Yawn, Yawn, Yawn


            This is somewhat like a test: see if you can read these few paragraphs without yawning, okay?

            Just the other night, Mom, the Duppster and I were in the car, heading home from an event.  All three of us were yawning. 

            So, we started talking about why people yawn and why it seems that yawns are contagious. 

            According to Andrew C. Gallup, PhD, "Brains are like computers... They operate most efficiently when cool, and physical adaptations have evolved to allow maximum cooling of the brain."

            Gallup reports that the brain warms up as people get tired and sleepy, but it’s not really boredom or sleepiness that causes yawning; it’s the need to cool the brain. 

            We inhale air when we yawn; our eardrums stretch; cooler air gets to our sinuses, ears, brains and more.  Our lungs are stretched. 

            All of this, of course, is just Gallup’s theory, but his theory is based on scientific research.

            Haven’t we all heard that yawning is contagious?  Is it? 

            Yes, it is.  According to various studies by several scientists, yawning, which is involuntary, is a part of centuries or eons of socialization.  It’s a way of relating to other people and has come down through the generations.

            So, next time someone yawns, don’t think the person is bored.  He’s just socializing with you!

            Now, there are two questions: 1) Did you read this without yawning? and 2) Can you keep your eyes open – totally open – when you yawn?

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