Why Do We Yawn?

Yawning is an involuntary action that can be highly contagious — sometimes, even merely thinking about yawning will cause you to do it. Our bodies usually yawn in response to something, causing our brains to slow down or (surprisingly) stay more alert. There are a few reasons why our bodies decide to yawn, but we should warn you that you’ll likely yawn a few times while reading about this snoozefest:

Why is Yawning Contagious?

We’ve all been there — someone else yawns, and your body magically decides to yawn as well. There’s currently no substantial evidence that explains why yawning is contagious. Andrew Gallup, an assistant professor of psychology at the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute in Utica, spoke to the New York Times to discuss his theory based on several studies he’s published: “[Yawns] promote coordinated arousal among members of the group, synchronizing their mental state, potentially protecting it by alerting it to external threats more rapidly than it would be otherwise.” Essentially, our bodies like to stay alert to what’s going on in our environment to keep us safe from any potential dangers.

Is Yawning a Good or Bad Thing?

Besides getting to be a bit annoying, yawning isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It could be bad that you’re yawning because you’re tired, but the bad thing would be the cause of the yawn. If you’re feeling fatigued — your body is signalling that you need to prioritize your sleep hygiene!

You may also find yourself yawning while sitting in certain situations — like traffic — because you’re bored! When we’re bored, our brain begins to realize that it can slow down and subsequently drops its temperature. That process causes us to let out a big ol’ yawn! If you’re sitting in traffic and feeling tired of yawning (pun intended) — blast some of your favourite upbeat music and have a solo karaoke party! Well, solo until the person stuck in the lane next to you happens to look over.

How to Combat Being Tired

It’s hard to have a joyful and productive day when you’re feeling exhausted. Those unwelcome yawns start to flood in, and before you know it — you’re in need of an afternoon nap. If you feel like you yawn too much because you’re constantly exhausted, we recommend ensuring you get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night. While you may feel the need for a nap, it could actually lower your overall energy levels because naps throw off our circadian rhythm. It’s essential to eat three meals a day with nutritious foods that fuel your body and provide the necessary energy you need to get through the day.

It’s also important that when you’re asleep at night, you’re getting quality sleep. We recommend looking for a mattress that supports the natural curvature of your spine. You can combat tiredness and excessive yawning by optimizing your sleep every night! If you’re looking to get fantastic sleep that promotes energy-filled days — check out our Winkl mattresses.