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Yawning - the real reason why we do it ?

Updated on September 24, 2011

Yawning. Why do we do it ?

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Theories behind a yawn


There are a number of theories about why we yawn. A more recent one is linked to the overheating of the brain. It is now widely accepted that in order to function at an optimal level the brain needs to run cool, much like, I suppose a computer. When it runs at the correct temperature it is more alert and runs more smoothly. This is thought to be equally important for the brain.

If the brain begins to get too warm it would appear that if we yawn it draws in, via a deep intake of breath, cool air which is then dispersed throughout the nasal passages and reaches the brian causing a cooling effect.

But if that is the case why, when we are in a room for a meeting with a number of other people,do we all begin yawning if we see another person do the same?. It seems that yawning is contagious....or is it?

The explanantion for this could be that because there are a number of people in one room in close proximity the temperature in the room could be too high, causing your brain to tell you that it is too warm and to draw in some fresh air. If you are like this, then it would make sense that other people in the room would be the same. I believe that this explanation could hold weight and is the more likely of the other explanations I can find.

But I will let you decide for yourself the theory which you would like to believe is the true reason for humans and animals to yawn.

Theory number 2

The boredom theory.

When particularly tired we all seem to yawn. Is it our body telling us we are tired and may need sleep or is it really telling us that enough is enough and to change tasks as we have been doing the current one for too long? You can decide about that.

Theory number 3

The get ready for action theory.

As yawning gets us to draw in oxygen from around us another theory is that we do this under heightened awareness that a possible danger is imminent and your body needs to ready itself for the primitive fight or flight reaction which is inbuilt in all of us from when we were hunter gatherers. I like this theory as it could explain why we yawn so much after getting out of bed every day. Our body is preparing for the rigours of the day and preparing itself for stresses and strains of what is to come.

You decide which theory you like

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Hope you found this interesting.

How many times did you yawn whilst you were reading this article?

That could be proof that yawning is contagious.

Do you yawn more than normal. If you are concerned I would suggest consulting your medical Dr.

It is definitely not cut and dried about why we yawn but we have discussed a few interesting theories, at least one of which I would like to believe is the real reason.

It could be that there is more than one reason for us to yawn and that neither of the theories is true. Only time will tell and as ever in medical research eventually the truth will be revealed.

Many thanks for reading... I hope you enjoyed it.

Feel free to comment and give your feedback as it is much appreciated.

Comments

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  • dallas93444 profile image

    Dallas W Thompson 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

    Yawn.. I am getting ready for action! Interesting! Flag up.

  • poshcoffeeco profile image
    Author

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Thanks for voting and commenting. I always look forward to your kind words. Thanks!!

  • writer20 profile image

    Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

    No yawn here while reading.

  • poshcoffeeco profile image
    Author

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Glad you like W20. Thanks

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

    Interesting article. I had an English teacher who said, " If you must yawn, please cover your mouth, there's nothing more disturbing that looking at a room full of gaping mouths." HaHa

  • poshcoffeeco profile image
    Author

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Must have been too warm in class. Everybody frying their brains. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

    Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

    voted up. Interesting. Two yawns while reading, but probly do to the fact that I've been babysitting for two days. not sued to having children around...

  • poshcoffeeco profile image
    Author

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    PDXKaraokeGuy thanks for dropping in. Your generous vote is appreciated and I am glad you liked it

  • Admiral_Joraxx profile image

    Admiral_Joraxx 5 years ago from Philippines

    Great! I always yawn but I really didn't know why I do, aside from my initial thought that it was a sign that I am sleepy. Thanks for this hub poshcoffeeco. I learn something new. 1 vote up and useful for this.=)

  • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

    Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

    no problem. Any time, my friend!

  • MissFrost profile image

    MissFrost 5 years ago from 50% Island Girl, 25% East Coast Girl, 25% Country Girl

    Voted up and interesting!

  • poshcoffeeco profile image
    Author

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Wow Miss Frost praise in deed, Thanks sooooo much!

