Why We Yawn
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Why We Yawn

The cause of yawning has been a mystery. Just what purpose does a yawn have? The answer is a bit surprising. There has been recent news that the reason why we yawn is because our head is overheated and by yawning it helps to cool the brain down. This information is according to a new study that found that the primary purpose of yawning is to cool the brain and control brain temperature. This finding is very interesting because it answers many questions we’ve always had.

For instance, why we yawn before we go to sleep or when we wake up, why certain diseases lead to more yawning and why breathing through your nose and cooling off your forehead often stop yawning. According to a researcher at Binghamton University the brain operates most efficiently when cool. The researcher also stated that contagious yawning is thought to have developed to be an evolved mechanism for keeping groups alert so they remain vigilant against danger.

In a way, the yawn acts as a radiator for mammals and birds. If air in the atmosphere is cooler than brain and body temperatures, taking it in quickly cools facial blood that, in turn, cools the brain and may even alter blood flow. Prior studies reveal yawning leads to a heightened state of arousal, so a morning yawn may function somewhat like a cup of coffee in providing a jolt of energy.

The new findings also explain why tired individuals often yawn because exhaustion and sleep deprivation have been shown to increase deep brain temperatures. Yawning appears to facilitate transitional states of the brain, such as going from sleep to waking periods.

Researchers may soon begin to focus more on brain temperature and its role in diseases and their symptoms. The new study on yawning changes the popular notion that yawns are mere signs of boredom. Scientists also pointed out that excessive yawning could indicate brain cooling problems in humans. Bouts of excessive yawning often precede seizures and migraine headaches.

This is quite a breakthrough and could have the potential for scientists to link more diseases to yawning. It finally makes sense now why people yawn and the link between yawning and serious medical conditions. Yawning could also help us learn more about the brain and how it functions and operates the rest of the body.

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