Yawning isnt always about feeling sleepy

January 12, 2009

It’s your body’s way of keeping you cool. Andrew Gallup, a researcher in the Department of Biology at Binghamton University led a study which has shown that if your head is overheated, there’s a good chance you’ll yawn soon, because the primary purpose of yawning is to control brain temperature.

Your brain operates best when cool and we have cleverly adapted our bodies to ensure we make sure it has the right temperature. If you find yourself yawning over a book or a piece of work, we naturally tend to go for fresh air, it’s not just the extra oxygen we need, but the drop in temperature that usually accompanies it. Bertie Wooster, the PG Wodehouse character who certainly had trouble thinking, would call on the faithful Jeeves for a wet flannel to soothe his overheated brain and indeed it’s a good remedy along with taking deep breaths in through the nose and making sure a room is properly ventilated and not stuffy.

Yawning can also be an early warning signal, because if done excessively it precedes the onset of seizures in epileptic patients, and predict the onset of headaches in people who suffer from migraines.


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