Why Do You Yawn?

Sometimes when your body is very tired, your lungs and the rest of your respiratory system may slow down until there’s too little air in your lungs. As soon as this happens, your body sets off a quick movement, or spasm, in the muscles of your mouth, throat, and chest.

This spasm forces you to take in a deep breath of air, a reaction that we call a yawn. You yawn, then, not to stretch your jaw muscles or to relax or anything like that, but to take in more air.

Yawns can be contagious. Sometimes if you see a person yawning, you may yawn too!

Yawning can even be so contagious that simply by reading about yawning, a person will yawn! (Did you yawn while reading this article?)

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

3 thoughts on “Why Do You Yawn?”

  1. Some say ones that yawn after others yawn have more empathy then individuals who do not yawn when others yawn, but I do not regard this opinion to be true. After interviewing individuals that work in for relief organizations as well as volunteer aid organizations I found that they do not yawn after another yawns, while individuals that cut throat business people yawned almost immidiatly after another yawns.

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