Yawning a Lot? The Answer May be Overheated Brain
Princeton University researchers found that yawning helps in regulating the temperature of the brain, preventing overheating.
Contrary to what many people believe, the fact that yawning cannot be related only to fatigue and sleep. This involuntary action, which lasts an average of 6 seconds is still not fully understood by scientists. What is known is that, when performed, causes an increase in inhaled air and the rhythm of heartbeats. Moreover, many people believe that yawning can be contagious.
Some studies indicate that yawning may be directly related to sleep. This is because, as these surveys suggest, yawning is a way to circumvent the body’s sleep by stimulating the increased blood circulation and decrease in body temperature, which contributes to increase the state of attention.
However, a recent poll suggests that yawning helps in cooling the brain, preventing it from overheating. According to this theory, yawning cools the brain through a heat exchange with air.
During this research were chosen 80 random pedestrians in Tucson, Arizona, who observed a few seconds, images of people yawning. Since then, researchers recorded the responses of each of the volunteers to the stimulus. During analysis of the data was considered the humidity, the interval between yawns and quantity of sleep enjoyed the night.
This methodology was conducted in two distinct periods: winter and summer. The results showed that people yawned more during colder periods, which, at first, it seems the controversial theory of cooling of the brain.
But the researcher responsible for the project, Professor Andrew Gallup, explains that during the winter this process is more feasible due to heat exchange with cold air, which would not be as efficient in regulating the temperature during the summer due to high atmospheric temperatures . Gallup says: “The yawning should be counter-productive – and therefore suppressed – in ambient temperature above body temperature, because a deep breath would not promote cooling,” in an interview with Britain’s Daily Mail.
Thus, there must be some kind of regulatory mechanism which determines the temperature range where the yawns are more or less frequently.
“This is the first study to demonstrate that the frequency of yawning varies from season to season,” the scientist concludes.
It may seem silly, but studies such as these bring great benefits to our lives. For through him we can better understand the functioning of our bodies in all aspects. So they can be invented new drugs and treatments for sleep disorders, for example.