Yawning occurs immediately before and after sleep, during tedious activities, as a result of its infectious quality or when you are tired, bored or when your brain is over-heated. The “infectious” nature is considered a instinctual reaction (seen in animals) to a signal from one member of the group reminding the others to stay alert.
You cannot completely eliminate yawning but can prevent it by following these steps:
. Practice Pranayama: Shallow and slow breathing decreases the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood stream which can cause yawning. Deep breathing exercises like pranayama ensure proper oxygenation.
. Avoid watching other people yawn: It is quite likely that watching another person yawn might trigger your brain induce yawning.
. Get good sleep: Fatigue is one of the major causes of yawning. Get at least 7-9 hrs of sleep every day.
. Have good posture: Sitting straight will ensure your diaphragm to breathe better and deeper as compared to slouching.
. Take short walks: Try to walk around your work space intermittently every few hours, this will ensure you breathe deeply and break monotony.
. Take cat naps: If you sleep less than 7 hrs, try to take short 10-15 min naps at least twice a day. This will make you feel refreshed and be more productive.
. Lick your lips: When you feel a yawn coming, lick your lips to avoid a yawn.
. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables: Eating junk food will make you feel tired faster inducing more yawns.
. Eat a small lunch: Don’t eat carbohydrate-rich, big lunches, because your body slows down everything else to digest the food you have eaten, making you feel drowsier.
. Exercise: Moderate physical activity at least once day will increase energy and prevent fatigue.
. Don’t skip meals: An empty stomach causes sleepiness in humans. Lack of food affects hypothalamus which regulates its production of sleep-causing hormones.
. Chew gum: It keeps your brain feeling active, preventing yawns.
. Keep cool: One reason we yawn is due to the brain feeling overheated, keeping your immediate environment cool will reduce yawning
. Cold beverages or fruits: Eating a cool piece of cucumber or watermelon and drinking cold drinks will keep your body cool.
. Use a cold compress: Press a cool compress against your head and hold it there for a minute or two. This will prevent you from yawning for quite some time.
. Avoid hot food: Hot foods overheat the body and induce more yawning.
. Cold baths: Taking cold baths in the morning will reduce yawning