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Former good article nominee Yawn was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
December 31, 2006 Good article nominee Not listed
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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Yawn:
  • Improve references
  • Expand short sections and ensure good flow throughout article
  • Which animals yawn, and has it evolved independently more than once?
  • A little further explanation as to how yawning is advantageous - how would an organism that didn't yawn/respond to yawns be more likely to die?
  • Physiologically, what is the difference (if there is any) between a true reflexive yawn and a voluntary effort to simulate a yawn? Why do they feel different?
  • What medical conditions produce yawning?
Priority 4

Dog Yawning[edit]

I know that dogs yawn as a sign of stress, and also supposedly to help increase oxygen flow to the brain to help them cope or to get ready for something. Agility dogs, for instance, usually take a great big yawn right before starting their run to get their mind in gear. And from what I've read recently, dogs are empathetic yawners - they yawn because we yawn. I don't have the time to look up sources to add this, but it'd be nice to add to the animal section. And the contagious bits, too. I've caught my share of dog yawns, and apparently, we do the same to them. (talk) 04:05, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Video with new hypothesis[edit]

This video (from ABC News) puts forth a newer hypothesis that I didn't really see mentioned in the article: We yawn to cool our brains. Sounds silly, but watch the video: -

The hypothesis comes from Gordon Gallop from the University of Albany.

I added this to the article and cited the video as well.

Artificial Silence 09:52, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I challenge anyone to explain the correlation between sleepiness/tiredness, as well as stretching, with yawning, using this hypothesis. ThVa (talk) 13:18, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

The video makes it look as the hypothesis is broadly accepted. In reality, nobody really believes this. The results of the experiment can easily be explained by an uncontrolled effect of drowsiness. If have ice on your head you are more alert and thus yawn less frequently. Besides, it remains completely mysterious how yawning should be able to cool down the brain! Aguggis (talk) 18:55, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Failed For Good Article[edit]

This article failed good article nomination. In one editor's humble opinion, measured the six good article criteria:
1. Well written?: Parts are well written, but overall the effect is lacking and seems disjointed. Sections should be more than one sentence long. "Hypothesized causes" should be prose, but not a combination of prose and a list.
2. Factually accurate?: Several authoritative statements are made without attribution, especially in the "Hypothesized..." section.
3. Broad in coverage?: Ok.
4. Neutral point of view?: Ok.
5. Article stability? Ok.
6. Images?: Ok.

Good work so far. Kghusker 04:38, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Early discussion[edit]

A lot of the structure of the article or essay seems to come from "The straight dope" article on 19-Sep-1986. Including the bits about penguins and the long held belief.

Quotations need attribution.

I have minor issues with this bit:

Yawning is a powerful non-verbal message with several possible meanings, depending on the circumstances:

  1. It's a not-always-so-subtle cue for attention, sympathy and a respite due to tiredness, stress, over-work or boredom.
  2. An action indicating psychological decompression after a state of high alert.
  3. A means of expressing powerful emotions like anger and rejection.

I don't think #1 is really a cue for attention in itself, and the phrase "not-always-so-subtle" sounds too much like an ironic way of saying "blatant". I think it'd be better stated as an indicator of tiredness, etc. I'll change that now. #2 is...I dunno. I'm not familiar with yawning in that context. #3 is definitely unfamiliar to me; I don't know anybody who yawns because he's angry! It may partly be a cultural thing, but if so, it should be marked as such.

Also, the idea of yawning being contagious could possibly be elaborated further. I've yawned numerous times in making this post because it's about yawning. :P

--Furrykef 19:27, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

I don't like how the first section is written in the past tense:

A long-standing theory behind yawning is that there was too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen in the blood. The brain stem was assumed to detect this and would trigger the yawn reflex. The mouth stretches wide and the lungs inhaled deeply, causing oxygen into the lungs and thence to the bloodstream. This is not certain however: a more recent theory is that it is a form of bodily temperature regulation.

so i've changed it


speaking of that part, i'm quite confused. i frequently experience chain yawning when air quality is poor and in a crowded room (places where logically there is less oxygen available)or when talking for a very long time without any break, and the only way to stave it off is to conciously take deep breaths. wouldn't this support the idea of it being an oxygen-deficiency problem triggered by too high a CO2-to-Oxygen ratio? note that plenty of people have the same experience as me, but otherwise i haven't seen anything scientific on it.

