? Sure, we yawn when we’re tired, but that doesn’t explain everything else.

We associate yawning with fatigue, boredom and laziness. That’s why it seems rude to yawn while someone is speaking to you. You’re basically saying, “I really don’t want to hear you talk and here is my yawn to prove it!”


The Science Behind Yawning

But researchers at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine say that yawning helps to add some well needed oxygen to our bloodstream. When your brain starts to under perform, oxygen stimulates the brain, helping your brain function at its best.

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That’s probably why we yawn when we’re tired. Our natural body clocks are telling our organs that it’s time for bed. Your brain starts to work less efficiently. If you still insist on using it, your yawns will give your brain an extra oxygen boost to try to help you out.

If you’re not interested in a topic, your lack of brain stimulation may also provoke a yawn to get your brain to pay attention.

Keep in mind that this natural bodily solution is temporary. At some point you will either have to sleep or find a way to stimulate your brain to get it back to its regular performance levels.

Copycat Yawning


But this research doesn’t explain why we yawn when someone else yawns. Maybe our bodies fear that someone else will suck up all our oxygen, so we copy them to get our fair share?

That doesn’t explain why someone of us can yawn just by thinking about it. All I know is that I’ve yawned multiple times while writing this article, and it’s making my eyes water.

There’s more about the science of yawning at Medianp.

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