Are you yawning all the time? Yawning is an involuntary process that is usually triggered when you are tired. Some yawns are short and fast, but some are long and drawn out. Some people will have other bodily reactions when they yawn, such as watery eyes, tearing up, a nose that runs, the need to stretch their body, and audible sighs or noises.
Yawning all the time can definitely be troublesome, especially if you can’t find any reason for it. Most people yawn excessively when they are very tired or fatigued, or when they are staying up later than they usually do. But when yawning happens for no apparent reason, it can be cause for worry.
Why Do I Yawn All the Time?
Excessive yawning, or yawning that leads to personal or professional problems because it happens so frequently, can be caused by many problems. Here are a few of the more common reasons why you might be yawning all the time:
- Being very fatigued, drowsy or tired
- Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, that leads to restless sleep
- Disorders that can cause you to be inappropriately tired or sleepy, such as narcolepsy
- Some medications, such as those that are used to treat depression or anxiety, might have side effects that include making you very tired
Keep in mind that sometimes, yawning all the time is a sign of a serious underlying condition. Medical conditions that cause a vasovagal reaction can lead to excessive yawning, such as multiple sclerosis, liver failure, progressive supra nuclear palsy, epilepsy, a brain tumor, encephalitis, or bleeding around the aorta. An impending heart attack can also cause sudden, excessive yawning.
This happens because these medical conditions lead to activity on the vagal nerve, which can cause the blood pressure and heart rate to drop. The body’s natural response to this change is to yawn.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
- If you have these above mentioned problems, you will likely have other symptoms as well. Some common symptoms include nausea, heart palpitation, fainting and dizziness. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms as well as excessive yawning, see your doctor a soon as possible.
- If you are suffering from excessive yawning that has no explanation, doesn’t go away with adequate sleep, and is severe enough to affect your day-to-day life, it’s time to see a doctor.
- You might also experience yawning with excessive sleepiness. If this happens frequently, your doctor needs to know. There could be an underlying condition, such as sleep apnea, that needs immediate treatment.
How to Get Diagnosed
Remember that yawning all the time can mean many things. An accurate diagnosis is the key to making sure that you are treating the proper condition. Since so many diseases and illnesses might have excessive yawning as a symptom, it is important to speak to a doctor who can rule out several of the underlying problems and help you figure out exactly what is causing you to yawn all the time.
Your doctor will ask many questions, and possibly run tests to determine what is going on. Sometimes there is more than one issue going on – for instance, obesity can often lead to sleep apnea, which can then lead to excessive yawning. Your doctor can also assess whether you are getting enough oxygen, potential problems with your heart, and more.
How to Deal with Minor Causes of Excessive Yawning
1. Get Moving
If you work inside, where there is little natural light, or if you are in a very sedentary job, it might be common for you to yawn excessively throughout the day. Pump up your oxygen levels by going for a brief walk outside during breaks. If you can work near a window, that might help as well. Getting the blood pumping, such as with a brief walk for exercise, is often all it takes to overcome the urge to yawn.
2. Breathe Through Nose
Yawning often brings in cooling air, and that can help regulate the brain’s temperature. Help your body do this by breathing through your nose. This helps cool the blood vessels in the nasal cavity, and this makes you less likely to yawn. If you want to avoid a yawn but feel like one is coming, take a few deep breaths through your nose. Exhale the warm air through your mouth and do it again.
3. Cool Down
Sometimes eating something cool will act in a similar way. Drink or eat something straight from the refrigerator to help lower your body temperature and fight the urge to yawn.
Experience of Others
Some people have had unfortunate experiences with excessive yawning. Here is what one person shared about their issues:
“When my excessive yawning began, it was only an occasional moment when I would yawn three or four times. But then those moments became more common, and soon I was yawning all the time, all day long. Regular yawns weren’t enough – it would feel as though I wasn’t getting enough oxygen, and so I could yawn numerous times in a row. Big, hard yawns that actually hurt my jaw! Soon I was waking up in the middle of the night because I was yawning so much.
I saw four different doctors. Each one said that it was just stress, or I wasn’t sleeping enough, or I needed to relax. Three of them gave me medications for anti-anxiety. The other was convinced that I was depressed and insisted that I see a counselor. I finally saw a doctor who ran blood tests, and sure enough, there was a problem – my thyroid wasn’t acting right. I took medication for that and within days, the problem was gone. Absolutely gone!
For me, the right diagnosis was a hormonal imbalance. The right diagnosis makes a difference! Never let anyone tell you otherwise.”