How do we yawn?

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by KristinaCollette
Last updated 8 years ago

Human Anatomy

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How do we yawn?

Yawning is when you open your mouth wide, then inhale and exhale deeply and involuntarily when tired or bored.

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How Do We Yawn?



Many parts of the body are used to yawn. For example, there is oxygen (O2), oxygen is the air we breathe. After we inhale, naturally we exhale carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is the gas that we exhale after we conduct oxygen exchange in our lungs. Yawning is related to the CO2 and O2 levels in our blood. Blood is the fluid that flows through our veins and arteries. Arteries are our blood vessels. O2 and CO2 levels are sensed through the receptors in our arteries. Nerve impulses tell the brain the information from the receptors. Nerve impulses are electric messengers in the body that send information to the specific part of your brain in which that information is needed. The jaw muscles and tongue are another component needed. The second last component is the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is located in the brain and it controls the hormones or chemical messenger levels along with what hormone or chemical messenger to release. Lastly, hormones and chemical messengers are the same thing, they are just different names for one thing and as the name “chemical messenger” states, all they are, are chemical messengers.

First, the brain picks up that our O2 levels are high and CO2 levels are low through the receptors in our arteries. Then, the receptors send out nerve impulses to the part of the brain called the hypothalamus. Through the impulses the hypothalamus is told to release hormones that’ll tell us to yawn, this causes us to yawn. While you yawn, you open your mouth wide stretching our jaw muscles and tongue. During that period, we deeply inhale and exhale. Finally, we close our mouths and we’re done yawning.


Diagram of Brain!

Diagram of Nerve Impulses!

No, one really knows why we yawn, but many theories have been made. All the theories have not been proven yet and scientists are still searching on the topic. As for this theory, the reason we’d need to yawn is so we maintain our O2 and CO2 levels in our blood. If we had too much CO2 in our blood we’d die of low O2 in our blood.


- If you think of yawning you’ll actually yawn.- No one actually knows why we yawn, they are all just theories.- Yawning is contagious, you’ll yawn if see someone yawning.- Fishes yawn to even though they are in water.

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