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Yawning Is Good For You

Yawning Increases Mental Efficiency

It’s no secret that it takes a lot of energy to stay focused when you’re engaged in concentrated activity. The mind has a tendency to wander and to slip from the task at hand, and this is when you might find yourself yawning. What you’re actually doing is stimulating a neural area of the brain that plays a major role in being more conscious and self-reflective, and that also aids in relaxation, alertness, andmaintaining a good memory. Any time you breathe deeply, your brain waves slow down and your muscles get the message to relax.

The next time you’re stressed out and trying to maintain your focus, consciously take a moment to yawn every 20 minutes or so, and then sit back and relax. You’ll notice a difference.

Yawning helps the brain maintain balance

Research has found that yawning helps cool down the overactive brain as it attempts to regulate its temperature and metabolism.

In fact, yawning increases when people are engaged in difficult mental tasks, something you’ve no doubt noticed in your own life. Yawning staves off sleep! This revelation might be the most surprising of all, since most of us operate under the impression that yawning makes us sleepier. Once again, science debunks conventional wisdom. Yawning helps contract the facial muscles, which forces blood through cerebral blood vessels to the brain’and this, scientists say, may function to increase alertness. Thus, yawning may reduce sleepiness as it reflects a mechanism that maintains attention.

Yawning helps you ‘reset’ yourself

That’s right, it’s almost like pushing the ‘reset’ button on an electronic device. When you yawn, you help regulate your body’s circadian rhythms, or the roughly 24-hour cycle of human behavior and biological activity. This is true for babies, patients coming out of comas, and partygoers who are returning home from a night out. Yawning also increases when people are in the midst of a change from inactivity to activity, and vice versa.  

Yawning really does help you reset your internal clock. In scientific terms, it arouses your neuromuscular wiring and creates a harmonious progression in the brain stem. When you’re traveling by plane and changing time zones, remember to yawn to help reset your circadian rhythms. Yawning will help to reduce the effects of jet lag.

When you yawn, your dopamine levels rise. This activates oxytocin, or pleasure and relationship-bonding chemicals. The more these chemicals are activated, the more frequently you yawn. 

Yawning is also contagious, because it triggers the mirror neurons that literally prompt you to reflect another person’s behavior or emotional state. People who are on antidepressants may experience yawning more often, especially in the first three months of taking the SSRIs.  

It’s cheesy, but I always say that the people who yawn together stay together! In stressful situations with your friends and loved ones, simply stop the conversation and yawn together several times. If nothing else, you may get a few laughs with each other. And that’s great, because laughter is pretty close to yawning in terms of its effects!

In other words, yawn away and don’t feel self-conscious about it.

(Patt Lind-Kyle)

Yawning is the best medicine for brain health

Contrary to popular belief, yawning is not necessarily an indicator of boredom, restlessness, disinterest or even sleepiness. Yawning is actually an important function of the body that helps the brain both to function better and to maintain appropriate temperature.

"It lifts our moods. It's good stuff. And it's free."

Other research indicates that yawning acts similarly to antidepressants in that it helps block the reuptake of Serotonin in the brain so that these neurotransmitters can instead be more readily available for use in brain receptors.

According to a January 2010 article at kpcnews.com, yawning is also associated with an increase in dopamine, the "pleasure and relationship-bonding" chemicals in the brain. Dopamine levels are raised in response to yawning, and vice versa, bringing about feelings of happiness and connectedness with the people around us.

(Ethan Huff) 

Yawning: One Of The Best-kept Secrets In Neuroscience

Can you believe that yawning is great for your brain…and you thought it was bad manners to yawn in public!

In fact, neuroscientists are telling us that yawning has 12 neurological benefits the sum of which increase our intellectual functioning as well as decreasing toxicity in our minds (pubmed.gov).

It basically activates an area in the brain called the precuneus, which is involved in consciousness, self-reflection and memory. Yawning also helps regulate the temperature and metabolism of your brain.

Some of the other benefits of yawning include increasing memory, improved introspection, improves your sense of timing, enhances pleasure and lowers stress.

(Caroline Leaf – Neuroscientist)