Is it just me, or does everyone involuntarily yawn after reading this page? --Sum0 18:57, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I just had a cup of coffee and I can't freakin stop. I'll go get another cup and freak myself out with spiders, that'll wake me up. --Cuervo 16:25, 3 May 2005 (UTC)
Seriously! I yawned at least 10 times before I finished reading.Cacophony 00:48, May 22, 2005 (UTC)
I actually yawned while watching the animals. Ugh and I'm yawning while writing this... John C PI 09:10, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I changed the footnote style, thinking it was a new feature of the MW update and actually good. Turns out it's pretty much the same as the old footnote style, so revert if you want. For the NeuroImage paper I think the PMID citation is a better way to go. --Chinasaur 6 July 2005 18:56 (UTC)

I updated the reference to Gallup by citing the original journal article used as a basis of the television interview. Unfortunately, I was not able to get the footnote to work out just right. If someone could fix it so that it looks more appropriate, I would appreciate it. Thanks. 05:02, 14 August 2007 (UTC) eia1957

Adjusted the style. 23:09, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Medieval belief[edit]

I once read somewhere that placing one's hand over one's mouth while yawning is considered polite, but actually originates from a medieval belief that demons could actually enter one's mouth while yawning unless the mouth was covered. Has this been actual cause for the practice and does it deserve mention?

It already is mentioned. --Quiddity·(talk) 18:15, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Physical Process of Yawning[edit]

I'm not satisfied with the description of what your body actually does when you yawn. Mentioned in the article are the obvious things such as strectching your mouth and face wide, inhaling and exhaling deeply...however, what's missing is the fact that yawning is involuntary and is not something you can make yourself do. I can open my mouth, stretch my facial muscles, and take a deep breat--but that's not a yawn!!! I am convinced that yawning involves other processes as well that we can't control--perhaps a widening of the trachea? I don't know. But the description of what exactly happens, physiologically, in a yawn, is unsatisfying to me, because clearly there is more to it than that, and yawning is more than simply opening wide and breathing deeply. Hmm...

I can yawn voluntarily. Of course, I've been yawning a lot since I started reading this article. Just thinking about yawning makes me yawn. If I try to yawn, at first it is just opening my mouth wide, but then I start to feel the yawn at the back of my throat, and it becomes a yawn. There does feel like there is a widening of the trachea during a yawn, and the lungs do seem to really expand.--RLent 20:59, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
I can yawn voluntarily as well. There almost seems to be a pair of muscles at the sides of my throat way way back that I can flex and it can trigger the yawn as well. Another interesting thing is that I can hear this low bass rumbling noise when the muscle is flexed, and I can hold the muscle until it gets tired. Can anyone explain this? (see also: The Wind Sound -- down below) Lemec 14:08, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Besides triggering the yawn reflex intentionally, i can also do what I guess is tensing somthing inside my head that makes me hear this wet purring-like sound, this last part i can control voluntarily. I dunno what it is, but it also gets tired eventually, i can't hold it like that indefinitely, might be the same thing you have going there. I have the impression that doing this muffles external sounds, at least seems to reduce the discomfort produced by loud sounds.--TiagoTiago (talk) 00:38, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
It's pretty obvious yawning is a bodily function. It's far too much like scratching an itch in it's need to be acted on. My favorite reason for yawning is it pumps the lymph vessels, either after a period of reduced movement or in preparation for enhanced movement. Same as for the accompanying stretch. Evanh (talk) 14:58, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Angry Yawning[edit]

In response to the comment about the disbelief that a yawn can be an indicator of anger: I learned that a dog often yawns because they are stressed. My German Shepherd yawned at me whenever I was scolding her. I imagine sometimes she could have been angry for getting in trouble just like little kids do.

I've heard a similar theory from dog trainers, only it was that dogs will yawn when they're not sure how to react to a stimulus. So some dog yawns are signs of confusion. I wish I had a source on this. Also, I'm on my 40th yawn since reading this article. Feels good. O0drogue0o 05:51, 7 July 2007 (UTC)


How did Yawning come about though evolution? What is the advantage of Yawning? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

This page is for discussing the article, not its subject. Please ask factual questions at the Reference Desk. Thanks. --Quiddity 19:42, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
If the article doesn't have the information I think it's perfectly acceptable to point that out by asking. I usually add questions like that to a to-do list myself, though if you want a quick answer the reference desk would be the best place to go. Richard001 01:02, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
We must embrace the very likely possibility that it isn't advantageous at all, and did not evolve. You can still just say it was genetically attached to something else advantageous as a package deal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:11, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Facial features of the yawn[edit]

