Firstly, you may already know that yawning is the most socially contagious thing there is. Whether seeing it, hearing it or even reading about it, you might be fighting off a yawn right now, if you haven’t yawned already. You’ve been warned.
Ever notice we yawn while on our way to bed, but we also yawn when we get up. Why? it can’t be about just going to sleep, after all, Olympic sprinters even yawn before their race.
What a yawn actually does, is primes our brain for switching it’s state of activity. If our brain is awake and alert, it will need to downshift it’s activity to prepare for sleep. When we’ve been asleep and still, we’ll yawn in order to up-shift our activity to focus on the day.
Do you, or someone you know clinch or grind their teeth at night? If you think about it, isn’t a yawn the opposite of clinching your teeth? By stretching and releasing the muscles of your jaw during a yawn, and additionally aiding your brain toward a more relaxed state, by purposefully yawning a lot before bed you’ll make grinding your teeth less of a problem.
Also when you yawn – the real big, loud, industrious kind of yawn – the muscles that makeup the back of the mouth and top of the throat flex and open your air passage ways fully. That muscle engagement will help keep the airways open during sleep. So ultimately yawning big and frequently before bed will even give a small assist with snoring and sleep apnea.
So, yawning can help your brain, jaw, teeth, sleeping and breathing. All just from a simple yawn. It’s like there’s an abundance of wisdom embedded inside you, you might as well use it.