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Yawning controls temperature

A study from Binghamton University shows the main reason why we yawn is to control the brain’s temperature.

The study was conducted on parakeets, which have large brains and are subjected to frequent temperature changes. Parrakeets also do not yawn contagiously, like humans do.

The yawning study

The parakeets were exposed to a large range of room temperatures. The parakeets’ yawning more than doubled when the scientists increased the temperature.

Researchers believe that yawning acts like a radiator for birds and mammals, cooling the brain and body, and even altering blood flow. Previous studies have shown yawning gives a surge of energy, as it leads to a heightened state of arousal. (Perhaps why we yawn when we wake up).

The research explained why tired people yawn. It is fatigue that increases brain temperature, which would prompt the body to need a cool down.

Researchers thoughts

Researcher Andrew Gallup, who led the study said, “Brains are like computers. They operate most efficiently when cool, and physical adaptations have evolved to allow maximum cooling of the brain.”

Related articles

Lack of sleep increases the risk of heart attack.

Teenagers with high blood pressure lack sleep.


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