I get tired even thinking about it. It seems like everywhere you go you see someone yawning.
And what do you hear most of the time when you ask someone how they’re doing? What do they say?
“Oh, I’m tired.” “Oh good, I’m just tired, how about you?” “Oh, I’m really tired today.”
We’ve all heard this before. We’ve all said it before.
So with this, I have two questions...
Why do we yawn when we’re tired?
And why do we yawn when we see someone else doing it?
I bet you’re thinking that we yawn because we are bored or tired. Of course this might be a plausible explanation because most of the time that’s when we do yawn.
According to webmd.com, no one really knows why we yawn--however there are many
theories that have floated around.
One theory is the, “Brain Cooling Hypothesis” (scienceblogs.com). The theory is that yawning is the body’s way of keeping our brain temperature at safe levels. In other words, if we didn’t yawn, our brain might get overheated.
Another theory I read on this website is that is that yawning may be linked to migraines, epileptic seizures and even multiple sclerosis.
One of a few theories listed on webmd.com is that “yawning may be associated with increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the blood--therefore inducing a yawn to bring in oxygen.”
Other theories (just to name a few more) listed on webmd.com, is that we yawn because we need to satisfy our need to stretch our muscles, or we yawn because it helps us to stay alert.
But really…after all this research…I didn’t find one website that said they knew the exact cause of yawning.
My conclusion as to why we yawn--there is none. It’s just something we do.
This brings me to question two. Why is yawning contagious?
If not, then conduct an experiment the next time you are sitting with a group of people. Go ahead and let out a gigantic, loud, obnoxious, “Yaawwwnnnn!”
See what happens.
I’ll bet you nine times out of ten, someone will catch the bait.
But back to the question--why is it contagious?
One theory listed on Discovery News at discovery.com says that, yawning is contagious because it is a “form of social bonding.” And that’s why we do it when others do it.
Need something more scientific?
Another theory listed on wisegeek.com is that “the signal to yawn must bypass a response called the mirror neuron system, which would render yawning in response to someone else a conscious and imitative act.”
In other words, it’s an involuntary response made by us, in our brains, when we see someone do it.
|Anna Oates' Photostream|
Mind boggling isn’t it?
I’d love to hear your beliefs on this.
Please, don't hesitate to tell me what's On Ur Mind.