Why Do We Yawn?

It’s widely assumed that yawning occurs because we are tired or bored or because we see someone else doing it, but there isn’t any hard evidence to support these beliefs.

Scientists do not purport to know all of the biological mechanisms of the yawn, but tend to agree that a yawn is an involuntary respiratory reflex, which regulates the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the blood.

Technically, a yawn is the reflex opening of the mouth followed by the deep inhalation and slow exhalation of oxygen.

Now scientists propose that yawning causes the walls of the maxillary sinus to expand and contract like a bellows, pumping air onto the brain, which lowers its temperature. Located in our cheekbones, the maxillary are the largest of four pairs of sinus cavities in the human head.

Basically, we yawn to keep our heads cool. Learn more here.

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