Why is Yawning Contagious?
Have you ever watched someone yawn and yawned yourself? Of course, you have! In fact, take this quick "Yawn O Meter" Test to see if you yawn during this short video.
Have you yawned yet? How long did it take? Or maybe you didn't yawn at all?
Everyone knows yawning is contagious, but why is that? I've yawned when I've watched my pets yawn. I've yawned when I heard someone else yawn over the phone. Heck, I even yawned while writing this post about yawning! It's a mysterious trait that we, as people are still learning about. Here are some facts you might not know about yawning.
Why Is Yawning Contagious?: One study showed that we don't start yawning after other people yawn until we're about four years old. But why do we do it in the first place? The short answer? We're not really sure. But most experts agree, it likely has to do with our compassion and empathy. According to numerous studies, if someone yawns after seeing another person yawn, they are subconsciously showing concern and care for that person. Who knew, right?
Why Do We Yawn Anyway?: A common theory as to why we yawn used to be that we were receiving too little oxygen. But recent studies point to other factors that come into play. One reason is that your brain simply needs to cool down. Studies have shown that a big yawn can give your brain the fresh air it needs to supply your body with more energy.
Yawning increases your heart rate, blood flow, as well as the use of muscles in your face, which all play a role in cooling our brains down when they're overheated. So the next time you yawn (if you haven't already) just know your body's just doing its part to keep you cool.