We yawn when we feel sleepy, when we are tired or when we are bored. Most often, we don’t control when and when not to yawn, because the activity is normal and involuntary. But imagine a scenario in which you are in a very important meeting with your boss, and then you keep on yawning after every few minutes?
That is not only embarrassing but also a sign of disrespect, it shows that you are not paying attention to what is being said. Excessive yawning is viewed by most people as anti-social behavior. Even though it does not cause any serious health concerns, it happening all the time is just not normal. it may also be a sign of an underlying life-threatening problem.
In this article, we are going to look at the reasons for excessive yawning.
What causes chronic yawning?
If you are always having an urge to yawn all the time, then there is a cause for it. As I have said, constant yawning is not normal. Here are probable reasons why you could be having this problem.
Vasovagal reaction is a condition that causes slow heartbeats and affects the nerves to the blood vessels in the legs permitting those vessels to widen. The heart, therefore, pumps out little blood and the little blood tend to move to the legs rather than the head. This deprives the brain of oxygen causing frequent yawning to bridge the gap. It can also cause nausea and sometimes faint. The condition is triggered by intense emotions like pain or anxiety. The sight of blood also triggers vasovagal reactions in some people. Studies indicate that the condition affects more than 25% of the world population making it the most common cause this problem.
This could be a side effect of the medication you are undergoing. The drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease and depression always affect neurotransmitters and can trigger excess yawning. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), the most commonly prescribed antidepressants are known to cause excessive yawning as a side effect.
Prolonged Energy drink consumption
Let us end this discussion once, Energy drinks are harmful to your health. These drinks are full of caffeine and other nasty substances which will cause many health complications in your body. The caffeine that is used to make energy drinks stimulates adrenaline production which leads to sleepless nights. We all know that lack of enough sleep causes yawning and fatigue. Prolonged use of energy drinks can cause other serious complications which may, in the end, lead to your untimely DEATH.
If it happens when sleeping can be a sign of sleep apnea. This is a condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. It is a very serious condition which occurs when the upper airway becomes blocked repeatedly during sleep. This means the brain may not get enough oxygen triggering frequent yawning to supplement this deficit.
Most people yawn frequently when nervous or anxious. This is because anxiety stresses the body by causing physiological, psychological and emotional changes. The changes may include an increase in heart rate and tightening of the body muscles. These changes can trigger frequent yawning. [adapted from anxiety Centre]
Being overweight is almost synonymous with breathing problems and may, therefore, be the reason for your yawning problem. Excess fat in the body can inhibit the circulation of blood and in the process depriving it of oxygen. This increases the urge to yawn to fill the gap. Obesity can also cause anxiety and sleep disorders like sleep apnea which trigger this problem.
Treatment and prevention
Medication for this condition will be prescribed based on the underlying cause. You should, therefore, seek immediate medical attention if you feel that your yawns are becoming a major nuisance. However, the following ways can reduce the symptoms.
Even though some people complain of yawns after exercising, physical activities help to reduce this condition. Exercising especially if you are overweight will cut down the calories and enable blood circulation in the body. This will directly reduce it.
Get enough rest
The major cause is fatigue caused by lack of sleep. Ensure you get enough rest of at least six hours to avoid fatigue. If you have a hard time sleeping, then I suggest that you take a bath or just read a book to unwind before retiring to bed. Often, sleep is the best antidote to your problem.
According to Dr. Axe, breathing exercises offer a way to ease anxiety, improve sleep and boost your mood. As a person suffering from constant yawning, these exercises should come in handy. Breathing is an involuntary activity but breathing exercises and techniques are meant to control the way we do it. This controlled breathing sends signals to our nervous system that things are OK, which in turn neutralizes the effects of anxiety.
Check your diet
Energy drinks contain caffeine which causes sleeping problems. Avoiding them is a way of ensuring that you will get enough sleep and therefore reduce the yawns. You should avoid sugary foods or drinks after 3 p.m because it can lead to restless nights. Some experts suggest that taking cold drinks lowers the body temperature which in turn reduces yawning instantly. You should try that one out.
Sit in the right posture
Slouching on your desk puts a lot of pressure on your lungs which leads to yawning. You can prevent this by sitting in the right posture. You can also take short breaks by chatting with your friends or going for a walk. This prevents boredom and fatigue which are caused by sitting in the same position for too long.
Apart from the causes I have mentioned above, excessive cases can also be a sign of brain tumor, a ruptured blood vessel, liver failure, bleeding in or around the heart or epilepsy. Although these are very rare conditions, they are life-threatening. You should, therefore, be wary of sudden yawns that don’t go away even after trying out the above remedies.