Do NOT read this right before a test!!!! If a test, class, or other Important Event is coming up in the next hour, wait until later to peruse today’s DearKidLoveMom post.
I’m tired. Which started me thinking about yawning. Which started me yawning. Which of course seems sort of backward.
I consulted my good friend the internet to see if I could find out anything interesting about yawning.
While we were consulting, I discovered that while it is possible to type and yawn at the same time, it’s not always easy if you’re yawning a HUGE yawn.
A yawn so wide you can see down his neck. (Extra points if you get the reference.)
One idea is that we’re bored or tired we don’t breathe as deeply as usual. Our shallower, slower breathing means we take in less oxygen. The theory is that yawning brings in more oxygen.
The only problem is that breathing oxygen doesn’t decrease yawning. The second “only problem with that theory” is that yawning doesn’t actually put more blood in our bloodstreams.
I can say with certainty that writing about yawning leads to an increase in yawning. A big increase in yawning.
Theory number two is that yawning stretches your lungs, which increases heart rate, which makes you feel more awake.
Fact: I have never felt more awake after yawning. And I’m pretty sure my lungs don’t pick bed-time as a good time to exercise (especially since none of my other organs or appendages are interested in exercise when sleep is a viable option).
Theory Number Next holds that yawning helps redistribute the surfactant that keeps lungs lubricated and prevents lungs from collapsing.
This is (imho) ridiculous. Because why would we only want to redistribute surfactant when we’re tired? And why can we sometimes go for long stretches without a yawn? Wouldn’t a lot of people have collapsed lungs?
Yet another theory holds that we yawn to cool down our brains. The theory basically says that we yawn to bring in cooler air and increasing blood flow of newly cooled blood to the brain.
AAAAnd, it turns out that when we’re bored and/or tired, our brain temperature goes up. Hot brain =more yawning. So it’s not that we yawn to get more oxygen and wake up, it’s that we yawn to cool down our brain so smarticles don’t leak out our ears. The challenge I have with this theory (which seems to be the one experts are going with at the moment) is that I rarely yawn at the gym. Perhaps it’s because they keep it nice and cool so regular breathing is sufficient to cool my grey matter. I still can’t explain why I don’t yawn when I drink hot coffee or soup.
I still have no idea why my eyes tear when I yawn a couple of times. Yawning=mascara challenges.
As I have mentioned (and as you doubtless know), yawning is even more contagious than Ebola. (Oh, hush. It’s the first Ebola reference I’ve made which I think shows great restraint on my part.)
Here’s where it gets really interesting. Yawns are not contagious in infants or children with autism. Kids begin to “catch” yawns when they’re about 4 years old.
Puppy yawns are adorable. Especially the part where they curl their tongue. How do they DO that?
Hope I’ve kept you awake. But I bet you’re yawning.
P.S. Cover your mouth when you yawn.
P.P.S. The reference is to Dr. Seuss’ Sleep Book
The news just came in
from the County of Keck
That a very small bug
by the name of Van Vleck
is yawning so wide
you can look down his neck.
This may not seem
very important, I know.
But it IS. So I’m bothering
telling you so.
A yawn is quite catching, you see. Like a cough.
It just takes one yawn to start other yawns off.
NOW the news has come in that some friends of Van Vleck’s
are yawning so wide you can look down their necks.