Deccan Chronicle

How to kill that yawn

Deccan Chronicle| Bipin Dani

Published on: June 22, 2019 | Updated on: June 22, 2019

Here are some practical tips by two doctors from India and Sri Lanka on how to prevent a yawn.

Sarfaraz Ahmed

Sarfaraz Ahmed

Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was caught on the wrong foot when he was seen yawning on camera in the middle of the India-Pakistan World Cup match last Sunday. Here are some practical tips by two doctors from India and Sri Lanka on how to prevent a yawn.

"Like some of the many bodily phenomena which medicine cannot explain with conviction and only theorise upon, yawning is one. Though it is well-known that yawning is associated with less sleep, boredom and tiredness, it is often but not always so. Medical conditions like sleep apnoea, obesity, migraine, stress, anxiety and stroke can cause excessive yawning but surprisingly a majority of the times it may not have any cause. Scientists cite anything from providing more oxygen to the brain to brain cooling as the reasons why a person yawns but the exact etiopathogenesis remains unclear," Dr Zubin Vaid, the Medical Director at Unique Hospital in Mumbai, explains.

"The easiest and most effective way is to breathe in deeply and give out a prolonged exhalation, using more of the abdominal and diaphragm muscles rather than the chest. This can be repeated till such time that the yawning stops. Simultaneously think about something exciting and happy probably some memorable moments in your life."

 "A glass of cold water or some cold beverage might help. Chew a mint or gum."
"Take a short nap — even a 5-10 min nap can sometimes rewire your brain circuitry stopping the cycle of yawns."

Recall happy memories

Sri Lanka’s Prof. Arjuna de Silva, the sports medicine expert, who has worked with Sri Lankan cricketers, also believes that chewing gum and recalling the memorable events is a remedy to stop yawning.

Speaking from Colombo, he said, "Yawning generally happens when we are tired or bored. In the Sasfaraz situation he had a big match against arguably the best Indian team ever and so he can be forgiven for having a sleepless night before the match. Some people can yawn when they are nervous or if they see anyone else yawing. Finally Sarfaraz is at risk for having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). His BMI is 24.6. Asian cut off for BMI is 23. Anyone with day time sleepiness should be checked out for OSA and also have a thyroid test. Sarfraz should chew gum. It will help him concentrate and less likely to be distracted," he added.

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