We all yawn, don't we? It's a natural instinct and surely we just pass it off, as the call of sleep in our body system. But research says there is a lot more to that story.

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/en/users/truthseeker08-2411480/

And if you want to know in the literary sense, then this action simply can be explained as, an un-intentional reflex action when one person open the mouth, inhaling in air, and stretching the mouth muscles. This happens when the person is tired, bored or perhaps it just got passed on from someone!

Oh yes, take time to read what a yawn means in simple sense. And then, get moving on to know more on why exactly we all yawn. Surely, there is some reason for that.

The Contagious Yawn

Have you noticed that in a public place when one person yawns away, there would a couple or even threesome who may pass off a yawn. That person may not even be lethargic or tired, but it just happens. Why is that so? How is that possible? What is responsible for this? This research has got answers to this.

Why is a yawn contagious and why does it pass on?

There are some research facts with regard to this:

  • The research experts say that this is one action that gets triggered on its own.
  • If you ask who is responsible- well they feel that the brain is!
  • You see the brain is the driver of all our motor functions.
  • Such emotions are triggered by reflexes within the brain. The studies show that we cannot control the urge to yawn away.
  • And in fact, when we force ourselves to resist such an urge then this need will increase further and finally we will forced to yawn.

The Contagious Gene

  • The issue is that once we see another person yawning, we automatically respond or mimic the same behaviour.
  • This is no disease or physical issue, but an inborn trait within living things.
  • In medical language, researchers name this as Echophenomena.
  • The same sort of behaviour can be observed in chimpanzees and dogs too.

Cool the Brain

The next reason according to researchers is that a yawn is often done for a rather surprising reason. Like it was mentioned before, it is a game of the brain and this reason also has a brainy connection with the same.

How can a yawn cool our brains?

  • Yes, did that question make you think twice? Then the researchers have the answer for that too.
  • At the University of Vienna , they had come up with the following reasoning:
  • Either if a person is under- stimulated or bored- the person could indulge in a yawn.
  • If a person is under stress, then also the brains will prompt the body to yawn.
  • For this, the researchers have given a name to this behaviour and that is the brain cooling process.
  • It was misunderstood in the past that a yawn happens when the body wants to get a fresh dose of oxygen.
  • This research instead proved that a person yawns when the body experiences a temperature change within themselves. When the temperature decreases, this lowers the brain temperature also.
  • If the thermal or hot temperatures are on the rise, then people will yawn unknowingly more frequently.
  • To prove this, they studied people and yawn patterns both in summer and winter.
  • It had been noticed that people yawned more in summer. This was because of the rise of the body temperature, and not necessarily due to strong sunlight that surround people.
  • So, the brain arouses the instincts to yawn, breathe in air and cool the body.

Loved Ones - A common yawn time!

Well, have you ever witnessed a scenario when everyone in your family sit together, and pass the yawn phenomena with no effort at all? It is true and actually funny when we come to think of it.

The Yawner- Yawnee Duo

The above two researches show that yawns are contagious and this is something we cannot avoid.

But this research points another interesting fact about a yawn and what could that be?

  • Yawn is all about family bonding
  • Yes, though we yawn when we see a stranger yawning, the effect of a yawn is tripled once the yawn comes from your own loved one or family member.
  • The Yawn Bond is greater when it is passed around mates, friends, partners and even loved family members.
  • Why is that so?
  • The more affection and sincerity is present in a relationship, the people who get involved in a yawn- will have more frequent yawns.
  • The justification for this is that a yawn can be extra contagious when the emotional bondage between the two are great and strong.
  • In fact, even the yawn back time is much lesser than the yawn back time with strangers. On an average, the people who are more emotionally connected can respond to a yawn within 5 minutes or less.

The Empathetic Yawn

This is the fourth on our list. And yes, they give the yawns a slight consideration on being considerate and empathetic. Never heard that a yawn had to blame our sensitivity to emotions all this while!

Yawns: Our Sensitivity could be a cause

  • At the Tohoku University , they have had a research that states that our yawns have a contagious link to our empathetic nerves.
  • So, if you are an understanding one, then probably yawns will come knocking you more often!
  • An experiment was conducted between healthy people and autistic people.
  • From this, the researchers could understand that people who are autistic fail to connect to an eye gaze.
  • Autistic people fail to comprehend emotions and also reach to those emotions, whereas all this happens in the case of normal people.
  • So, if you notice an autistic person, you can find that such people do not tend to yawn as much as their counterparts.
  • Emotions, stress, boredom, happiness, and lethargy can cause the trigger of a yawn. When such feelings are not emitted by people with brain disorders, a yawn will not take place.
  • And that is the reason- even if an autistic person sees you- they will yawn, as yawns are not contagious for them.

Medicines could have their say!

This is a world when we cannot live without medicines and supplements. And due to this, it could have negative effects on the body.

  • You must have heard that too many medicines can have a negative effect on our brain.
  • A simple evidence for this is that, when we have certain medicines we feel drowsy and sluggish throughout the day.
  • This is because the body is busy fighting away the virus that linger within us. That fight between the white blood cells and the virus can be strenuous for the person.
  • Or in the case, of some, if you are not taking any medicine and still feeling like yawning and sleeping away- then that could hint an element of infection
  • So, in such cases, if this phenomenon repeats itself, we suggest that you get checked and know who or what seems to be causing the real problem within a person.
  • It could that medicines are an over- dose, or maybe too strong for you.
  • Or else, even an internal infection, heart disease, liver issues, and frequent fevers could mean something is not right within you. That is when body talks to you by giving away yawns.

Are you a Yawner or Yawnee?

Hey, you must be thinking, 'How do I know all that?'

Very true, my friend- we all take these positions at different times of the day. Again it is natural, cannot be stopped, but if this is a way that the body speaks, perhaps you need to pay heed to it.

Next time you yaw don't take that drowsy and sluggish feel lightly. It is quietly hinting something and you ought to understand what is bothering the brain.