Excessive Yawning? Is that even a thing, you might wonder. Who doesn’t yawn? You might even find yourself yawning on waking up, at work or before you go to bed. It is with good reason that people attribute yawning with exhaustion, boredom or sleepiness.
Yawning is actually highly beneficial for your health – it cools the brain, improves blood circulation, and helps relieve stress. But, if you find yourself yawning often, it might not be so innocuous. It could signify some underlying medical problem.
So What is Excessive Yawning?
Medically speaking, yawning more than once a minute, is excessive yawning. It is a response to a vasovagal reaction, which some medical conditions trigger. The vagus nerve extends from the brain to the abdomen through the throat. Increased activity of this nerve causes frequent yawning.
The medical conditions you find below are what your excessive yawning could be indicating:
1. Sleep Disorders
If you are not getting enough sleep at night, it could very well be because you have contracted a sleep disorder. It could be insomnia, sleep apnoea, restless leg syndrome, circadian rhythm disorders, etc. All of these disorders cause disruption of your sleep. Eventually, not getting enough quality sleep will result in exhaustion and weariness, which will manifest as many yawns.
Everybody is familiar with anxiety. Higher degrees of worrying can prompt yawning. It has an effect on your respiratory system, your heart, and blood pressure. And all of this manifest as incessant yawning.
3. Heart Issues
Sometimes people yawn a lot in the days leading up to a heart attack. Yawning could also be warning you about bleeding around the heart. If you notice other signs like breathlessness, giddiness, nausea, consult a doctor right away.
Epilepsy or seizures almost always begins in the brain. Similar to after a stroke, the brain gets you to yawn to mitigate the harmful effects of seizures. Or you might be yawning because your energy levels have dipped after an attack.
A brain stroke may trigger excessive yawning in an attempt to bring down both the brain and the body’s temperature. This helps the brain to deal with the injury caused by the stroke.
6. Reaction to Medicines
Sometimes medicines you take could make you yawn, especially if these medications cause exhaustion and drowsiness. Here are some drugs that could be causing you to yawn excessively:
- Allergy drugs
- Pain medicines
Do not dismiss excessive yawning off as a slight annoyance that you have to endure daily. Consult a doctor who may change your medication or recommend diagnostic tests that will reveal if an illness is a cause for your fits of yawning. Take action before it is too late.
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