Why Do We Yawn?

Why Do We Yawn?

We all do yawning and we all are well aware of the fact that is not only connected to our level of fatigue and tiredness. According to researchers, it is a phenomenon that has not been figured out completely. This certainly does not mean that scientists are completely in the dark regarding it.

Yawn can be referred to as an involuntary reflex where you open your mouth and a lot of air is taken into the lungs. This air is later exhaled in a slow manner. Your eardrums stretch and the eyes may water during this inhalation and exhalation process.

Yawning is commonly observed right before going to sleep or after waking up. This is why most of the people relate it with tiredness. It is also seen in people engaged in activities that they do not find interesting.

Yawning also has a social aspect. It seems to be contagious but this is not fully understood yet.

Why Do You Yawn?

Yawning seems to occur during a state of sleepiness or utter boredom, but these are not the sole reasons for this phenomenon to take place.

  1. Due To Change In State

While you yawn, your heart rate rises quickly. This suggests that yawning is actually a sign that your body is trying to be alert instead of being sluggish and lazy.

Generally, it can be regarded as a way of changing the state of awareness of your body.

  • If yawning is experienced before bed, it is a sign that body is getting ready to sleep.
  • During boredom, yawning means that the brain is changing its state from a high alertness level to a low one.
  • Yawning right after exercise means that the brain is changing its state from a high energy level to a lower one.

You can also yawn while you change physical states such as when you move from an area of high pressure towards an area of low pressure. This movement puts pressure on your eardrums and yawning is induced to release it.

  1. Due To Lack Of Oxygen

Yawning may also be related to your breathing patterns. It usually occurs when your body is deprived of oxygen and demands more. Because yawning causes a large amount of oxygen to reach the lungs, it can mean that it is making up for the deficiency. Hence, yawning might be just a response to clear toxins from the blood and provide fresh oxygen.

  1. For Cooling The Brain

You might be experiencing yawning because your brain is trying to cool out. Yawning stretches your jaws and increase the flow of blood towards your neck and the face. The heartbeat becomes rapid causing the spinal fluid and the blood to move through the body in a faster way. This might be a way to cool down the brain.

According to a study published in Physiology and Behavior, yawning occurs at a temperature that is ideal for brain cooling.

  1. As A Way Of Communication

Some researchers are of the view that yawning is somehow related to evolution. Before the invention of proper languages, the humans used yawning as a way to communicate with each other and send messages.

It could have been used to depict sleepiness or boredom, but most of the time, it was used as a signal to indicate alertness.


The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!