What did we do before Air Conditioning? For the odd week that we are lucky enough to experience really hot weather in the UK, many of us find it too uncomfortable to be really warm during the summer time. Ironically enough we try and spend most of it trying to cool down by eating ice creams and putting the air conditioning on. Luckily for us, air conditioning was invented, as we know it, in 1902. So this week we have come up with a few techniques that people from the past used to use in order to shade themselves from the intense heat. Continue reading → Yawning Keeps Us Cool According to scientists, yawning is not just a sign of boredom or tiredness it’s our body’s version of having our very own LG Air Conditioning unit. Research suggests that when our heads begins to heat up, yawning allows cool air to bring our brain back down to a good temperature. Our brain works like a computer – best when it’s cool! Putting too much strain on it can cause overheating which decreases its skill to process information. It was revealed in a study in Arizona with a sample of 160 volunteers that when their body temperature was higher than the air that was around them in the winter, they yawned almost twice as much. Princeton University who conducted the study, said that there would be less benefit from yawning in summer because the air is warmer than their bodies. Our brain temperature depends on the amount of processing that the brain has to do, the rate at which the blood goes to the brain and also the temperature of the blood. Dr Andrew Gallup led Princeton University’s research, explained that an overheated brain encourages signs of drowsiness, which could suggest why we also yawn when we are tired. Gallup said “When you are warmer you are more likely to feel tired. At night when you are about to sleep your body temperature is at its highest point of the day.” The study involved researchers analysing how frequently a group of 80 people yawned in response to images of other people yawning during the winter, and then did the same exercise with another group of volunteers in the summer. The study showed that 45% of people responded to the pictures by yawning themselves in winter, when outdoor temperatures averaged 21 degrees. However, in the summer, fewer than a quarter yawned when conditions were much hotter. Gallup explained that after participants had spent five minutes outside and their bodies had a chance to sense the difference of temperature, the effect was especially strong. He also added that in a previous research in rats, showed that yawning was activated by quick increases in brain heat and was followed by an unexpected fall in temperature.