Constant yawning – what’s behind this reflex?

Do you get up in the morning and instead of starting the day with energy, are you haunted by a yawn? Yawning is often an expression of tiredness. It is normal to show lack of sleep with this behavior.

However, do you tend to yawn all the time and is it a burden for you? Then you should find out why you yawn so often and what you can do about it.

The following is an overview of the various causes that lead to yawning. Maybe you will recognize yourself? If in doubt, it is also advisable to visit your family doctor to investigate the problem in more detail.


Probably the most common reason why you often feel the need to yawn is due to lack of sleep. Sleep disorders and the resulting tiredness are widespread in Germany. Millions of people regularly suffer from the disorders and a good quarter at least say that they experience sleep problems several times a month.

The causes of the yawn are poorly understood. There is clear evidence that fatigue leads to this phenomenon, but this is not certain. In addition, yawning doesn’t make you wake up. Possible explanations establish the connection between the lack of sleep and yawning, for example by cooling the brain or increasing the uptake of oxygen .

If you suffer from a lack of sleep, the reflex will occur more frequently in the morning and evening. It also becomes problematic when daytime sleepiness affects your concentration. At school and at work you are hardly able to achieve the desired performance and your quality of life decreases.

If you are constantly yawning and the underlying reason is a lack of sleep, you should urgently work on remedying the sleep disorders. Learn to fall asleep better and practice good sleep hygiene.


If, on the other hand, you suffer from depression, this is not only associated with a state of exhaustion , but also with states of anxiety . Yawning is also a social reflex and causes relaxation.

If you are suffering from depression, you will find it difficult to leave the tension behind you. Stress and fears are a constant companion. Therefore, yawning as a stress reliever could occur more frequently and thus stimulate the brain to relax.

Yawning is also a side effect of antidepressants . Discuss with your treating physician whether the medications might be related to this reflex.


Even “healthy” people without depression are exposed to high levels of stress in everyday life . Attempts are made to reconcile job and family and often there is not enough time for yourself.

The yawning can be used consciously to lose tension. More often, however, the reflex sets in unconsciously, so that you are more prone to it in stressful situations. Be it before an important presentation or even during sports.

If you yawn more often, this can be an indication that you are under greater stress. Then you should look for other measures to reduce stress. Meditation or light sport offer themselves as a balance.


As a form of sleep disorder, sleep apnea contributes to increased fatigue. The airways are blocked so that the supply of oxygen is reduced.

In addition to tiredness, sleep apnea also manifests itself in snoring while sleeping. The heartbeat can also be increased and those affected sometimes wake up nervous at night.

In many cases, a breathing mask is necessary to treat sleep apnea . This is drawn up at night in order to avoid breathing pauses and to ensure a continuous supply of oxygen. With this treatment , yawning should also be reduced.


Another cause that leads directly to fatigue is iron deficiency. Iron is the basic material for the formation of red blood cells. These in turn have the task of supplying the body with oxygen.

With an iron deficiency, sleep disturbances are to be expected and constant fatigue occurs. This is accompanied by yawning.

To compensate for the deficiency, foods with a higher iron content should be consumed. Red meat is ideal, but also peas, beans and spinach.

If the tiredness does not subside, the iron deficiency should be discussed with a doctor . More intensive therapy may be necessary to compensate for the deficiency.


First and foremost, yawning is due to fatigue. Accordingly, it is important to ensure a more restful sleep so that you wake up rested in the morning.


Sleep hygiene is one of the foundations for better sleep. This describes rules that help with sleep disorders and with which you can fall asleep better. This includes:

Adhere to regular bedtime
Do not use the bedroom as a study
Avoid smartphones and electronic screens in the evening
Use sleep ritual
No alcohol or caffeine

If you value strict sleep hygiene, you will feel the improvement after a period of getting used to it. In severe cases, it is also conceivable to carry out a sleep restriction or an evaluation should be carried out in a sleep laboratory .


In addition to eliminating the cause, there are simple tricks that can help suppress yawning. If it seems inappropriate if you yawn during an important presentation or do not want to give the impression of being tired, then you can use the following tricks.

Touch the tip of your tongue

If you feel that the yawning is approaching, then touch the tip of your tongue with your finger. This keeps the reflex under control.

Breathe deeply through your nose

Yawning ensures a better supply of oxygen. If you feel tired and want to counteract yawning, then consciously breathe through your nose. The deep breaths counteract tiredness and improve the oxygen supply.

Clench your teeth

If all else fails, you can try to fight the reflex. For a short time it may be possible to clench your teeth and suppress yawning. Over a longer period of time, however, this can result in tension and jaw pain. Therefore, it is more often advisable to just let the yawn happen.


If you yawn more often , this will be related to increased tiredness or stress. When yawning, you take a deep breath, supply the body with oxygen and lower the tension.

If you actually feel rested and are still often affected by yawning, then a visit to the family doctor will help Because yawning can also be caused by a serious illness that should be ruled out.

Otherwise, yawning is safe and not a cause for concern. It helps you to relax and afterwards you feel much more relaxed.

Jamie Clark

Hello, I’m Jamie Clark, 32 years old, and I have been living in the USA for a few years.
Since I was a child, I have suffered from a house dust allergy, severely affecting me. I felt the effects both while exercising and while sleeping. Constant sneezing after getting up and difficult breathing were the consequences. The allergy has also developed into asthma, which is still a sporting restriction today.

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