Sleep and Breathing

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 157–159 | Cite as

Excessive yawning and thermoregulation: two case histories of chronic, debilitating bouts of yawning

  • Gordon G. GallupJr.
  • Andrew C. GallupEmail author
Case Report



This report details the case histories of two women who suffer from chronic and debilitating episodes of excessive yawning in the absence of sleep problems.


Each woman independently provided information and answered questions about their excessive yawning symptoms and medical histories.


Both women show signs of thermoregulatory dysfunction, and each reports symptom relief and/or the postponement of yawning attacks through means of behavioral cooling. One woman recorded her body temperature before and after bouts of yawning, revealing a significant drop in temperature following each episode (p < 0.05).


The trigger for yawning in these patients appears to be related to increases in body/brain temperature. These cases are consistent with growing evidence showing that recurrent episodes of excessive yawning are not necessarily associated with a sleep disorder, but rather may be indicative of thermoregulatory dysfunction.


Brain cooling Sleep disorder Thermoregulation Yawning 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity at AlbanyAlbanyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesBinghamton UniversityBinghamtonUSA

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