The universal sign for tiredness and boredom is
the yawn, but is that all they mean? Researchers are yet to
completely figure out yawning, however there are some things
have discovered… here are four things
you didn't know about yawning.

It's completely contagious!

Ever wondered why you feel the uncontrollable
urge to yawn after watching your friend, family member or even
monkey yawn on the latest animal documentary? Research from the
University of Maryland reported yawning to be similar to laughing:
Michael Decker, spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep
Medicine, explains: "the yawning becomes more of a social
phenomenon than a physiological phenomenon."

Six seconds is the average time…

Many media outlets report the average length of
a yawn to last roughly six seconds. A study in 2012 reported the
physiological changes we undertake during a yawn are unique solely
to a yawn and cannot be replicated when simply taking a

They can make you more alert...

A team of scientists discovered that when we
yawn, it cools the brain in order to achieve "arousal and mental
efficiency." Coupled with contagious yawning, it can help improve
group alertness. Next time you struggle to focus at work, a sneaky
yawn will help you stay on track.

...But also help you to keep

When we yawn, the brain releases oxytocin, which
can help the body cope with stress. Before a big speech, event or
stressful situation, many people will yawn to help release stress
inducing chemicals and calm the nervous system down.

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