Credit: U.S. News By: Dr. Leah Light November 7, 2018 Click here to read
Yawning and the Brain
I’m bored. I yawned. You would think that after a wonderful trip to Hawaii where I totally de-stressed, I wouldn’t be tired.
A new study at the University of Vienna found that the amount of yawning we do increases when our brains are hot. HOT??? Yawning increases our heart rate, blood flow and the use of muscles in our faces which are all essential to cooling the brain.
So I thought that yawning meant we were tired. Well, sleep deprivation and exhaustion are known to increase overall brain temperature.
But the Daily Mail points out, researchers found people yawn less when it’s hotter than normal body temperature outside. Huh? They say breathing in the hot air would not be cooling for the brain. At the other end of the spectrum, when it’s super-cold outside, brain cooling may not be necessary.
So why do we yawn and why does it make other people yawn? The researchers argue it might be an evolutionary trait to improve overall alertness. You mean that when I’m not alert seeing someone else yawn makes me yawn and my alertness improves? Hmmmm.
Well, I’m yawning now and that bed certainly looks tempting…..