Reasons for Excessive Yawning

Updated April 17, 2017

Yawning is an involuntary action that causes a person to open his mouth while taking a deep breath. Most people yawn when they are tired or drowsy. Excessive yawning, even when a person is tired, occurs at an expected rate, and may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition.

Fatigue and Drowsiness

Fatigue and drowsiness are the most common causes of excessive yawning. Although failure to get enough sleep during the night is the main reason for feeling tired during the day, there are a number of medical conditions that may cause sleep deprivation, explain experts at Wellsphere. Urinary tract infections, anaemia, allergies and thyroid problems can produce fatigue, and result in excessive yawning.

Vasovagal Reaction

One of the symptoms of vasovagal reaction is excessive yawning, based on information from the University of Maryland Medical Center. Vasovagal reaction, a condition that results in fainting episodes, is an involuntary nervous system reflex that slows down the heart, causing it to pump less blood. At the same time the heart slows down, the blood vessels in the legs widen, causing the blood circulating in the body to go to the leg. With the brain deprived of oxygen, a person with vasovagal reaction faints. Lying down and elevating the legs may prevent fainting, but medical treatment is required if a medical condition is causing the vasovagal reaction.


Excessive yawning can be a sign of epilepsy, according to Epilepsy, most notably marked by seizures, is a neurological disorder that affects about three million Americans as of 2010. During a seizure, the nerves in the brain communicate abnormally, and the electrical signals from one group of nerve cells inundate other nerve cells in the brain. There is no cure for epilepsy, but there are treatments to manage the seizures.


Excessive yawning can be a sign that person will experience a migraine headache within one or two days. Migraine headaches are a chronic condition that cause a large amount of pain that may last for days, based on information from the When a person experiences a migraine, she may feel nauseous and very sensitive to light and sound. There is currently no cure for migraine headaches, but there are prescription medications and home remedies that ease the symptoms.

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About the Author

Wadia Whalen has been writing professionally since 2000. Her work has appeared in "WV South" and "Et Cetera," as well as in various online publications. Whalen has won several awards for her short stories, including the Wallace C. Knight Honors in Writing Award. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Marshall University.