Ok, So I’m Not Tired, So Why Am I Yawning?

It’s something that 21-year-old Stony Brook University student, Mollie Auguste, can’t help but do, yawn.  And no, its not because she is tired, bored, or has the need to stretch out, its just that every time her roommate at school would yawn, she would find herself involuntarily doing the same exact action, without even thinking about it.  “I guess it  doesn’t matter who it is where you are, what you’re doing,” She states. I find that when somebody yawns I usually yawn also and it’s weird. In fact Mollie isn’t the only one who experiences contagious yawning, everyone does, including household pets and animals in the wild.  And as readers are reading this article, at some point, they may find themselves yawning as well.

While the dictionary tells us that yawning is caused by fatigued, bored, or drowsy, Researchers and scientist know that there is more to yawning than people think. Many researchers however, know for a fact that the act of yawning is affected by the brain, and therefore when yawning bypasses a special circuitry system in the brain, that area analyzes and mocks the actions of other people.  However, despite how the many theories that these researchers come up with over many years, contagious yawning will still remain medical mystery that is left unsolved.

And people like Respiratory Therapist and director of sleep disorder centers in Long Island, Dominick Raffaele, still are not sure of what causes contagious yawning.  “I’m not sure what it is, he states. If it is a mechanism that prevents us from actually falling asleep, something that cools our body temperature down, there is all different theories that are out there.”

Stony Brook University Contagious Yawning Experiment:

DID YOU KNOW?: Through a recent experiment conducted on  Stony Brook campus, with a group of students, that ranged from age 16 to 21, about 3 out 10 students studied showed serious contagious yawning.  Therefore, that shows that contagious yawning is not necessarily prevalent in everyone that sees a person performing the yawning action.

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Flip Through the Slide: Did you know that?: Just at 11 to 13 weeks a fetus is able to begin yawning, or that  a man was jailed for 3 weeks for yawning in an Illinois court, during a sentencing.  For more cool facts on yawning click on the Flickr your photostream  link, on the left hand side at the beginning of the slideshow, to find  additional information for each picture.


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