The Biological Functions of a Yawn

The Biological Functions of a Yawn

Yawning. How many times today have you done it? In fact, at the very mention of the word there is a strong chance you started doing it as a result. This remarkably contagious action is most commonly associated with being tired, but if that were strictly the case, why do we feel the need to do it when we see others with their mouths agape? The answer has a little more to do with just a good night’s sleep in a quality bed. There are, in fact, a number of reasons why we do it.

Getting Enough Air to the Body

One of the main reasons why we yawn, especially when it is involuntary, is because our bodies crave more of our most important resource; air. Regular breathing doesn’t always get us the correct supply of oxygen, especially when air quality is low or when, due to fatigue, breathing becomes more difficult.

The Canary in the Coal-Mine

Have you ever wondered why we are compelled to yawn when we see someone else do it? The answer, I warn you, involves a little psychology.

Just like miners once used canaries as a way of testing how safe the air is, we use the yawns of others to do the same.

When we see someone else doing it, our subconscious assumes that the person is struggling to get enough oxygen. We then generally proceed to test the air ourselves by copying the yawn.

Yawning as Body Language

Just like we open up our bodies when we are confident, slouch when we are sad or tend to fidget with our fingers when we are anxious, we have, often involuntary, ways of communicating extreme boredom. You guessed it, yawning.

Maintaining Body Temperature

This one was only quite recently discovered, which is no surprise we are still learning about the human body each and every day. Yawning, it turns out, is an incredibly effective way of regulating blood and body temperatures by facilitating more airflow in our lungs. The next time you are struggling through a hot day, try forcing yourself to yawn to bring down the heat.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

Of course, yawning is primarily a side-effect of feeling run-down or being tired, which is why it tends to happen more in the early mornings and late evenings. Excessive yawning could point to various health problems as well, bud before you go off Googling all of the possibilities, know that it is likely caused by drowsiness from a bad night’s sleep as opposed to an impending heart-attack or liver failure.

Contact Sealy for Details

Let’s stifle those yawns for you by ensuring that you get a great night’s sleep, night after night, with the help of a top quality bed from Sealy. Contact us today to find out more about our extensive range of Posturepedic mattresses, or visit our website for details.