Why do we Yawn?


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Have you ever wondered why we yawn? I know I have. A yawn is defined as "to open the mouth somewhat involuntarily with a prolonged,deep inhalation and sighing or heavy exhalation, as from drowsiness or boredom" (dictionary.com) and it comes as a result of a team effort from the thoracic muscles in the chest, the diaphragm, the larynx, and palate in the mouth. 

No one really knows why exactly we yawn but there are various theories in existence. Hippocrates once hypothesized that yawning is how we get rid of bad air in the lungs. Later on, scientists hypothesized that we yawn in order to improve our motor function and alertness. A much more recent hypothesis links yawning to cerebral homeostasis. There's a lot of work being done on the subject but even more work to be done before we come to a conclusion. Stay tuned! 
gilygirl.jpgSources





3 Comments

Really? I thought that yawning was because we had to much CO2 in our body and we needed more oxygen or something like that. However with my experiences, I feel that yawning helps me lose being tired. I don't feel tired rather invigorated after I yawn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pToyPkrju1o
Contagious yawning

Loved the article. I was always under the impression that yawning was getting rid of excess air in the lungs, great read to find out I was wrong.

I always knew that yawning was due to the fact that we were tired. I was once told that it was due to the fact that we were taking big enough breaths. Which sounds odd now that I think about. This article made me wonder why yawning is contagious? I went found this website, seems pretty cool. Check it out! http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/contagious-yawn.htm

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