Monday, 4 August 2014

Why do we yawn?

It’s not for the reason you might think. Yawning actually has nothing to do with being tired and needing more oxygen. In fact recent studies have shown that yawning does not increase the levels of oxygen in the bloodstream. Yawning is in fact to do with the brain. Your brain operates at an optimum temperature, so when your brain gets too warm, our natural instinct is to take a deep breath of air to cool it down. If the air isn’t cool enough, you’re much less likely to yawn.

All this talk about yawning is probably making you yawn as well. It’s such an ingrained instinct, that we yawn before we’re even born. It’s also very contagious, so you only have to read about it to start yawning! It’s because it’s such an old, important instinct that we copy each other.

So why do we yawn when we’re tired? It’s because sleep exhaustion causes the brain’s temperature to rise. So if you’re not getting enough sleep, your brain will be warmer than normal, so you yawn to cool it down.

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