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3 things your body is trying to tell you when you yawn

Yawning is a natural reflex that often occurs involuntarily.

A man yawning

Here are three things your body is trying to tell you when you yawn:

Yawning is contagious. Even thinking about yawning will make you yawn. Reading an article like this might even make you yawn. This means, sometimes when you yawn, your body is telling you "Hey, I just saw someone yawn" or you have been thinking about yawning.

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Apart from it being contagious, yawning may serve as a means to increase alertness. Yawning has been observed before and after activities that require increased attention or focus, such as during transitions from rest to activity or vice versa.

Thus, if you find yourself yawning during moments of transition or when engaging in mentally demanding tasks, it could be your body's way of preparing and priming your brain for heightened vigilance.

Yawning has also been linked to regulating body temperature. When you yawn, you open your mouth wide and take in a large amount of air. This action helps cool down the brain by introducing cooler air into the nasal passages and sinuses.

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So far, it has been shown that yawning happens more frequently when ambient temperatures are higher. Therefore, if you find yourself yawning in warm environments or during a bout of fever, it could be your body's way of attempting to regulate your internal temperature.

In addition to the above, yawning is also a way for your body to increase oxygen intake. Basically, people yawn when they are tired, bored or someone else is yawning.

Whether it is your body reacting to someone yawning, or an attempt to regulate body temperature, yawning provides valuable cues about our overall well-being. If you however feel like you are yawning too much and it is affecting your everyday activities, you might want to pay a visit to the doctor.

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