Week of:
Mar 22, 2019

Why do we yawn?

(1) Hello Alice,

I have a bet with someone on the correct meaning of a YAWN. I think it is because we yawn as our bodies aren't getting enough oxygen. He claims it is specifically from being tired? What is the correct meaning please and thanks?

(2) Alice,

What is the purpose of a yawn?

Sleepy from oversleeping

(1) Dear Alice,

I am in my second year at college and I have found myself falling into an unhealthy sleeping pattern. I sleep mostly at night (I don't nap too much) and don't go to bed too late (usually between 12 a.m. to 2 a.m.). But, unless I have some huge incentive to get up in the morning (class, etc.), I can sleep extremely late (1 p.m. to 2 p.m.). This makes me end up feeling even sleepier throughout the rest of the day. How can I keep myself from oversleeping?

— Sleepy

(2) Alice,

Since final exams, I have been sleeping way more than I did during the semester. Normally, I can get by on six to eight hours a night, with maybe one morning to sleep late, if I've been leaning to the six-hour end for too many nights. And I would sometimes even wake up in the a.m. before any alarm clock and just get up since I would be wide awake. (Which was a good thing... )

But lately, I've been sleeping for eight to twelve hours a night, and still feel groggy when I do get up. I'm not doing anything noticeably different now than during the spring semester and don't think I'm depressed about anything. I would like to get up at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m. like I'm used to doing, but I just can't drag myself out of bed.

— Any suggestions?

Short sleep + long naps = Healthy?

Hi Alice,

I find that I'm most alert late at night, and at school I'll stay up till three or four in the morning. Since I've had morning classes in the past, I've tried to form a habit of going to bed earlier — around midnight or one — but realistically, I don't think this is ever going to happen. I was thinking of trying, when I go back to school this fall, to go to bed around three or four and sleep for four hours, and then also take a four-hour nap during the day. Is this a good solution, or will I be more tired than if I sleep eight hours straight at night? Thanks!