Why do people yawn?

Posted on Jan 12, 2021      192

Yawning is a deep, long breath with the mouth wide open and a quick exhalation. Yawning occurs not only in humans but also in other mammals, birds, and reptiles. Even children who are still in the womb yawn. In healthy people yawning occurs when overwork, lack of sleep or a drowsy state, exposure to stuffy rooms.

Yawning is directly related to the needs of the brain. He needs a certain amount of oxygen for normal operation. If the brain feels the lack of oxygen, it signals the body, which tries to quickly make up for the lack of oxygen. This is done through yawning.

When you yawn, the collapsed alveoli in the lungs open up, increasing their surface area. When you take a long breath and exhale quickly enough, oxygen quickly reaches the brain. Often, when a person yawns heavily, they stretch their entire body, which is also a consequence of an instinctive desire to eliminate local blood stagnation and to even out the irregular distribution of blood. The major systems of the body take part in yawning: muscular, vascular, skeletal, respiratory, and nervous systems. Tensing the muscles of the mouth, face, neck promotes an increase in the rate of blood flow in the vessels of the head. This improves blood flow to the brain cells, they get more nutrients, oxygen and waste products removed, carbon dioxide.

Lately it was found that another cause of yawning is overheating of the brain. Yawning is a physiological device to cool down the brain as much as possible. If a person is exhausted and wants to sleep, the temperature of the brain and the blood flowing through it rises under such conditions. To remedy the situation, the brain signals the body to yawn.

The feelings of drowsiness and boredom that people experience before yawning are precisely the result of a lack of oxygen for the brain’s needs. Yawning is often associated with lack of sleep and boredom, but in fact, yawning enriches the blood and makes one feel more alert - yawning helps the brain wake up!

It is the need to activate the work of the brain, to increase alertness explains why yawning sometimes overpowers us when we are nervous and worried. For example, people often yawn when they are waiting for some exciting event. Yawning often strikes athletes before a competition or students before an exam.

Experts advise not to hold back when you want to yawn, because this reflex helps relieve fatigue, mental stress, and refresh the air in the lungs. When yawning, the airways open wide and the muscles relax. Yawning activates blood circulation, clarifies the mind, supplies energy to brain and body cells, and promotes tear gland activity. Dry eyes are moistened and feel much better. The muscles of the temples, face, neck, back of the head, shoulders, abdomen and diaphragm are relaxed. Mood improves.

Interesting facts about yawning

  • A normal yawn lasts, on average, 6 seconds.
  • A man yawns at intervals of 68 seconds.
  • Men and women yawn equally often, but men cover their mouths less often.
  • If people are looking at you, you are unlikely to yawn!
  • Some animals yawn to show how big their teeth are.
  • You also have to know how to yawn. Often after a bad yawn we have to set the jaw!
  • People who are immune to yawning are also tougher in character.