Understanding the Art and Science of Yawning
Dogs do it. Cats do it. Even fish do it. Humans often do it in bed, and it’s not what you think. What they’re doing is yawning, a reflexive action that is common throughout the animal kingdom. You may yawn as you look for your Sleepys credit card (http://www.sleepys.com/financing.html), pondering whether you need to buy a new mattress. You should ponder these things in particular:
•Why do I yawn?
•Can too many yawns shorten my life?
•Does yawning make me smarter?
•What is it about watching the U.S. House of Representatives that makes me yawn?
•Why do I yawn after watching somebody else do the same?
Science knows a lot of things, but it still has not been able to unravel the inner workings of the yawn. On the other hand, do you know anyone who has the nerve to ask for a federal grant for the purpose of studying yawning?
There was a time when yawning was thought to be an attempt by the body to replenish its supply of oxygen, but this was an old wives’ tale. A modern scientific theory is that a yawn is actually related to something that is in the same part of the body as the organ that performs the yawn. Specifically, the air that is drawn into the body during a yawn may have the role of bringing cooler air to the brain. This means that yawning makes you cool!
There is no evidence that yawning is harmful to the body or is physically related to the state of boredom. However, it can be psychologically contagious. Yawning may be a method of social interaction that allows humans to mimic others and cool down their brains at the same time. On top of everything else, yawning is something that is influenced by thought or suggestion. If you think about yawning, you may find yourself yawning.
Humans seem to yawn the most when they wake up or before they fall asleep. So perhaps it’s as simple as that: we yawn because we’re tired. Whether or not science discovers the exact science of yawning, it seems plain to common folks that being sleepy is a main cause. So make sure you get a good night’s rest on a comfy mattress so you won’t be yawning when you your boss is talking to you.