I remember reading that even when people cover their mouth when they yawn it is still contagious because what triggers others to yawn is the shape of the eyes and nose. This is also the reason why people can't make other's yawn with a fake or forced yawn, versus a genuine one. 00:56, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

picture in your head a person yawning. when i do it is def the nose and eyes all scrunched up and it makes me want to yawn. whereas remembering the sound does not. interesting —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Robert Provine did the study. Please find the second sentence of "Contagiousness", starting with 'Observeing an another person's yawning...' -- 23:33, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Yawning as Embarrassment[edit]

Embarrassment causes dogs to yawn. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kangaru99 (talkcontribs) .

Mythbusters Treatment[edit]

I yawned during most of the episode. Seriously. :-)

Me too! Mike6271 04:10, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Should the Mythbusters experiment be listed as a source here? I'm not sure if their methods always hold up to scientific standards. Ocatecir Talk 05:08, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
I watched the episode. No, it should definitely not be listed as a source. The control group yawned 25% of the time, while the experimental yawned 29%. With only 50 participants, 25 for each side, the difference there is only 1. That is about as inconclusive as an experiment can get. Their methods were more or less sound, but the group was too small for such a minute difference to be confirmed. If this is listed, it should not be listed as "partly confirmed"; rather, it should be listed as inconclusive. I'll do that right now.
Frazz 19:19, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Mythbusters never does anything properly. I can recall a number of "myths" that actually is plausible and vice versa. The specific episode in question is actually one of their better ones, but, as already stated, the myth was considered partly confirmed despite the inconclusion of their experiment. Konaya 17:37, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I'd say that exactly, but there are an increasing number of episodes that leave me saying "but wait... what about..." Fool4jesus (talk) 13:25, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

Yawning "Contagious"[edit]

I think that this portion of the article is in need of revision. I did a search through EBSCOhost for 'contagious yawning' and the search returned several abstracts- I didn't have access to the full text of the articles- saying that the neural mechanism of action for contagious yawning exists independently of mirror-neurons. According to the abstract of a study entitled "Contagious Yawning and the Frontal Lobe: an fMRI Study", "Specifically associated with the viewing of the contagious yawn was an area of activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. These findings suggest a role for the prefrontal cortex in the processing of contagious yawning, while demonstrating a unique automaticity in the processing of contagious motor programs which take place independently of mirror neuron networks." Several other articles stated approximately the same thing, so I think that the portion of the article ascribing contagious yawning to mirror neurons should be either removed or modified.Jonathon Cunningham (talk) 00:42, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Hasn't really been mentioned anywhere in the article (besides a useless link at the bottom) that when someone yawns, another person usually yawns as well. Just wondering if someone could add it to the article, list speculated reasons as to why, etc. Code E 02:02, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

See the paragraph which begins: "The yawn reflex is often described as contagious: if one person yawns, ...". --Quiddity 02:28, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

One of the possible hypothesis given in the article for yawning being contagious is the lack of air around the ears of the second person yawning. This doesn't hold ground as yawning is seen to be contagious even when we seee anyone yawning on TV without the person actually physically "changing the air pressure" around our ears.

I was actually a fan of the ear pressure theory, but then I realized that I was yawning countless times as I was reading the article. Heck, I yawned twice just typing this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:04, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Ha! Just bringing up the article made me yawn too, and not because it's boring. That doesn't mean ear pressure isn't involved... just that it's not the only mechanism that causes yawning. Fool4jesus (talk) 13:23, 16 March 2016 (UTC)

yawns are contagious because yawning is realated t9o a ersons self awaness the abiltiy to see things from another persons view. the lack of air around the other persons yawnind... 16/03/08 11:34 (ahhnfdgd@ikkke) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:34, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

There is research that suggests that the occurrence of contagious yawning is linked to empathy. Until recently, it has only been observed in humans and primates. Research shows that domestic dogs have demonstrated this ability when exposed to human yawns. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nootbaar.1 (talkcontribs) 05:03, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Animals that yawn[edit]

Is there an article on this? I just saw a video where a snake yawns, so how deep does the yawning reflex extend in animals? Obviously insects don't yawn (etc) but there must a clear line where yawning stops. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Very good question - and another point: Has it evolved independently or does it show common ancestry? Added to to-do list. Richard001 01:02, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
I think it sounds rather difficult a task. Firstly, how does one determine whether an animal makes the "yawning" voluntarily or not? The attack stance of certain snakes, and the intimidating growl of certain canines can't really be considered "yawns", but where do we draw that line? Konaya 22:31, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

A recent study has shown that wolves are also capable of contagious yawn. This research could propose that this ability is a mammalian ancestral trait.

