You wake up in the morning. You stretch and yawn. You are tired at work, so you yawn. You are scratching your ear and yawn. You are working on your research project and yawn. You are watching a movie where someone yawns, so you yawn. You can’t escape yawning. You do it all the time. In fact, if you are an impressionable person, you may have just done it right then. I know just thinking about yawning makes me want to yawn. When having an important conversation, you may feel like yawning – or, horror, in a job interview. It’s incredibly difficult to suppress a yawn. Don’t feel bad, though, everyone does it.
Why? Why do you yawn?
There are lots of situations in which you feel like yawning, but what exactly is it doing to your body? Why do you have to yawn when someone next to you yawns on the bus?
Well, we are still not that sure. Yawning is contagious and we do it all the time, which is why some scientists think it may have been a primitive form of communication between each other.
Another theory is that yawning helps cool the brain. A study may indicate that people who are hot tend to yawn a lot more than those who aren’t. In the study, 48% of the subjects yawned, but when they held a cold compress over their head, only 9% did. However, the study did not go on to measure the actual temperature of the brain. For that reason, the cooling down theory is still a big question mark in the scientific community.
As far as why we yawn, we are still not sure. There are lots of theories, but not one that has been proven close to conclusive yet.
Scientists are still performing studies and reading through the literature – doubtlessly holding back a couple of yawns themselves.