So today, as inspired by strange thoughts last night before falling asleep, today's #Kawaii365 project is about the act of yawning...
1. In the middle ages, it was believed that when someone yawned, part of their soul was escaping and they would die. So that’s why people covered their mouths, in an attempt to ‘hold their spirit in’.
2. Yawning is contagious for humans and some animals (domestic pets), and we can even yawn from seeing someone do it on TV. However, people who don’t yawn from seeing others do it may have sociopathic traits, according to some psychologists.
3. Though difficult, it is fully possible for an adult to yawn with their mouth closed and via the nostrils. It takes practice but definitely less embarrassing in public.
4. The ‘yawn reflex’ is the exact opposite of our gag reflex; whereas gagging pushes outward to remove something from our bodies, yawning is also hard to resist and causes the throat & diaphragm muscles to ‘pull in’ to the body to get us more oxygen.
5. Our eyes water naturally while yawning, to help seal them shut for sleeping. The extra tear production for sealed sleep eyes is why we wake up with ‘sleep dust’.
6. Yawning doesn’t always indicate boredom or desire to sleep; it can be a sign of low blood sugar as well, and constant yawning can even be one of the lesser known effects of Diabetes and other conditions. (So if you can’t stop yawning, see a doctor).
7. It takes 11 facial and neck muscles to yawn, including around the eyes.
8. Some people report a feeling of Euphoria after a big yawn, as their hearing and vision improve in the moment, and they feel more optimistic.
9. Current medical research indicates that yawning may also be to help cool down our brain (by sucking external air into our sinuses) and that logically explains why we all yawn more when we have a fever from illness.
10. This will sound really weird, but tiredness doesn’t cause yawns, as much as yawns can cause tiredness. There are lots of reasons we may yawn, but once we have yawned a few times, our breathing gets deeper, our body temperature regulates and our eyelids prepare for sleep. Zzzzz.
11. Yawning can also be a subconscious form of communication – as in, when someone stays at your house too late and you don’t want to hurt their feelings, or a co-worker won’t stop telling you stories while you’d rather work alone. It indicates “that’s nice. Okay I’m done.”
12. It’s been called ‘a silent scream’ because some see it as a desire for a major change.
Are you yawning yet?