Did a Teacher Ever Scold You for Yawning in Class?

By Anupum Pant

Background

I always found school interesting. I wasn’t one of those kids who felt bored and sleepy during the class. And yet, during the classes, I yawned often. I remember being sent out of the class a couple of times because I had yawned. This happened again, and again at college. However, lecturers never cared to send me out in college. And then there were no more classes.

Then, when I started working, at a meeting one day, a friend yawned in a board room where the head of the company was present. The head saw this happen. Being a fresher, the guy got scolded very badly by the head. I felt sad for him. I knew, he wasn’t really sleepy when he yawned; clearly he wasn’t bored too. There could have been a different reason for it. The head should have known this.

Yawning is universally considered as a sign of sleepiness or boredom. I however, am pretty sure that a yawn doesn’t necessarily comes when someone is bored or sleepy. I do have a theory to back my belief that I discuss below. Also, yawning has a lot to do with empathy too. But that is not what I’m discussing today. To educate yourself about the empathy side of it, you could watch the following video.

No one knows for sure why we yawn. In addition to that there might be several different reasons that could explain why we yawn. Like a couple of reasons that explain why we sleep (may be there are more). Most definitely, it isn’t a single reason.

A study shows that yawning could be the body’s way of cooling down the brain and it makes perfect sense to me!

The Study

Scientists from the Princeton University say that people yawn more during the winters. That is because during the winter the air outside is colder and the body knows that. So, it makes us yawn to take in the cold air to cool the brain by exchanging heat.

There’s also this other explanation which breaks down the process of yawning into two parts – 1. stretching of your jaw muscles and 2. air entering your mouth after you do that.

When you stretch the jaw muscles in the first step, blood flow increases in your face, brain and sinus area. Now the cool air enters and cools down the blood vessels in the nasal cavity and sinus area. These blood vessels in turn cool the blood and circulate cooler blood to your brain, to cool it down.

Teacher’s theory

Now, it’s a well-known human rhythm that bodies get heated up just before we fall asleep. As a result, we yawn more. So, teachers were not completely wrong. However, sleep is not the direct reason. The reason we yawn is because the brain gets heated up, and it may as well get heated up due to other reasons; not always due to sleepiness or tiredness. Plus the yawn tries to correct the heated-sleepy-brain by circulating cooler blood.

The body does this to cool down the over-heated brain – which obviously gets heated due to extra information processing – like a computer processor. Why would the brain heat up when I’m not actively processing information better. So, yawning doesn’t mean I’m bored, or I’m not actively listening to the teacher when they’re speaking. Teachers need to know this.

Even if yawning is a sign of boredom to some extent. A yawn actually helps you cool down and helps you to process information better. So, teachers should be happy when you yawn in their class. You are trying to be a better listener than people who aren’t yawning in the class!

Hit like if you learnt something interesting today.

Spicy Food for a Happy Stress Free Life

By Anupum Pant

Today I’d like to start with something called Morphine. There is great chance that you already know about Morphine, may be through House MD, or other things. If you do, you could skip if you want to. But reading through a couple of lines never hurt anybody.

Morphine: is one of the most effective drugs used in medicine to relieve severe pain. It acts directly on the central nervous system, relieves anxiety and produces euphoria – intense happiness. That is the reason, it is also widely used illegally as a recreational drug. Wait! It is highly addictive too. But what makes me talk about morphine today?

Endorphins: And then there are Endorphins. Endorphins, short for Endogenous Morphine, is a morphine like substance made by the body – Where endogenous means that it originates inside the body. The amount of it released in the body is completely dependant on how you live your life and the kind of food you eat.

Like morphine, Endorphins have some function in the body too. In simple words, they relieve pain and stress. For instance, in a body builder’s body, these are the natural chemicals which keep them going in the gym, by mitigating pain sensation. And of course, since it is nothing but Morphine occurring naturally in the body, it creates Euphoria, or a state of intense happiness.

Runner’s High: People who are engaged in strenuous activities often have high amounts of Endorphins being released inside their body. As a result, they develop something called a runner’s high – An addiction to exercise and other strenuous activities. May be this is how workaholics are born. I’m guessing, endorphins is the chemical that gives the Tarahumara people the ability to run for 400 miles. And may be Marathon Monks of Japan also have unlocked a technique to produce high amounts of Endorphins in them (meditation!).

Whatever it is, healthy amounts of Endorphins released in the body make you happy, and a greater amount than that only takes you to a super human level. Of course, using morphine without prescription is not legal. But, there’s no law that can stop you from creating it in your own body. After all, it can completely change you as a person.

How to: Now, there are a couple of natural ways you could train your body to make more of it for you. Some of them are – strenuous exercise, a lot of sleep, eating chocolate and meditation (marathon monks!). But, among these techniques, in my view, adopting excessively spicy food is the most accessible and healthy way to go about it. Heck, just eat chillies and be happier. So simple. If you think that is hard, well, the human body can easily be trained

Among scientists, it is a well-known fact that eating chilli peppers can lead to enhanced secretion of endorphins. It is also noteworthy that spicier the chilli, more endorphins are released. And to find the spiciest chillies, you can probably watch the video below…

So, go, rev it up to 16 Million Scoville Scale unit and lead a happier and stress free life. Use science and get addicted to happiness.

Note: Do whatever, but do not over do it. You don’t want to try the deadly cinnamon challenge to be happy.

Not all “Scientific Studies are to be Trusted

By Anupum Pant

On this website I’ve discussed so many random studies that kind of shock you at first, but let me tell you, you shouldn’t always trust these “scientific studies”. Always take them with a pinch of salt. Most of the time, like the study “finding IQ by looking at men’s face“, these seemingly shocking studies are usually initial steps in a scientific area which pave a way for new research.

And then there are these institutes like George C. Marshall Institute set up to do fake science and create propaganda on various issues.

Besides that, there is science journalism. The headings these articles use, almost all the time are crafted to grab attention and clicks. You should have your own opinion of whatever you read on these science journalism websites. These articles appear on Awesci too.

This Ted-ed video perfectly explains how imperfect clinical trials are. You can extrapolate the video’s concept to other “scientific studies”. It really makes you aware of how misleading some studies can be.

So, before jumping to any conclusions after reading these crazy sounding headlines backed by “scientific study”, make sure that you read the complete article and that you do it on other websites too.