Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why do we yawn?

Why does the human body yawn? The answer isn't quite clear, so I asked around. In response, I got a lot of interesting answers, a few helpful tips, and - of course - yawns.

BEN
Age: 26. Occupation: Production assistant.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Ben: "You just go like-" (yawns) "-and I don't know why you do it. But I know that yawns are contagious, and sometimes you'll yawn when you see somebody else yawn.

"That's everything I know about yawning."



Beibei
Age: 29. Occupation: Architectural historian.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Beibei: "It think it's contagious.

"I know there's a method: If you put your finger in the middle of your mouth, you can stop it. Or, if someone else is trying to yawn, you can put your finger in their mouth, and they can't fully yawn. I think when people realize something's in their mouth, they can't yawn."



TOM
Age: "Roughly 40." Occupation: Bartender.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Tom: "Mostly, they're out of breath. Really. Literally. Your body needs oxygen to circulate. Your primary response is to yawn, because that's a way of pulling oxygen into the bloodstream."



MARLENE
Age: "Almost 60." Occupation: Fabric store owner.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Marlene: "My daughter actually taught me that one. Conjecture is that back in the caveman days, the guy would open up his mouth, and pretend to yawn, and then everybody followed it, and they knew it was time to go to sleep."



KENNETH
Age: 24. Occupation: Retail.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Kenneth: "People yawn because they're tired, bored, sleepy...that's pretty much it."



MIRELLO
Age: 30. Occupation: Visual effects artist.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Mirello: "Because we are bored. I think it's probably a psychological effect of your mind that when you're bored, you yawn."



ALICIA
Age: 84. Occupation: "I had hundreds of 'em. I was a model very young, and then I got married, and was a housewife, and a mother- raised five children. And a caretaker, for my husband, for 23 1/2 years. Now I'm enjoying life."



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Alicia: "When I'm extremely tired, I yawn. That means I'm exhausted. I have no idea how it works. I was always a healthy person, so I never got into the medical field too much. I very seldom see a doctor, because I'm very healthy, and I don't ask questions like that. All I know is, when I start yawning, I'm exhausted!"



GWENNA
Age: 9. Occupation: Rising 5th grader.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Gwenna: "Because when you're sleepy you yawn. That's kind of all I know."



CHRIS
Age: 28. Occupation: Writer/director.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Chris: "I don't think there's actually - truly - a genuine yawn. It doesn't come from anything natural. It's literally like a virus. It's floating around in the air. Sometimes you happen to walk into the stream of one, and catch it. Just like some sort of momentary virus. It catches you, and you yawn. That's why they say it's contagious.

"It's not that you see a person yawn and then you do it. It's literally that it passes from one person to the next person.



MARIO
Age: "Infinity." Occupation: Artist and teacher. "I'm an artist that knows math."



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Mario: "The human body yawns to stretch the halo muscles. So when you yawn - there's a halo, and it makes it stretch a little.

"Some people have halos... Some people, I think, maybe they just need to stretch these muscles here. Maybe if they're not angels, they have horns, and they need to stretch their horn muscles."



GEORGE
Age: 78. Occupation: Retired naval aviator.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
George: "I haven't the slightest idea."



RYAN
Age: 34. Occupation: Winemaker, Crooked Road Wines.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Ryan: "'Cause they're bored."



CECILE
Age: 28. Occupation: Writer.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Cecile: "A yawn is a reaction that your body has when it doesn't have enough oxygen, so when you get sleepy, you're taking in more oxygen. It's contagious."



IAIN
Age: 52. Occupation: Chef.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Iain: "Describe a yawn? Contagious."



JASON, COREY, JOYN, TAYLOR, KRISTY, STEVEN.
Occupations: Manufacturing, teacher, homemaker, law student, student, accounting student.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
JOYN: "Is this like a psychological study? Because you're making me want to yawn right now."

STEVEN: "I always thought a yawn was like, your body doesn't have enough oxygen."

JOYN: "It's just a lot of inhaling air."

STEVEN: "I want to yawn when I see other people yawn. And when I smoke cigarettes... I feel like yawning right now."

COREY: "I don't know. Are you going to tell us?"



PHILLIP
Age: 30. Occupation: Tutor.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Phillip: "I don't know that much for sure. I've always heard that your brain wants oxygen, so it forces you to take a very deep breath. It's almost the opposite of hyperventilating, where the body is stressed, and you take very short and shallow breaths in order to get ready to do something physical like fight or flight. It seems like it's kind of the opposite thing, where your body is saying... instead of getting ready to fight, flight, whatever, run away, you want to relax and recharge, so you take a slow and deep breath instead. That's my physiological understanding of it."



MADELINE
Age: 26. Occupation: Actor.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Madeline: "I guess you open your mouth, and you let all of your tired out. And you feel better."



BEVERLY
Age: 31. Occupation: Manager.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Beverly: "They're tired and sleepy. That's it, that I know."



BRYAN
Age: 28. Occupation: Studio electrician.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Bryan: "I think that it's contagious. You hear people yawn, and then you think that you're tired, which makes you yawn."



CAIN
Age: 41. Occupation: Artist.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Cain: "What I've heard is that the reason people yawn is because they need more oxygen to their brain. That's about as much as I know."



FRANCINE
Age: 30. Occupation: Executive assistant.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Francine: "How and why?" (Looks at friends.) "'Cause they're hanging out with boring people. That's the only thing I can think of." (Laughter.)



TOM
Age: 44. Occupation: Artist.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Tom: "Well, I usually yawn when I'm tired. Why is still unknown. That's the mystery of life."



GERALD
Age: Not given. Occupation: Engineer.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Gerald: "To my knowledge, it's that you're trying to get more oxygen into your body. When you yawn, you're getting more oxygen into your lungs, so it's distributed throughout your body.

"That's why you see all animals yawn too. My birds yawn. You'll see that with all animals."



SAL
Age: 7. Occupation: Rising 2nd grader.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Sal: "Because you're sleepy."



ABBY
Age: 31. Occupation: Writer.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Abby: "I think somewhere, someone started it, and it just keeps passin' on."



KATIE
Age: 26. Occupation: Film producer.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Katie: "What I understand about yawns is that they're contagious. I feel like I'm especially susceptible to yawning.

"It's kind of amazing that animals yawn. Watching a cat yawn is the most adorable thing I've ever seen.

"For me it's usually a sign that I'm not going to get anything else done for the rest of the day, and I should just relax."



CHRISTIAN
Age: 26. Occupation: Physician.



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Christian: "How and why we yawn? 'Cause we're tired. It's an involuntary response of the human body controlled by your central nervous system in reaction to things like fatigue."



PICNIC
Age: 9. Occupation: "Chillin'."



Can you tell me everything you know about how and why people yawn?
Picnic: (See above.)

2 comments:

Leave a comment.