While the jury has long been on out on what causes the “contagious” effect of yawns, a scientific breakthrough has finally established that you yawn when you see someone else yawn because you’re just such a sleepy little baby, now aren’t you, sleepy head?
“There’s been a troubling lack of consensus on this issue for ages, with some in the field claiming mimetic desire or others standing strong on ‘brain cooling theory’,” says lead researcher and neuroscientist Dr. Ayana Nettle. “But now we finally know for sure that ‘contagious’ yawns are produced as a result of you being a sweepy wittle stinko who needs to lie down for a wittle nap-nap.”
The breakthrough is sending shockwaves through the scientific community.
“This has evaded me for decades,” says sleep scientist Dr. Winston Lee. “And now it’s all so clear. I mean, can you point to even one instance when someone yawned and they weren’t a sleepy little baby? You can’t. There’s no such reality.”
But while we may yawn because we’re tuckered out wittle babies who want some sleepybye, how does this understanding account for the contagious nature of yawns?
“I don’t want to get too in the weeds here,” says Dr. Nettle, “but basically we’re all sleepy babies who need to put on some jammies and go big night-night. Seeing another sweepy little baby yawn simply reminds us of this underlying condition.”
‘I mean, aren’t you?” Dr. Nettle adds. “Aren’t you just the sleepiest little baby in the whole wide world with your sleepy little head that wants to take a little rest? Lie down go ZzzZZz?”
With Dr. Nettle currently shortlisted for the Nobel Physiology Prize, what’s next for this scientific pioneer? And what can we learn from these findings?
“Some people ask if this indicates we should be getting more and better sleep as a society,” Dr. Nettle says. “But that’s really none of my business. Now I’m focused on determining why some people cry when they argue, but my current hypothesis is because they’re a little bitch who’d never make it as a lawyer.”