Why We Yawn

Everybody yawns, from babies to the elderly, and even animals. Although there is no universal reason for why we yawn, 5-Minute Crafts has found 3 theories that explain why we may do it.

What yawning is.

Yawning is an involuntary process of opening your mouth and breathing in deeply, filling the lungs with air. Some are very short, others can last for a few seconds. Yawning is often connected with fatigue and boredom, researchers are still not exactly sure why it happens, but they have some theories.

1. Yawing can be triggered by a change of state.

Yawing can, a lot of times, be a sign for your body to change its state of awareness, for example:

  • Before going to bed: a sign that your body is preparing for sleep.
  • When bored: a sign that your body is changing from a big level of awareness to a lower level.
  • After exercise or sport: a sign of your brain is transitioning from high energy to low energy.

2. We yawn to cool our brain.

When you yawn, you breathe in deeply and the incoming air slightly cools the brain. Also, stretching the jaw increases blood flow to the brain, which is another cooling factor.

3. People yawn as a communication tool.

Some researchers believe that yawning has something to do with human evolution. Before humans communicated vocally, they used yawns to convey messages.

Early humans could have yawned as a sign of boredom or sleepiness, it could also be a signal of their alertness to others, or they could’ve used it as some other means of communication.

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