This new research suggests a common mechanism for this yawn contagion and its relation to the capacity for empathy. Due to the fact that this yawn contagion is found among other animals, it suggests that empathy may be present in a wide range of species.

An observation[edit]

While reading this article, I had an overwhelming urge to yawn.

I yawned about 5 times reading this article, and am yawning right now.

I must agree! I yawned 4 times while reading it as well! This lends me to believe that 'contagious' yawning is not visual in nature but rather cerebral, meaning that even if the subject of yawning were to come up, it triggers the body's reflex to do so.

rofl that's so funny i just went to this talk page to mention that I yawned twice when i saw this article. oh crap i'm yawning again, no joke —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:15, 5 May 2007 (UTC).

I agree, I was also about to post... Maybe, it is a psychological link between the word yawn, and the action.

P.S. Another theory: Yawning is copied, as when older adults yawned and slept in cave-man times, it signalled to others (Younger, Non-Alpha etc.) that it was safe to sleep.

LOL! I yawned throughout reading the article! --AJKGordon 17:28, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Ha, I yawned twice. Gotta be on to something here. 06:41, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Yet another yawner over here... The theory about yawning being cerebral leads me to think that yawning must be socially related, perhaps a means of communication. In any case, I think that the act of yawning and the yawning reflex itself are two separate things, although the former includes the latter. The reflex is probably useful for any said theories, but the real question is what it was originally intended for. Konaya 22:53, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I yawned too. I'm not really sure what that means, but I think it's definitely significant that so many people have yawned while reading about yawning (granting, the people who aren't yawning aren't posting about it, so we don't really know if it's something that most people do). —Mears man 03:43, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I can make my dog yawn by either yawning or fake yawning ,I can also force myself to yawn.If yawning is caused by lack of oxygen, wouldn't people that have smoked for a long time be yawning all the time?! ~:Gr8Buzz:~

I purposely revisit this page again and again just so I can truly yawn. Feels soo good.

Oh man, now that I've seen particular this discussion, I've been yawning like crazy lol. Vandalism destroyer (talk) 04:16, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm another one that had the reflex triggered several times while reading this artile. --TiagoTiago (talk) 01:58, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

A new yawning hypothesis[edit]

I have my own hypothesis about yawning, which is supported by comparing notes with other friends and family: It's caused by hunger, or possibly thirst. This is most evident when travelling somewhere in a car around lunchtime or dinnertime, delaying the normal meal time.

This hypothesis is also supported by observing nature: Chicks in a nest "yawn" when they are still hungry. My theory is that we yawn due to a biological throwback when our ancient parents brought food back to the "nest" and those that were hungry yawned in order to be fed.

This explains several of the odd things about yawning. For example, it explains why we open our mouths as wide as possible (to easily admit food; if it was about oxygen, even a narrow opening would be sufficient). It explains why we close our eyes tightly (to stop food being dropped into them). It explains why we feel the need to accompany the yawn with some noise (to gain attention). It explains why yawns are "contagious" (especially to others who are also hungry).

My reasons for bringing this up on the discussion page are as follows: Do I need to be a scientist, or does this hypothesis need to be scientifically tested, or does the hypothesis need to be widely accepted, prior to adding it to the main page? I'd prefer to firstly gain sufficient consensus that the hypothesis has merit rather than risk my unfounded hypothesis being simply deleted.

