What causes excessive yawning?
Excessive yawning occurs when the muscles in your face do not relax enough during sleep. The muscles are relaxed because they have been stimulated by something else (e.g., excitement). When this happens, the brain sends a signal to the body that it needs rest. However, the body does not need to rest; it needs to recover from some activity or stressor. Therefore, the body continues to work overtime even though there is no longer any immediate threat. The result is that your muscles continue working overtime until they become tired and then they begin to relax again.
The main cause of yawning is the release of endorphins. Endorphins are naturally occurring chemicals produced by the human body which help relieve pain and stress. They are released into the blood stream when you engage in activities that require mental effort such as thinking, concentrating, or solving problems.
These same natural chemicals also help prevent fatigue and promote alertness. You may have heard about how endorphin levels increase after exercise or strenuous physical activity!
Yawning is a natural response to boredom, pain, and anxiety. It is a way for the body to say it needs to rest and recover. This process helps maintain energy levels and promote a feeling of calmness during periods of low energy.
Unfortunately, when a person exhibits excessive yawning they are unable to complete these necessary steps to recovery. This unnatural stressor on your brain is building up and must be dealt with immediately. If left unchecked, the stressor could lead to brain cell death or an unnatural buildup of certain brain chemicals.
Some common causes of excessive yawning are:
Sleep deprivation: If you do not get enough sleep, your brain will become overworked and send out signals that it needs rest.
Mental illness: Such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression can cause excessive yawning as a side effect of medication.
Stress: Yawning can be a sign of stress. If you are experiencing high stress levels at work, school, or from your personal relationships it can contribute to excessive yawning.
Treatment for excessive yawning:
The first step to treating excessive yawning is determining the root cause. The following questions will help you assess why you are yawning excessively:
Are you getting enough sleep?
Are you under a lot of stress?
Are you mentally or physically fatigued?
Once you answer these questions, you can develop a treatment plan that will help you manage your yawning. If you are sleep deprived, then you need to start going to bed earlier or cut back on the amount of time you spend sleeping during the day. If you are experiencing high amounts of stress in your life, then finding ways to manage your stress is necessary. In this fast-paced, high-tech world many people forget that it is okay to take time to relax!
Sometimes, excessive yawning can be a sign of a more serious condition. If you notice that you are yawning excessively and do not have any of the risk factors mentioned above then you should speak to your doctor about your concerns. In some cases, excessive yawning can be caused by a disease of the brain or nervous system such as multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia.
These conditions need to be ruled out by a professional to ensure your general health and safety.
However, if you do fall within the criteria of sleep deprivation or high stress levels, then you can take steps to manage your yawning right now. You should start going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night until you reach a healthy sleep cycle. Additionally, practicing deep breathing exercises and meditation can help combat stress levels and promote relaxation.
If you yawn excessively in the car, then adjust your position. Instead of sitting up straight, slump down in your seat and prop your head up against the headrest. This should cut down on the intensity of your yawns while you’re driving.
The post The Truth About Excessive Yawning appeared first on New Health Guide.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Yawning and thermoregulation by AC Gallup, GG Gallup Jr – Physiology & behavior, 2008 – Elsevier
Compulsive yawning as migraine premonitory symptom by DE Jacome – Cephalalgia, 2001 – journals.sagepub.com
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PatientsLikeMe: Consumer health vocabulary as a folksonomy by CA Smith, PJ Wicks – AMIA annual symposium proceedings, 2008 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Yawning in depression: worth looking into by T Hensch, A Blume, D Böttger, C Sander… – …, 2015 – academia.edu