Radiance Wellness Institute

Yawns What are they good for?

It turns out that they are good for YOU.

It turns out that despite the unexplained stigma in our society implying that it is rude to yawn, there are many benefits to not only yawning when the body requires but also inducing a string of ten yawns in a period of about two minutes.

While most are familiar with yawning when they are sleepy and associate them with being tired, research shows that we also yawn when exposed to light.  This suggests that it is part of the process of waking up.

Beyond assisting one to relax, yawns quickly brings one into a heightened state of cognitive awareness.  They rid the brain of sleepiness, thus helping you to stay focused on important concepts and ideas.  They regulate consciousness and our sense of self, and help us become more introspective and self-aware.

Scientifically speaking, yawns activate the precuneus, which in turn regulates the temperature and metabolism of your brain.  Neuroscientists believe that yawning probably evolved as a way to cool down the overly active mammalian brain, especially in the areas of the frontal lobe.  So, if you want to maintain an optimally healthy brain, it is essential that you yawn, as researchers suspect that yawning may be the brain’s attempt to eliminate symptoms by readjusting neural functioning.

Numerous neurochemicals are involved in the yawning experience, including dopamine, which activates oxytocin production in your hypothalamus and hippocampus, areas essential for memory recall, voluntary control, and temperature regulation.  These neurotransmitters regulate pleasure, sensuality, and relationship bonding between individuals, so if you want to enhance your intimacy and stay together, then yawn together.  Other neurochemicals and molecules involved with yawning include acetylcholine, nitric oxide, glutamate, GABA, serotonin, ACTH, MSH, sexual hormones, and opium derivate peptides.  In fact, it is hard to find any other activity that positively influences so many functions of the brain.

The advice is simple.  Yawn as many times a day as possible:  when you wake up, when you’re confronting a difficult problem at work, when you prepare to go to sleep, and whenever you feel anger, anxiety, or stress.  Yawn before giving an important talk, yawn before you take a test, and yawn while you meditate or pray because it will intensify your spiritual experience.