Ian Fieggen 22:30, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Interesting idea.
As for adding it to the article, essentially it first needs to appear in a published (reference-able) place. See Wikipedia:No original research. —Quiddity 23:14, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
However, there is the possibility that your hypothesis is based on a mere coincidence. Hunger usually induce fatigue. When yawning, one is often affected by both, and that would make it hard to rule out one of the two.
Then, again, there are quite a number of indications in favour of your theory, and it is definitely worthy of note, and possibly further research.
Are there any recognised biologists in the house? Konaya 23:10, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm in serious disagreement with Fieggen's hypothesis. First of all, I ate (and drank) well half an hour ago, yet I yawned a dozen times reading this article and then the discussion (and others have mentioned doing this in this discussion page as well). So that's two incompatibilities (I'm far from hungry and thirsty, and it makes no sense that reading about the concept would act as a trigger if hunger/thirst was the cause). A third one is that it fails to explain the strong correlation between sleepiness/tiredness and yawning. ThVa (talk) 13:14, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Digesting food is not an easy matter. It takes some energy to do it. Hence, the tiredness. Hence, yawning. Reading this article probably helped, too. Who said there must be only one trigger behind yawning? --Konaya (talk) 13:42, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I have no great answer to ThVa's first and second points, except that perhaps suggestive yawning is triggered by our primitive survival instinct in that simply thinking about others yawning triggers us to copy in order that we don't miss out on a feed. To the third point, if we're still up and about when we're sleepy/tired, our brain tells us we should eat something, so we yawn. My theory doesn't invalidate the correlation between sleepiness/tiredness and yawning, rather, it explains why we feel the need to open our mouths widely, which otherwise seems a pretty odd response to tiredness! Ian Fieggen (talk) 00:38, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks to those who responded to my hypothesis. I've certainly opted against adding anything to the article, and will restrict it to just this thread, where it may or may not be of interest to those doing proper yawning research.

Just one final clarification: Immediately prior to yawning, I didn't even need to have any symptoms of my hunger or thirst, such as through rumblings in the stomach or a dry mouth. It's merely that I noticed that my yawns invariably occurred just before meal times (usually lunch or dinner). Ian Fieggen (talk) 00:38, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Assuming you were relaxed, anticipation will be the trigger for increased bodily activity of having a meal. With yawning being part of the buildup process. See my earlier comment in Physical Process of Yawning. Evanh (talk) 22:56, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Eyes Watering[edit]

Whenever I yawn, without fail my eyes water. I thought it happened to everyone, but the article doesn't mention it. 18:01, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

It happens to me, too. I always assumed that it was universal as well. Fiasco 03:19, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Same thing happens to me, must be universal, also if I have a dry mouth and then yawn, I salivate. However, that might just be me. The article should definitely mention something about eyes watering. Perhaps somebody could confirm or disprove the saliva effect? 06:34, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
I also salivate, and if I'm not careful, a fine spray sometimes shoots out of my mouth from under my tongue. I've loooked and it comes from two little spouts under the tongue which I imagine must be salivary glands.-- 15:13, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
The tearing is due to physical stress on the tear glands during more extreme facial musclework, like laughing (indeed, one can laugh until crying) or yawning.
Regarding salivation, I cannot explain it; although I can account for the "saliva-shooting" the previous writer have experienced, only not during the act of yawning. I can procure this phenomenon at will, merely by tensing my tongue in a certain way. The previous writer probably does this in a similar way when yawning; since yawning tenses a vaste variety of facial muscles, putting considerable strain on the facial tissue, I find it quite surprising that salivation and the inducing of tears are two of the only very few consequences reported. Konaya 23:30, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

The Wind Sound[edit]

When I yawn, I hear white noise, much like wind rushing past my ears. I've never read about the cause of this, or, now that I consider it, even another report of it. I assume it's a rapidly modulating contraction of the tensor tympani, or perhaps something else vibrating in my skull. First: is this a noted phenomenon? Second: are auditory phenomena within the scope of the article? Fiasco 03:19, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

I have also noted this noise, I would describe it as a muffled rumbling. It also occurs when trying to restore appropriate pressure on the eardrums (odd way of describing it, I am aware of that, but due to English not being my primary language I fail to find a more suitable expression). The only place I've seen this phenomenon on record is as a brief side note in a book of an irrelevant subject; this have, until now, led me to believe that I am the only one experiencing this. Now, when this belief have been proved wrong, I would much appreciate someone, preferrably with at least little more than a laymans knowledge of medicine, to shed light on this matter. Konaya 00:04, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

That happens to me too! I've been able to make that sound since I was a little kid, and I've never had any way of explaining it. I always thought I was the only one, too. (talk) 12:44, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
I can make myself hear a noise from inside my head, but it doesn't sound like white noise nor wind, it sounds like a wet purring like sound. --TiagoTiago (talk) 18:37, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

It's the sound of your blood rushing through the vessels. I can't hear people talking when I yawn because of it. (talk) 00:39, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Mythbusters Episode[edit]

