You try not to yawn around people because they automatically think you’re bored. Pat Lind-Kyle, author of Heal Your Mind, Rewire Your Brain, says that yawning isn’t necessarily a sign of sleepiness but a signal that your body is revving up your brain so that it can perform more efficiently. Yawning is actually brain rejuvenation as the inhalation of air stretches the eardrums and gets more oxygen into your system. So according to Lind-Kyle, here’s what yawning does for you:
1) Increases mental efficiency. The influx of oxygen perks up your brain.
2) Staves off sleep. Most people think yawning helps you get to sleep faster, but as you can see, it does the opposite, with more oxygen and enhanced blood flow to the facial muscles.
3) Helps you “reset” yourself. Says Lind-Kyle, “In scientific terms, it arouses your neuromuscular wiring and creates a harmonious progression in the brain stem.”
4) It lifts your mood. Yawning increases dopamine levels, which activates oxytocin—relationship-bonding chemicals. Does that mean yawning is good for your marriage? Looks like it, so yawn away—and don’t be offended when others yawn around you. They’re just resetting themselves for more interesting conversation.