Yawning, Excessive Yawning

  • Definitions
  1. Yawning
    1. Involuntary deep inspiration with the mouth open, typically stretched to maximal opening, followed by slow expiration
    2. Yawning, on average, lasts 5 seconds, and is often associated with drowsiness or boredom
    3. Often triggered when others yawn (or even reading or thinking about Yawning)
  • Physiology
  1. Yawning has a positive effect on arousal and Heart Rate, possibly from carotid body stimulation
    1. Yawning is often observed during times of low social interaction (e.g. lectures, studying, driving, watching television)
  2. Yawning may also provide another mechanism of Thermoregulation, providing cooling to counter Temperature increase
  3. Yawning clears eustachian tube pressure (similar to Valsalva Maneuver activity)
  4. Yawning is considered among empathy skills in humans (hence the triggered Yawning when others yawn)