Why do people yawn?

Do you ever think about why we yawn? Do you yawn when you see others yawn? A new study from the UK has researched this. It found that yawning is contagious, powerful and unstoppable. People automatically yawn when they see other people yawn. Researchers said people yawn more when they try to stop yawning. They also found that some people want to yawn a lot more than other people. Lead researcher Professor Stephen Jackson said that even reading about yawning could make people yawn. You might even want to yawn right now.

The researchers studied the actions and brain activity of 36 adults. The adults looked at videos of people yawning. They then had to yawn or stop themselves yawning. The volunteers were videoed as they did either of these. The researchers also checked the brain activity of the adults and checked how much they wanted to yawn. Jackson said understanding more about yawning will help to treat illnesses such as dementia and epilepsy. He said: "We are looking for potential non-drug, personalized treatments…that might be effective in [changing] imbalances in the brain."