Can You Resist the Urge to Yawn?


Maisie Dugger, Staff Writer

After a restless night of studying and preparing for a test, the concluding day will inevitably be filled up with long and lethargic yawns. Why do we replace a normal breath for a long and slow intake of air through the mouth on those days where we seem to lack energy, and why is it contagious? There are many ways for someone to compensate for tiredness, Laura Sexton of Dover High School has explained that “chugging a glass of water in the morning will always help with waking up”. This is interesting because many people when asked about curing their weariness never say that they yawn a lot. This is because the widely known notion that yawning only helps to aid tiredness is completely false. As a matter of fact, yawning has been scientifically proven to help with awareness. So if you always struggle to get up in the morning, try to make yawning a part of your morning routine to help with an easier transition of being awake.

Did you know that yawning is often used as a subconscious reliever for discomfort from pressure on the ears? This typically happens during rapid elevation changes like when on an airplane, and has been hypothesized as a probable defense mechanism for the ears. It is also known that babies can yawn in the womb! Yawning is a stimulation and arousal reflex to tiredness and boredom. When yawning, there are certain hormones released that can slightly increase your heart rate to help with awareness. The most fascinating thing about yawning is that seeing or reading about it will cause some to do it. While there is no explanation for why it is contagious, it has been proven that the more empathetic a person is the more likely they are to reciprocate a yawn. Similarly, it is also connected to how close you are to the person meaning that you will likely yawn when a family member around you does. Excessive yawning can also be linked to a possible disease you have, and it is important to contact a doctor if it can’t be connected to lack of sleep. In other words, yawns are weird habits that humans do with no real purpose, and no real thought put into it unless you are reading this article.