Breathe through your nose
Nose breathers are less likely to pick up contagious yawns, according to a study in the journal Evolutionary Psychology. Almost half of the volunteers who were told to breathe through their mouths, or weren’t given any instructions on how to breathe, yawned while watching a video of yawning, laughing, and a neutral condition let out a yawn—but none of the participants told to breathe through their nose did. The researchers guess that you get the urge to yawn when your brain gets too warm, and breathing through the nose helps cool it down. Don’t miss these medical reasons you’re tired all the time.
A second part of the study in Evolutionary Psychology on how to stop yawning took a more direct approach by cooling down the brain. The researchers gave participants hand towels in zip-top bags that were either hot, cold, or room temperature. Just 9 percent of the cold pack group yawned, compared with 41 percent from the other two groups. Turn down the thermostat, or grab a chilled snack like watermelon if you want to cool down. But if you’re constantly chilly, these medical reasons could explain why you’re cold.