Do we always yawn when we are sleepy? Are there any other reasons behind yawning? As a matter of fact there are! Here are a few that explain our queries as to why do we yawn. Some of them might actually surprise you!
1. Involuntary Physiological Response
Yawning is understood to be the involuntary action of the body, where we open our mouths wide open and breathe in air. Studies have established that yawning is involuntary and not necessarily related to sleep. Fetal studies carried out by neuroscientists have revealed that we have been yawning even before we were born!
2. Sexual Arousal
Does sexual arousal make you yawn, or does yawning lead to sexual arousal? Neuroscientists have presented researches stating that yawing might be a sign of sexual arousal. Since the blood rate and heart rate increase during the process of yawning, it causes arousal. Moreover, yawning also occurs after the body relaxes from having intercourse.
3. To Stay Alert or to Relax
A possible phenomenon as to why do we yawn might be because we feel sleepy, or to make ourselves more alert and wide awake. This is due to the flexing of the muscles when we try to pull in air with our mouths wide open. This makes our muscles relax and stretch inside our lungs and diaphragm. It helps us feel active and refreshes us as well. We often find ourselves yawning while we stretch our bodies early in the morning before getting out of bed. Yawning has thus been linked to a simple need to stretch our muscles to relax our bodies.
4. Variations in Temperature
Research has shown that yawning occurs when the temperature inside our bodies is high. We yawn when our heart or blood flow rate increases. We yawn to cool our brains as well! Not only linked to an increase in the inside body temperature, but yawning also occurs when the surrounding body temperature is elevated. Hence, increased temperatures both inside and outside the body also explains why do we yawn.
5. A Contagious Phenomenon Indicating Boredom
Interestingly, studies have revealed that yawning is a simple response of mimicking, a social behavior to mimic or exhibit boredom. We unconsciously tend to yawn when we see the people around us yawning. Studies conducted at various workplaces have come up with interesting results behind the concept of yawning. It has been found that workers yawn to show their boredom or just to follow what their co-workers are yawning. You might even start yawning after reading this article because I just made you think all about yawning!