Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Brought to You by the Letter Y

Join the fun at ABC Wednesday!

Y is for Yawn.
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What is a yawn?  
  1. 1.
    involuntarily open one's mouth wide and inhale deeply due to tiredness or boredom.
    "he began yawning and looking at his watch"
  1. 1.
    a reflex act of opening one's mouth wide and inhaling deeply due to tiredness or boredom.

So a yawn is involuntary.  We yawn even before we're born.  Research has shown an 11-week-old fetus yawns.

Is it true that yawns are contagious?
Research shows that at least 50% of people will catch a yawn when seeing someone else yawn or when reading or talking about yawns.  Researchers also show a link between those that can "catch" a yawn and the ability to have empathy for others.  Read about it here.  And there are other "experts" who believe that it has nothing to do with empathy.  So, basically, yes, the experts believe it's contagious!

Exactly what is involved in a yawn?
Obviously, it involves your mouth and jaw.   When air goes into the lungs, the abdominal muscles flex, and the diaphragm is pushed down.  When the lungs are at or near capacity, air is let out.  Did you know it can actually increase your heart rate up to 30%?

Does yawning mean you're tired?
Not necessarily.  Certain people yawn at odd times such as an Olympic athlete who yawns just prior to his or her event.  In this case, it is stress relief or anxiety creating the yawn.  Instead of being tired, it could also be your body's method of keeping the brain at the right temperature.

What is the one thing that is clear about yawns?
That scientists don't agree about the real reason WHY we yawn.  This much is clear.

And one last tidbit...
People tend to yawn less when they are in a cold room.
 I bet you yawned at least once while reading this!  I did!


  1. Sometimes one can't stop doing it, can one

    Have a nice ABC-day / ABC-week
    ♫ M e l o d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

  2. in winter, we yawn for yarns,

    sweaty word but hehe,
    very sweet.

  3. Every time I exit a movie theater, I yawn. Always wondered why.

    abcw team

  4. Leslie, that is so strange because the last two movies I've seen, which have both been within the past two weeks, I come out of the theater yawning up a storm even though I didn't yawn once during the whole movie.

  5. I stayed up to see in the new year. You BET I yawned!



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