Can a sniff suppress a yawn?

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Offline thedoc

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Can a sniff suppress a yawn?
« on: 01/11/2012 05:30:02 »
Michael Watson  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi Chris,
I followed a post that you left on Twitter a while back (Oh yes, I must say that I realy enjoy your show on 702 in South Africa with Redi Tlhabi on Fridays) and in there they discussed the way in which to stop yawning.  

A short while ago, I fractured my jaw and yawning is a very painful action that I needed to stop doing.  However, even just the thought of "I must not yawn" seemed to continually create the urges to yawn, the WHOLE day.  When I yawned I could hear the fracture creak and it made my teeth touch and hurt further and so this became quite an urgent matter to solve.  The article was saying that a tired brain warms up and the yawn is used to cool the brain, so I began to breathe rapidly through my nose even to the brink of hyperventilating, but this wretched thought of needing to stop yawning, still won!! [GRRR] But!! I found out that when just about to yawn (you can feel  your system begin to open up for a yawn) but
 found that if I did a quick strong sniff, the yawn stopped.  I think that the muscle formation interrupted the muscle formation for the yawn and the sniff (done consciously) was enough to override the yawn.  But, it does mean that you need to be aware of the onset of the yawn.  This has really helped the reducing and healing of my jaw!!!
I thought I'd share this addition to the point, or maybe it was just my body that reacted in this way.  Try it!  Say "I MUST NOT YAWN"

Michael Watson

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 01/11/2012 05:30:02 by _system »