The bit about yawning being contagious needs to be edited; "Mythbusters" should not be cited as a source, as their research methods are questionable and unscientific. I myself am not an expert on yawning so I will leave the article as is, in hopes that someone else with more knowledge on the subject can cite some real study on the contagiousness of yawning. -Mark G 21:06, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

No offense, but you're being quite presumptuous. The experiment in that particular episode was quite sound, though the results were terribly inconclusive. I do agree with the removal of that particular reference, however, because of the uselessness of it. Anyone agree? (Frazz 15:54, 13 August 2007 (UTC))

I agree - and I also agree completely with the first argument. No matter how sound Mythbusters' "research" may appear, it falls short of scientific, it isn't properly documented, and doesn't deserve to be cited as a source - let's not mix up science and entertainment! There have been plenty of scientific studies concerning this topic that could take the place of the Mythbusters reference.

Removed. I'm just curios though, isn't video taping everything you do enough to qualify as documented? Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems that recording everything should be sufficient. I'd appreciate it if you cleared this up for me. (Frazz 22:24, 16 August 2007 (UTC))

PS: You should sign your statements. (Frazz 22:25, 16 August 2007 (UTC))

Not everything is recorded, and what is recorded is edited for time and entertainment. Regardless, Mythbusters is not peer reviewed and falls short on countless other methodological requirements. LibreLearner (talk) 23:29, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

new source on the subject (bbc)[edit] "Rather than being a precursor to sleep, yawning is designed to keep us awake, say US researchers."

Paratroopers yawning?[edit]

I don't see why the paratroopers bit is in this article. There is no citation to anything, and it reads like hearsay: "Another speculated reason for yawning is nervousness - paratroopers were once noted yawning right before their first jump, and had just come from a coffee break." Is that something we can mark as "citation needed"? (I'm pretty new here, so I want to be sure that's how others would handle it). previously unsigned comment by User:

I cited it. Its important to note because it displays the new hypothesis of yawning increasing awareness and attentiveness. Fresheneesz 20:47, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

What about gasping for air cause they're at high altitude? (talk) 00:54, 25 May 2010 (UTC)


I hope someone will write something about the process of pandiculation (which is redirecting here) in some detail. I mean the electrical (?) current that seems to pass through the body while someone is yawning very strongly. 14:00, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Photo suggestions[edit]

  • 16 Dec 2007 Child Yawning after playing with dog Vivek Jalandhar Punjab India - gopal1035 075.jpg
    under yawn of a child

The Portrait[edit]

Am I the only one who yawned when I saw the portrait on the main page of Yawn? XD (talk) 19:36, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Editor, please read the messages on your talk page![edit]

Use the Show Preview button and stopping clogging up Wikipedia's history pages with your dozens of tiny edits. Thanks! --CliffC (talk) 22:49, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Inner Ear vs. Middle Ear[edit]

Regarding this edit, I can certainly see why you changed "inner" to "middle". However, I think "inner" is more correct in this case.

As you know, the "middle" ear is comprised of bones commonly called the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup. The "outer" ear is basically the eardrum. The "inner" ear is the cochlia, semicircular canals, auditory nerve and similar tissue.

The discomfort that can be relieved by yawning is discomfort felt at the eardrum (i.e., the outer ear), caused by the difference between ambient pressure and the pressure interior to the outer ear. Calling that interior the "inner" ear may not be precisely correct, but it is less misleading than calling it the "middle" ear.

Anyway, I can see your point, but I think "inner" is a better word choice under the circumstances. Art Smart (talk) 22:56, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

penguin 'yawning'[edit]

I propose to remove the lines on penguin 'yawning'. The ecstatic display is typically given by unpaired males trying to attract females. Simply because the birds' bill is open during this display doesn't mean it is a yawn. The final sentence on it being surprising that 2 species of penguin share a behaviour while they're not in the same habitat is puzzling. First, it is not all that surprising, considering they're both species of penguin. Second, you wouldn't expect two species to share a sexual /signal because they live in sympatry, in fact, you would expect rather the opposite.Evlshout (talk) 00:30, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I think he has a point. The definition of what makes a yawn is not clear, even if we can easily recognise it in humans. Opening the mouth wide is not enough. It is a certainty that other mammals yawn, and hence the behaviour is conserved, and almost certainly does have a function which conveys some selectional advantage. But how are we to know whether wide-mouth-opening in fish, reptiles and birds is yawning? Or is the threat display by male baboons a yawn, or merely uses similar muscles? I think the text should display more scepticism about yawns in non-mammlian vertebrates. Macdonald-ross (talk) 13:22, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Yawning and "accelerated sound"[edit]

