Yawning Amazing Facts

25 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Yawning | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. Most of the vertebrates in this world yawn including humans, dogs, chimpanzees etc.
  2. On an average, a typical yawn in human lasts for about 6 seconds.
  3. Yawning might serve a social function (to communicate boredom) and a physiological function (regulation of body state).
  4. Yawns in male students have been found to last longer than those in female students.
  5. The medical term for yawning is oscitation which involves simultaneous stretching of eardrums with deep inhalation followed by exhalation. There is also a coordinated movement of the thoracic muscles in the chest, diaphragm, larynx in the throat, and palate in the mouth. By yawning, we also help distribute surfactant (wetting agent) to coat the alveoli (tiny air sacs) in the lungs.
  6. There is always a significant spike in the heart rate during a yawn. No one knows why!
  7. Generally speaking, we cannot yawn on command. Yawning is a semi voluntary action and partly a reflex possibly controlled by neurotransmitters in the hypothalamus of the brain.
  8. Fact is yawning is extremely contagious triggering the event in it in persons around. Studies suggest that 55% people will end up yawning within 5 minutes after they see someone else yawning.
  9. Yawning is found to be more contagious in close friends or family. If they are related to you, they are most likely to catch your yawn.
  10. What makes us yawn is the mystery that scientists have failed to solve conclusively as there are more than 20 theories explaining why we yawn but not all experts agree.
  11. A very popular theory is that when the level of oxygen in the body depletes, we yawn to get the necessary influx of oxygen but oxygen intake studies are not conclusive.
  12. Some believe that yawning occurs when there are excessive amounts of carbon dioxide in your blood. By yawning, your body tries to lower the levels of carbon dioxide. However, if you try to voluntarily increase your oxygen input by inhaling during yawning, the process does not stop.
  13. Another theory says that yawing helps to stretch the throat and tongue , which are important muscles responsible for helping us to swallow, breathe and talk and yawning just helps to stretch and refresh them.
  14. Some believe that yawns are caused by chemicals in brain which are the ones that control our appetite, our mood, our emotions. The chemicals are nitric oxide, glutamic acid, dopamine and serotonin.
  15. When the brain becomes warmer than the homeostatic (stable) temperature, we might yawn to cool the brain. It is theorized that cooler blood from the body floods into the brain and the warm blood circulates out through the jugular vein.
  16. Open mouthed yawn also causes sinus walls to expand and contract pumping air onto the brain, which lowers its temperature.
  17. Some blame yawning on nervousness. The alertness increases after yawning.
  18. Spontaneous variant is the type of yawning where we yawn because of physiological or psychological reasons like fatigue, boredom, stress etc.
  19. Amazing fact is that scientists have been able to photograph yawning fetuses inside womb being about 11 weeks old!
  20. According to Harvard Health study, a person may yawn about 10 times an hour. On an average, a person yawns amazing 240,000 times in whole lifetime.
  21. There is something called ritual yawning seen in baboons. Males with a series of long yawns signal to other group members that it’s bed time.
  22. As we age, our tendency to yawn reduces and this is true not just for spontaneous variant but also for the contagious spectrum.
  23. Excessive yawning may be indicative of diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease or even Migraine Headache.
  24. The Siamese fighting fish yawn too! They yawn when they happen to face another fish from same species or they see their mirror image. Their yawning is indicative of aggressive intent.
  25. Scientists say that dogs may yawn when they see humans yawning.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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