Why We Instinctively Stretch and Yawn When We Wake Up and Why It’s So Important

3 years ago

The alarm signals us to get up in the morning but it doesn’t wake up our body, what does, is stretching and yawning. Maybe it’s because we do it as an involuntary process that we don’t even pay attention to it. However, these 2 actions do a lot more for our bodies than just wake us up.

We at Bright Side got very curious about this combination of yawning and stretching and we decided to show you some findings that actually surprised us.

1. Stretching will realign the muscles.

When we sleep our muscles lose tone and gravity pulls the fluid into one place along our back. When we stretch, it massages the fluid, helping it gently return to its regular position. But, as our nerve impulses reach their limit, the muscles protect themselves from overstretching by overpowering them.

For just a moment, stretching will release the muscles from their resting place, so that they can work on their proper positioning. This process will help us with calculating the movements we need to get up and start moving.

2. It can decrease stress.

When we yawn and stretch at the same time we help the blood flow, which automatically reduces stress. This is because the part of the nervous system that is responsible for our heart rate, digestion, and endocrine functions gets a jump start.

3. It can help with stiffness and tightness.

Spending more time in a single position can affect our body and cause tightness and stiffness. When we stretch after waking up it works out the joints and muscles, which helps in maintaining a wider scope of mobility even if we don’t get into complex activities. It’s telling our brain that it’s time to get up.

4. It’ll help the brain send stronger signals to the muscles.

Stretching helps in reestablishing the communication between the brain and the muscles. This means that as we stretch our brain sends stronger signals to our muscles. Then the feedback received back lets the brain work on how strong the signals should be to perform different tasks.

5. Yawning keeps you awake.

Yawning cools down the brain and it helps us to stay awake. We also yawn when we are bored to stay alert and continue the task at hand.

We can also see stretching as a software reset. This is because it jump-starts the nervous system and it increases the speed of the background processes that keep us alert and awake during the day. In addition, it increases the heart rate and pushes the blood to our extremities.

Have you noticed when you yawn and stretch the most? Does it help you stay awake?


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I see, I don't always do this but then my spine hurts during the day... guess I have to start stretching in the morning


I love the idea that when we yawn a blind person might think we are screaming :D


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