Children aren’t the only ones who benefit from Nighty Night products. Parents frequently write us to say that watching our Nighty Night video with their children or listening to the Nighty Night CD of soothing music also helps them relax, let go of daily worries, and prepare for sleep. What’s good for the child is good for the parent!
No matter what their age, people generally respond to certain stimuli in the same way. Most adults have witnessed the yawns are contagious phenomenon where one yawn triggers a succession of yawns that sweeps through an audience or meeting room. While we still don’t know why yawns are catching, a 2008 Finnish study shed some light on the phenomenon.
While studying neuron activity during brain scans, Finnish researchers at the Helsinki University of Technology were able to determine that contagious yawning occurs at the unconscious level. The brain circuitry we use to learn new skills by consciously analyzing and mimicking the actions of other people — called the mirror-neuron system — is not activated when contagious yawning occurs. The need to yawn after watching someone else yawn appears to be an automatic behavioral act that continues to baffle researchers.
It’s not necessary to understand why contagious yawning occurs to know that it works. The Nighty Night video uses contagious yawning to help induce sleep. As animals yawn, settle down for sleep and close their eyes, human viewers can’t help but mimic their actions — whether they’re 2 years old, 45 or 80!