- Updated on September 10, 2020
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author
- Medically Reviewed by Naziliya Rakhimova, MD
Stop Excessive Yawning: It Causes Low Brain O2 and CO2
Causes of yawning a lot
The central cause of excessive yawning or yawning a lot is low CO2 (carbon dioxide) and oxygen levels in brain cells. Most modern people constantly have low brain and body oxygenation. Let us consider why.
The physiological norm for breathing at rest (for adults) is only 6 L/min. This means that modern people breathe about 2 times more air than the norm, and almost 3 times more than people living 80-100 years ago, when excessive yawning was a very rare complaint.
Over-breathing means that there are excessive losses of CO2. This causes spasm or constriction of arteries and reduced perfusion of all vital organs (the brain and heart too) and reduced O2 delivery. Therefore, modern people suffer from low CO2 and O2 levels in body and brain cells. CO2, as dozens of clinical studies proved, is a potent sedative and tranquilizer of the nerve cells (see links below), while O2 is also crucial for normal nerve cell function.
These brain abnormalities can lead to poor sleep, a lack of deep stages of sleep that provides deep mental and muscular recovery and relaxation. This often leads to sleep apnea (disordered breathing during sleep) that results in sleepiness during the day and yawning a lot. Often common outcomes are headaches with anxiety. Many people develop heart problems as well.
Now we know the main cause of excessive yawning. Yawning a lot means that you likely have less than 20 s for the body O2 test. It is known that over-breathing has some features of being contagious, but what about yawning?
Is Excessive yawning contagious?
There are theories and observations that suggest that yawning is a contagious form of social behavior present in many wild animals. Surely, when driven by a natural desire to sleep, yawning is contagious.
However, millions of people experience constant yawning every day even when they are alone or surrounded by people who do not yawn at all.
In order to stop yawning, one can apply a simple breathing exercise that eliminates this symptom in about 1 minute and provides the body with much more energy in 2-3 minutes.
How to stop Excessive yawning a lot (breathing treatment)
After your usual exhalation, start breath holding until you get a desire to breathe more. For relatively healthy and fit people, this breath holding can be done until a medium desire to breathe. After breath holding, you need to accumulate CO2 using the breathing pattern shown here:
Take a smaller (shorter) inhalation using the diaphragm or abdominal muscles and then relax to exhale. Maintain this pattern for about 1-2 minutes. This exercise increases brain and body O2 and CO2 levels by nearly 10-20%. These numbers look small, but it is enough for most cases to reset the breathing center in the brain to easier and regular breathing without the desire to yawn. For many people, as mentioned above, even doing a longer breath hold helps a lot (if it is safe to do) to stop constant yawning.
This symptom (yawning a lot) disappears when your brain and body O2 is over a certain number for the body oxygen test. In order to achieve this, one needs to get rid of excessive breathing and learn how to breathe slower and less (or closer to the medical norm). The exact number is provided as your bonus content.
You need to get over 30 seconds for the body O2 test 24/7 or all the time.