This morning, I couldn’t stop yawning while I was trying to write. That got me thinking…why do we yawn?
Wonder Why Wednesday: Why do we yawn?
My first guess was that yawns are our brain’s way of telling our body that it would rather be doing something else, something more interesting. Think about it, don’t you find yourself yawning more when you are really tired or bored? I think that is your brain saying that it would rather be sleeping or riding a waverunner.
Comedian Daniel Tosh has a funny bit about how money can buy happiness. He says that money can buy a waverunner and have you ever seen an unhappy person on a wave runner?
I’d ask, have you ever seen a person yawn on a waverunner? I didn’t think so.
Why We Yawn:
Apparently no one knows exactly why we yawn. Here is a great article by Sara Klein at the Huffington Post that explains a few yawning facts. A study done in 1986 showed that college students yawned more when they were shown a pattern of colors than when they were shown a rock video.
Despite not knowing exactly what causes a yawn, here are a few things Klein found.
Yawning Prevents Hot Heads:
When we yawn, we cause our sinus walls to expand and contract. This lowers the temperature of our brain by pumping air into it, according to National Geographic. It was also found that people yawn more often in winter. Healthy Living surmised that this is because the exterior air is cooler in the winter and yawning brings more cold air inside the body.
Yawns Are Contagious:
According to one study, 50 percent of people began yawning when shown videos of yawning. Yawns also were found to be contagious among animals. A 2004 study found that chimpanzees and baboons yawn when seeing one another yawn.
Yawn & Order:
Turns out that maybe my guess isn’t too far off. But I would like to see scientists study people on waverunners to see if anyone yawns. If scientists are spending time studying the yawning patters on chimpanzees, then I assume they also have time and money to conduct a waverunner study.
One thing I know for sure is that yawning is contagious. I counted and I yawned five times while reading the Huffington Post article.
How many times did you yawn while reading this blog post? If you answered a lot, I will assume it is because yawning is contagious, and not because your brain was telling you that it would rather be doing something different.
Photo credit: Wikipedia