Whenever I yawn while listening to music, the tempo invariably picks up during the process. It's almost as if something cranks up the "beats per minute" of the song in question. Why does this happen -- I have to say that it was the primary reason why I checked this article (but there doesn't seem to be anything)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:38, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Boring Article[edit]

Article is too boring; I yawned about seven times reading it. First time that's ever happened reading a Wikipedia article.--Charlesrkiss (talk) 03:14, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I yawned about 15 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 20 March 2009 (UTC) (talk) 15:07, 29 April 2013 (UTC) :13 times,if i counted them right.Add speculation,maybe?

Autsim contagious yawning[edit]

I think it deserves a spot under contagious.

Sleep Yawning[edit]

I've only seen or heard of one instance of someone yawning in their sleep. How much research has been done on this? People do frequently yawn on waking or before going to sleep. Maybe yawning is an orienting-reorienting response activity. Cooling the brain may only help reorient the person, or animal. This is probably very much related to becoming more awake or alert. Another way to look at it would be a reality check. Orienting takes place on several levels including temporally and spacially. Social facilitation and coordination could certainly be an orienting function. Did anyone ask what would happen if we didn't yawn? Would our brains overheat? I don't think so. Is it more common to yawn in the hotter regions of the Earth than others? It doesn't seem like the cooling theory was well thought through. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dawfen (talkcontribs) 20:14, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Yawning on purpose[edit]

I yawn on purpose to keep my eyes moist. It's usefull in dry/hot air, moreso now that I wear contacts. I was told growing up that you couldn't force yourself to yawn, so much for that myth. (talk) 00:42, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Yawning & Ear Pressure[edit]

Why's there no mention of the effect of yawning (either deliberate or reflexive) on ear pressure? Valsalva_maneuver Artsygeek (talk) 00:57, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Effects of yawning[edit]

I suck at the technicalities of editing pages. Can any one kind soul please: i. Add the data of yawning and ear pressure (above) ii. I stumbled on this article about the many positive effects of inducing yawning, and it seems to be a reliable source.

A section called Effects of yawning seems appropriate for that.

Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:19, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Text underneath image of the baby[edit]

"Research data strongly suggest that neither contagious nor story-induced yawning are reliable in children below the age of six years"

I honestly cannot say for sure what this means. Not reliable...? Are we talking about reliable as in.. ability to produce under likely circumstances, or reliable as in.. what? I don't understand this sentence. Anybody wanna fix it up? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:52, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Presumably that the stimulus does not reliably produce the effect. It's kind of science-experiment-speak, but not at all esoteric or advanced... AnonMoos (talk) 01:48, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

My Theory[edit]

Perhaps the evolutionary purpose of the yawn is solely to clear the ears, since at night, when one is wont to yawn, the auditory sense must be especially keen as it is solely depended upon to detect dangers during sleep. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Forestmarchini (talkcontribs) 05:07, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Animal Yawning and Infectious Yawning[edit]

Should Animal Yawning be moved before the section on Infectious Yawning? This might make continuity clearer for updating Infectious Yawning to also include infectious yawning recognized in Gelada Baboons and Stump-tail Macaques. Nearly Human (talk) 01:27, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Good idea. Can give it a try. François Robere (talk) 18:57, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Earliest source noting contagious yawning phenomenon[edit]

There is a much earlier source for this than the 1508 one in the article - Plato mentions the phenomenon in The Dialogues. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:55, 26 December 2014 (UTC)


doi:10.1159/000228262 discusses a number of diseases that can cause yawning. JFW | T@lk 11:33, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

Yawning or aggression[edit]

It is stated that "yawning can serve as a warning signal". However I don't think this is correct. Yawning is the act of a more or less involuntary stretching of the mouth. To open ones mouth to show teeth as a mark of aggression or deterrence is not the same thing as yawning. Cats and dogs yawn, they also open their mouths when showing aggression - this is not the same.Royalcourtier (talk) 03:57, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Animal yawning (mammals? others?)[edit]

I wonder if the yawning of fish and penguins "consists of the simultaneous inhalation of air and the stretching of the eardrums, followed by an exhalation of breath". Evidence? -- Evertype· 15:56, 19 November 2016 (UTC)