Every day, we yawn so much that it doesn’t even matter if we’re fatigued from doing so. Our exhaustion has nothing to do with it, and we’re all aware of this fact. In contrast to the study of sleep apnea and laptops in the bedroom, yawning remains a mystery.
That doesn’t mean we can’t catch flies with our bare hands. Here are a few facts about yawning that we know for sure.
Theories are abundant, but little evidence backs them up
No one of the many hypotheses about why humans yawn has been proven scientifically. To begin with, we don’t do it exclusively when we’re exhausted. A shortage of oxygen may also be to blame for the symptoms, but it’s not a completely crazy hypothesis either. Michael Decker, Ph.D., an associate professor at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University and a representative for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, believes the concept may have come from the fact that shallow breathing might cause issues.
In a resting condition, the lower lobes of the lungs are rarely used. He claims that deep breathing can assist in maintaining the lungs healthy, even if we don’t use all of our lung capacity until we exercise. Some surgical patients have been reported to suffer lung damage as a result of anesthesia-induced pneumonia, which was caused by their shallow breathing during the procedure. According to Decker, “yawning would be a homeostatic response to not breathing deeply” if this idea is correct. Nevertheless, there is insufficient evidence to support this claim.
A tiny 1986 study of college students found that they yawned more when shown a sequence of colours than when shown a 30-minute rock film, suggesting that yawning increases with boredom.
Yawning may help to cool the brain, according to the most recent findings in the field of yawning studies. Sneezing can lower one’s body temperature by expanding and contracting the sinus cavities “like a bellows, forcing air into the brain, which lowers its temperature.” Healthy Living observed that people were more likely to yawn in the winter since the outside air is naturally colder than it is in the summer, when yawns aren’t going to do anything to bring cold air inside.
1. Contagious yawning really is.
Yes, you read that correctly. According to a study, around half of participants who were shown yawning films also began to yawn. These things happen to animals as well! In a 2004 study, chimpanzees, baboons, and macaques all yawned in unison. Dogs, on the other hand, can start yawning as soon as they hear their humans do so. Even if you’re only thinking about it or reading about it!
2. Friendship Makes Yawning More Contagious.
You won’t get a yawn from just anyone. According to a study conducted in 2012, yawns are most easily spread among close friends. “Catching” someone else’s yawn is more likely when you are genetically or emotionally related to them, according to new research.
3. Yawning could indicate a health issue.
Excessive yawning isn’t always a sign of something terrible, but it can indicate something more serious than just a lack of sleep. The vagus nerve may be to blame for excessive yawning in some individuals.
4. When You’re a Fetus, Yawn!
Unborn newborns yawn, but no one knows why. However, despite previous doubts, a 2012 examination of 4D scan images allowed researchers to discriminate between “non-yawn mouth opening” and “growing baby opening its mouth.”
5. Yawns last, on average, six seconds.
Even though there isn’t a scientific basis for this, several news outlets estimate that yawning lasts roughly six seconds. According to a 2012 study that examined the body before, during, and after exercise, a significant increase in heart rate occurs in those six seconds only. The yawn, the physiological changes that occur when participants are asked to take a deep breath, were not repeated.
Studies state that yawning serves as a cooling mechanism for the brain when it is overheated.
People were divided into two groups, with one group pressing a warm towel against their heads and the other group pressing a cold towel against their heads.
They found that people who had warm towels on their heads yawned more often than those who had cold towels.
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