Menguap adalah sebuah gerakan refleks menarik dan menghembuskan napas yang sering terjadi saat seseorang merasa letih atau mengantuk. Belum diketahui sebab mengapa orang-orang menguap, namun seringkali dikatakan bahwa penyebabnya adalah jumlah oksigen di paru-paru yang rendah. Di dalam paru-paru kita, terdapat gelembung -gelembung alveoli. Gelembung ini akan kempes jika tidak mendapat udara segar dalam jumlah cukup. Pernah liat balon kempes? Nah, seperti itu. Gara-gara si alveoli ini kempes, paru-paru akan sedikit ‘kejang’. Otak kita pun mengkomando tubuh untuk untuk melakukan sesuatu yang merangsang pemasukan udara segar kembali. Salah satunya adalah dengan menguap. Saat kita menguap, lebih banyak udara masuk ke dalam paru-paru. Makanya, setelah menguap kadang kita merasa sedikit lebih segar.Menguap mudah sekali menular - 55% orang-orang yang melihat seseorang menguap akan turut menguap dalam waktu lima menit berikutnya. Dalam beberapa budaya, menguap merupakan suatu sikap antisosial sehingga saat menguap orang-orang dari kebudayaan tersebut akan menutup mulut mereka.
Bagaimana jika menguap jika kita sedang shalat?
Menutupi Mulut Saat Sholat, Bolehkah?

Diantara perkara yang perlu diperhatikan ketika sholat, seorang tidak boleh menutupi mulutnya dengan sesuatu apapun, baik berupa tangan, kain, masker, dan lainnya.
Seorang dilarang shalat dalam keadaan menutupi mulut berdasarkan hadits dari Abu Hurairah -radhiyallahu ‘anhu-,
"Sesungguhnya Rasulullah -Shollallahu ‘alaihi wasallam- melarang sadel dalam shalat dan seseorang menutupi mulutnya". [HR. Abu Dawud (643), At-Tirmidziy (378), Ibnu Khuzaimah (772), Ahmad (2/295 & 341), dan Al-Hakim (1/253). Di-hasan-kan oleh Syaikh Al-Albaniy Al-Atsariy dalam Takhrij Al-Misykah (764)]
Jadi, seorang dilarang menutupkan tangan pada mulut ketika shalat, kecuali jika sedang menguap, maka justru disunnahkan untuk meletakkan (menutupkan) tangan pada mulut, karena Nabi -Shallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam- bersabda,
"Jika salah seorang dari kalian menguap, hendaklah dia menahan (menutup) mulutnya dengan tangan, karena sesungguhnya setan akan masuk". [HR. Muslim dalam Shohih-nya (2995)]
Maka seorang diberi keringanan untuk menutupi mulutnya dengan menggunakan tangannya saat ia menguap dalam sholat. Tapi seusai menguap, ia kembali sebagaimana biasanya, tanpa menutupi mulutnya lagi.
Little mystery: Why do we yawn?
Dr. Barry Make, a pulmonologist at National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, says the answer is not because we are tired or bored — although that’s the common perception. Read on for his explanation.
The most plausible explanation, and the one that is taught in medical school, is that we yawn because oxygen levels in our lungs are low.
THE TRUTH IS that we don’t completely understand why people, or animals for that matter, yawn. It’s widely assumed that yawning occurs because we are tired or bored or because we see someone else doing it, but there isn’t any hard evidence to support these beliefs.
The most plausible explanation, and the one that is taught in medical school, is that we yawn because oxygen levels in our lungs are low. Studies have shown that during normal, at-rest breathing, we don’t use anywhere near our lung capacity; for the most part, we just use the air sacs at the bottom of the lungs. If the air sacs, called alveoli, don’t get fresh air, they partially collapse and the lungs stiffen a bit. As a result, it’s believed, our brain prompts the body to either sigh or take a yawn to get more air into the lungs.
But certain aspects of yawning remain even more mysterious. Fetuses, for instances, have been observed yawning in the womb, yet it’s known that they don’t take oxygen in through their lungs. And yawning seems to be a symptom of multiple sclerosis and other medical conditions, for reasons unclear.
The average yawn lasts about six seconds. Next time you're in a meeting, try this little experiment: Take a big yawn, cover your mouth out of courtesy, and watch and see how many people yawn. There's a good chance that you'll set off a chain reaction of yawns. Before you finish reading this question of the day, it's likely that you will yawn at least once. Don't misunderstand, we aren't intending to bore you, but just reading about yawning will make you yawn, just as seeing or hearing someone else yawn makes us yawn.
What's behind this mysterious epidemic of yawning? First, let's look at what a yawn is. Yawning is an involuntary action that causes us to open our mouths wide and breathe in deeply. We know it's involuntary because we do it even before we are born. Research shows that 11-week-old fetuses yawn.
There are many parts of the body that are in action when you yawn. First, your mouth opens and jaw drops, allowing as much air to be taken in as possible. When you inhale, the air taken in is filling your lungs. Your abdominal muscles flex and your diaphragm is pushed down. The air you breath in expands the lungs to capacity and then some of the air is blown back out.
Common Yawning TheoriesWhile the dictionary tells us that yawning is caused by being fatigued, drowsy or bored, scientists are discovering that there is more to yawning than what most people think. Not much is known about why we yawn or if it serves any useful function, and very little research has been done on the subject. However, there are several theories about why we yawn. Here are the three most common theories:
The Physiological Theory -- Our bodies induce yawning to drawn in more oxygen or remove a build-up of carbon dioxide. This theory helps explain why we yawn in groups. Larger groups produce more carbon dioxide, which means our bodies would act to draw in more oxygen and get rid of the excess carbon dioxide. However, if our bodies make us yawn to drawn in needed oxygen, wouldn't we yawn during exercise? Robert Provine, a psychologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a leading expert on yawning, has tested this theory. Giving people additional oxygen didn't decrease yawning and decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide in a subject's environment also didn't prevent yawning.
The Evolution Theory -- Some think that yawning is something that began with our ancestors, who used yawning to show their teeth and intimidate others. An offshoot of this theory is the idea that yawning developed from early man as a signal for us to change activities.
The Boredom Theory -- In the dictionary, yawning is said to be caused by boredom, fatigue or drowsiness. Although we do tend to yawn when bored or tired, this theory doesn't explain why Olympic athletes yawn right before they compete in their event. It's doubtful that they are bored with the world watching them.
Interesting Yawning Facts
The average yawn lasts about six seconds. Your heart rate can rise as much as 30 percent during a yawn. 55 percent of people will yawn within five minutes of seeing someone else yawn. Blind people yawn more after hearing an audio tape of people yawning. Reading about yawning will make you yawn. Olympic athletes often yawn before competition. The simple truth is that even though humans have been yawning for possibly as long as they have existed, we have no clue as to why we do it. Maybe it serves some healthful purpose. It does cause us to draw in more air and our hearts to race faster than normal, but so does exercise.
There's still much we don't understand about our own brains, so maybe yawning is triggered by some area of the brain we have yet to discover. We do know that yawning is not limited to man. Cats, dogs, even fish yawn, which leads us back to the idea that yawning is some form of communication.

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