Friday, July 11, 2014

Freaky (Yawn...) Friday !

Here's something freaky to be thinking about. It concerns yawning, of all things.

What's freaky about yawning, you say? I'm glad you ask! Have you ever tried NOT to yawn when someone else does? Sometimes just a picture of someone yawning can cause the same reaction. Now the really freaky thing about yawning is what causes it. Here's what I mean.

Yawning Has Nothing To Do With Our Lack Of Oxygen
By Debra Kelly on Thursday, July 10, 2014

We all yawn, and now we know we even do it before we’re born. And we’ve all heard that we yawn because our brain is getting a bit oxygen-starved, and the massive inhale is a pick-me-up for the brain. Only science has found that it’s not true—the real motivation behind yawning is that the air intake acts as a cooling system for the brain, helping it work more efficiently.

Yawning is another one of those long-standing biological mysteries. The typical reasoning behind why we yawn is that we’re tired, and our brains need the extra oxygen drawn into our system during the yawn in order to stay awake. Turns out, that’s not exactly how it works.

Yawning does impact the brain, but it’s not the rush of oxygen that matters. When you yawn, you’re inhaling more than oxygen, you’re inhaling air that’s cooler than your body temperature. That air gets funneled into your sinuses, which then push the cooler air over the brain; yawning is essentially a cooling system for your head.

There have been a number of different theories on why we yawn, but this is the only one that stands up to scientific scrutiny. It also answers another long-standing question: What the heck is the point of our sinuses, besides giving us headaches?
It turns out that the air intake and the physical act of yawning all work together; it isn’t just enough to get the rush of air to lower the temperature of our brains. Opening your mouth to yawn makes the walls of the sinus flex, and they act as bellows to push the air through the cavities in your head.

The theory has been backed up in medical research conducted on rats. Researchers have monitored their brain temperature in conjunction with their yawning, and have confirmed that whenever there is a jump in temperature, the rats will yawn to help lower it. People who have the ability to predict their yawns have also participated in studies that confirmed the hypothesis works in humans, too.

That also leads to the question of why we have the overwhelming urge to yawn when we see someone else do it—almost certainly, brain temperature can’t be contagious, can it? The answer seems to be a vague “Sort of.”

Our brains function most efficiently when they’re at a yawn-cooled temperature—it’s why we might yawn when we first get up in the morning, to help speed the waking process. But it’s also why we might be hard-wired to see yawning as a signal that there’s some reason you need to be awake and functioning at your best. When you see someone yawn, that’s a sign that there’s danger, that something’s approaching, or there’s some other reason that you need to be at the top of your game.

And since yawning is silent—for all but the most dramatic among us—that also works with the theory that yawning is a type of in-the-face-of-danger communication.

Interestingly, chimpanzees are the only other animal that has demonstrated contagious yawning. And while they’re frequently afflicted with it, the idea that humans are all subject to yawning when we see someone else do it is also a myth—in fact, only about half of the human population can’t resist joining in when they see a yawn.

I guess my whole point in bringing this up is to try and understand why we do some of the things we do. I suppose that I yawn when I'm trying to Blog late at night it means that my brain is over heating. Either that, or I really am a hot head as many folks have said before!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. No yawning, please!


Anonymous said...

How interesting!

Sort of makes sence though, it's very hot sometimes at work when I work close to the big oven and usually as soon as I leave that warm area I actually often ywans. I guess my brain needs to cool down as soon as it can and I walk in to cooler areas.

Have a great day!

Mamahen said...

Very interesting ! The pario sounds nice, but I can't promise on the yawning....just thinking about it has gotten me started :))

Wade Herod said...

As I sit here at 5 am reading this, every time I see the word yawn; I yawn. Hmmmm

Chickenmom said...

Haven't stopped either! It IS contagious! LOL. Someone suggested I bring a box of Tim Horton donuts to share. Enjoy!

Sixbears said...

I yawn in the face of danger?

linda m said...

Wow, was that ever interesting. I learned something new today. Now you've got me started on the yawning thing. It does make a lot of sense that yawning would cool down the brain. Have a great weekend.

JO said...

Well I yawned every time yawning was mentioned. Another hot head here.

But sitting with friends might just cool me down.

Dizzy-Dick said...

I never knew that about yawning. Thanks for the info and I never yawned once while reading it although reading the word "yawn" made me want to. You made a good point.

HermitJim said...

Hey Christer...
If nothing gives you something to think about!

Thanks, my friend, for coming over today!

Hey Mamahen...
Don't worry. I think a lot of us are going to be yawning this morning!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Wade...
Good to see you today. Funny how the power of suggestion can work, isn't it?

I appreciate you coming over today!

Hey Phyllis...
Funny how that works, isn't it? Soon we will all be yawning!

Thanks for the visit this morning!

Hey Sixbears...
That's a pretty cool saying, I think. I wonder if I would actually do it?

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Hey Linda M...
Doesn't take much, does it? Wonder why that works like that?

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Jo...
I think that many of us are in the same boat. Must be VERY contagious!

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping in today!

Hey Dizzy...
I'm glad you didn't yawn, but you can see how the urge is close by.

Thanks for the visit today!

Peace Country Homestead said...

Morning...I yawn alot!! Morning, mid day, and like clock work about 8 ish every evening. Husband likes to believe I only yawn when he is talking. I try to tell him different. Now I can just tell my husband that my yawning has nothing to do with him talking--I am just trying cool my brain.

Have an excellent day.

HermitJim said...

Hey Cheryl...
Hard to explain to someone about yawning. You may find that they yawn during the talk!

Sure am glad to see you and I appreciate you coming by today!