  • Sunshine625 profile image

    Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

    I made it through the entire hub without a yawn! Kudos to you! Well done Steve!

  • poshcoffeeco profile image
    Author

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Thanks for dropping by Linda, it is always a pleasure to see you.

  • theclevercat profile image

    Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

    Built-in air conditioning... I never knew! (And I didn't yawn once!) :^) Voted interesting.

  • poshcoffeeco profile image
    Author

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Well done theclevercat. I start yawning just by looking at the picture of the girl yawning. Hey seriously thanks for taking the time out to read and comment. Oh and thanks for following. I am heading off to read your stuff right now and follow you back.

  • profile image

    onlooker 5 years ago

    Hmm, cooling the brain. Sounds good =) makes sense too. Thank you, voted up, useful and sharing!

  • Jessi10 profile image

    Jessica Rangel 5 years ago from Lancaster, CA

    YAWN! I guess I am getting ready to get things done! Great information! VOTED UP!

  • Jools99 profile image

    Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

    I once did training with someone who dragged the whole thing out; I started yawning after 20 minutes and could not stop - everybody else was laughing in the background, it became an involuntary response to everything he said - very embarrassing. I didn't yawn at all whilst reading this :o)

    Interesting hub.

  • hotwebideas profile image

    Bruce Chamoff 5 years ago from New York

    I am always yawning and most of the time, I do not feel tired when I do it. Sometimes, i happens when I drink more soda. Maybe the carbonation causes me to need more oxygen?

  • poshcoffeeco profile image
    Author

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Jessi10

    Jools99

    hotwebideas

    Thanks so much for commenting. I am glad you enjoyed it.

    Jools, hope slicethepie is still making good money for you.

    http://www.slicethepie.com/?wyd=423602

    Recommended that everyone signs up,listens, review music and get paid.

  • hotwebideas profile image

    Bruce Chamoff 5 years ago from New York

    Hey, poshcoffeeco, sometimes I yawn so badly, but that it makes me sick and it is accompanied by headaches. Doesn't happen often, but once in a while.

    - Bruce

  • Curiad profile image

    Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

    I always thought it was the body needing oxygen and also needing to get rid of carbon dioxide. Weather that is because of heat, or boredom I don't know:)

    Great hub and Voted Up!

  • Daisy Mariposa profile image

    Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

    Steve,

    The photo at the top of your article makes me yawn...

    Happy May 1st Birthday!!!

  • profile image

    kelleyward 5 years ago

    Very interesting poshcoffeeco! I really enjoyed reading this. Learn something new all the time! Take care, Keley

  • cclitgirl profile image

    Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

    *Yawn* - hehe, just kidding. Great informative hub. Though I didn't actually yawn while reading this, you definitely got me thinking. Thanks for sharing this. :) Voted and shared.

  • Ruchira profile image

    Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

    Oh god...I yawned two times while reading this informative hub. Agree with your theories. Well researched indeed.

  • taw2012 profile image

    taw2012 5 years ago from India

    Wow...."Yawn" - the reason why most of the professors want me out of class. Great hub!

  • poshcoffeeco profile image
    Author

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and for visiting. I really appreciate it. You are all very kind.

  • hotwebideas profile image

    Bruce Chamoff 5 years ago from New York

    Hey, poshcoffeeco, I just saw this. Happy birthday. Try not to party too much or you'll end up yawning the next day. ha ha ha

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I did not yawn while reading this article! I read one time that yawning occurs the most when we are forced to stay awake but we are tired. The overworked brain theory you mentioned makes sense! Voted up and awesome!

  • hotwebideas profile image

    Bruce Chamoff 5 years ago from New York

    I also yawn more when I drink soda. Maybe the carbonation goes to my brain?

  • Aerika Singh profile image

    Aerika Singh 5 years ago

    Interesting hub. Voted up and useful. And I did not yawn while reading this.

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Good and well researched hub.

    Voted up.

  • poshcoffeeco profile image
    Author

    Steve Mitchell 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire

    You have all tired me out now. I am yawning!

    Thanks for your comments and for celebrating my birthday. You are all awesome.

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