The Case of the Contagious Yawn

I yawn.  And you yawn.  You ask me why.  Isn’t it funny?  Yawning is like an infection.

For all ours smarts and scientists have yet to crack the mysteries of the contagious yawn,  there is a theory that postulates it might be part of the neural network involved in our ability to empathize.  There is also the brain cooling theory.  It states that it is a hardwired function of the brain to keep groups alert.  According to scientists in the University of Albany, yawning is not an indicator of sleepiness but of “group vigilance” for the brain to stay awake.  It introduces more air to the brain therefore allowing us to keep our alertness within ourselves and each other.  This is what scientists call as emphatic mechanisms.

Perhaps it is said that yawning is a survival mechanism for a lot of species and that evolution favored those who yawn.  Because true indicators of sleepiness and tiredness requires less “energetic” behaviors, then yawning just might be an evolutionary response to signal to other members of the species to stay out of danger and act.  This therefore has become a herding behavior for the species to survive.

So now when people you love yawn, forgive them because it is not an indication of being tired of you.  It is an indication that they want to stay awake, perhaps for you.  Do not misread it as you not being important… It is a natural effort to stay awake and be alive with people around you.  But hey, people need to sleep too, okay?

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