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Causes of Excessive Yawning

Yawning is normal when it happens when you are tired, probably at the end of the day. But, if you are yawning for as long as you are awake, it is time to know what is up with your body.

Mind Body By Ariba Khaliq / Sep 03, 2014

Is There Something Like Excessive Yawning?

Yes! Yawning is an involuntary process of inhaling deeply with an open mouth, filling the air with lungs. It is most often caused by sleepiness or fatigue. New research suggests that yawning helps to cool the temperature of the brain but too much yawning can be harmful. Excessive yawning is when you yawn often, even when you are not tired. It can deeply affect your personal and professional life. Let’s see what all can cause you to yawn excessively.

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A side-effect of anaemia (iron deficiency in blood), fatigue can go undiagnosed and cause excessive yawning throughout the day. Most people don’t take tiredness or drowsiness to be so serious as to go to a doctor. If you have been feeling excessively tired and finding yourself yawning too much, you probably should add some iron-rich foods to your diet. Also consider getting tested for anaemia.

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Most people feel tired towards the end of the day and start yawning, but some people feel fatigued and end up with an urge to sleep at almost the whole day. This is characterized as a neurological condition and is known as narcolepsy. This is not a very serious disease but may interfere with your performance and should be given medical attention.

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A thyroid that is slowly progressing regulates your metabolism and can cause you to feel extremely tired. If you don’t fit into other reasons that cause fatigue, and you find yourself yawning all the time, you might want to get your thyroid checked. A simple blood test would tell you if or not your thyroid is functioning normally.

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Vasovagal Reactions

Vasovagal reactions are defined as an involuntary reflex of your nervous system that slow your heart down, reduce your blood pressure and divert the blood to your legs instead of your head. This causes oxygen deprivation in your brain, causing yawning and even fainting.

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Some “energy boosting” drinks can actually do the opposite for you. Drinking coffee for instance, is supposed to give you the kick to work more attentively but too much of it can actually cause fatigue and yawning. This happens because high amount of energy is followed by energy drops. Foods that are high in sugars have this effect. If you notice you are yawning and feeling tired after eating, write down everything you eat for a week and how you feel after every meal.

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Certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that are used to treat depression or anxiety can cause yawning. Doctors are aware of excessive yawning as a side-effect of antidepressant therapy, however there isn’t enough research on this topic.

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Less Common Causes

Apart from the abovementioned causes, there are certain other less common reasons that can make you yawn too much. These include epilepsy, brain tumour or stroke, multiple sclerosis, and liver failure. If you or others have noticed you yawning too much lately, it makes sense to pay attention to these causes, talk to your doctor and get yourself tested.

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