Many people think yawning is triggered because you’re bored, tired or need oxygen, but it is actually argued that it may help to regulate the brain’s temperature.
Medical professionals are touting that our brains are super sensitive to temperature changes and therefore they must be protected from overheating!
In the current edition of the journal Medical Hypotheses, Andrew Gallup of Princeton University and Gary Hack of the University of Maryland argue that yawning helps to regulate the brain’s temperature. “The brain is exquisitely sensitive to temperature changes and therefore must be protected from overheating,” they write. “Brains, like computers, operate best when they are cool.” When you yawn, the walls of the maxillary sinuses, which are located in the cheeks on each side of the nose, flex like bellows and help with brain cool. The actual function of sinuses is still the subject of debate, and this theory may help clarify their purpose.
Not a lot is understood about our sinuses and little is agreed upon even by those who investigate them. Some scientists believe that they have no function at all. Researchers said their theory that yawning helps cool the brain has medical implications. For example, excessive yawning often precedes seizures in people with epilepsy and pain in people with migraine headaches. Doctors may also be able to use excessive yawning as a way to identify patients with conditions that affect temperature regulation.