Ask Dr. Universe: Why is yawning contagious?

Dr-Universe-230SPOKANE, Wash. – When I got your question, I met up with my friend Hans Van Dongen, a scientist at Washington State University in Spokane. He works in a research lab where they study sleep. As a cat who appreciates naps, it’s one of my favorite places to visit.

He explained that while yawning is common for lots of animals, we still don’t know why it happens. We do know that once you start a yawn, there’s no stopping it. And as you’ve observed, yawns can be quite contagious.

Read all of the answer from Dr. Universe here.


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