Sleep Disorders Glossary – A to M

By on June 25, 2012

For Sleep Glossary N to Z

Sleep Disorders Glossary - A to MA

Adolescent Sleep Disorders: Delay in sleep onset generally of two hours experienced in teenagers.
Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome: The disorder in which the person goes to bed early very early in the evening period i.e. generally between 6PM and 8PM and wakes up very early in the morning i.e. around 3AM.
Alpha-Delta Sleep: This is the condition in which the delta waves of brain mix up with alpha brainwaves. Delta waves are the deep sleep waves and alpha waves are the relaxed wakefulness during sleep.
Altitude Insomnia: This is type of insomnia that occurs in people move to higher altitudes. This generally occurs in travelers who visit places that are 2000m above sea level.
Apnea: Also termed as apnoea, which is the medical term used for denoting suspension of a person’s external breathing.
Apnea/Hypopnea Index: It is abbreviated as AHI, which is the index for determining the severity of sleep apnea, which includes both apnea and hypopnea.
Arousal parasomnia: Also known as sleep sex, or sexsomnia, in which person involves in sexual activities in sleep.
Automatic positive airway pressure machine: abbreviated as APAP machine is a type of respiratory machine, which is used for the treatment of sleep apnea. This machine monitors the breathing abnormalities of the patient and automatically adjusts the appropriate air pressure.


Benzodiazepines: This is psychotic drug, which is also used for treating insomnia, sleep walking, REM Sleep disorder, Restless legs syndrome, and Periodic limb movement disorder.
Bilevel positive airway pressure machine: It is abbreviated as BiPAP, is another type of respiratory machine, which is also used for treating sleep apnea. It is also known as VPAP i.e. Variable positive airway pressure machine.
Biological rhythms or Biological clock: This is the phenomenon, which explains the living beings response with respect to the solar and lunar rhythms. This mechanism regulates the functioning of the body during the 24hours cycle (i.e. day-night cycle).
Bright light therapy: This is a process, which is used for treating circadian rhythm disturbances such as Seasonal affective disorder.


Cataplexy: It condition is generally observed in people suffering with narcolepsy. This is a condition in which a person experiences sudden loss of muscle movement, which is most often triggered by emotions.
Central hypoventilation syndrome: It is a central nervous system disorder, in which there is an impairment or absence of control over breathing.
Central sleep apnea: This is a type of sleep apnea, in which there is absence of breathing for 10 to 30 seconds during sleep. This is generally caused due to brain’s failure of sending signal to the chest muscles for proper breathing.
Chronic Insomnia: This is type of insomnia, in which the symptoms of insomnia i.e sleeplessness persists for more than a month.
Chronotherapy: It is treatment method used for treating sleep disorders by altering the circadian rhythm of the person.
Circadian Rhythm: It natural rhythm which is responsible many biological activities in living organisms such as sleep wake patterns, body temperature, hormonal changes, etc. during the 24 hours day-night cycle.
Continuous positive airway pressure machine: It is abbreviated as CPAP, which is another respiratory device used for treating sleep apnea.
Confusional Arousals: This is type of NREM parasomnia, which is most often seen in children, in which occasional inconsolable crying is seen in children during sleep.


Deep sleep or Delta sleep ot Slow wave sleep: It is the stage 3 and stage 4 of NREM sleep.
Delayed sleep phase syndrome: This is type of circadian rhythm sleep disorder in which the person falls asleep mostly after midnight, and as a result feels difficulty to wake up in the morning.
Delta waves: These are the high amplitude brain waves, which are associated with the deep sleep stage of the sleep cycle.
Difficulty falling sleep alone: This is generally observed in children, who have not learnt sleeping alone. These children will often face problem in falling asleep, or in maintaining the sleep during night.
Diurnal: It is the activity, which keeps the plants and animals active during the daytime.
Dopaminergic Agents: These drugs are used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and also in treating restless legs syndrome, and periodic limb movement disorder.
Dreams: This is a phenomenon in which a series of images, emotions, sensations, and ideas are experienced in mind during sleep.
Drowsiness or Sleepiness or Somnolence: It is near-sleep stage, in which a person experiences a strong desire to fall asleep.
Dyssomnia: This is classification of sleep disorders in which a person feels difficulty to fall asleep or to maintain the sleep for long hours.


Epworth sleepiness scale: In short abbreviated as ESS is the scale used for measuring daytime sleepiness.
Excessive daytime sleepiness or Hypersomnia or Somnolence: It is referred to persistent sleepiness in the daytime even after having sufficient sleep in the night.
Expiratory positive airway pressure: This is also another respiratory device used for treating sleep apnea.


Fatigue: It is state of person in which he experiences physical and mental weakness, tiredness, and lack of energy.
Fibromyalgia: It is a disorder in which the patient experiences chronic pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.


Gamma-Aminobutyric acid or GABA: It is an amino acid transmitter of brain, which involves in muscle relaxation, inducing sleep, etc.


Habitual snorer: Habitual snorer is the person who snores in the sleep regularly.
Homeostatic regulation of sleep: It refers to the mechanism, in which the neurobiological signals that increases the urge of sleep in human beings.
Humidification: This is the process of adding moisture airflow from the CPAP machine in the treatment of Obstructive sleep apnea.
Hyoid Suspension: This is a surgical method of treating sleep apnea and snoring. In this surgery, the hyoid bone is moved forward, and thereby improves the airway during sleep.
Hypercapnia: This is a condition, in which there is excessive amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the blood. It is also known by the name hypercarbia.
Hyperirritability: It is nothing but excessive irritability. This is most often observed in the people who are deprived of sleep.
Hypersomnia: This is the condition of excessive sleepiness for long hours and feeling difficulty in waking up. It is also associated with not feeling refreshed even after having such long sleep.
Hypnagogic hallucinations: This is a transitional state, which occurs generally during the sleep onset. This is generally the half-asleep or half-awake state, which accompanies vivid hallucinations.
Hypnic Jerk: It is also known as sleep start, or night start. It is sudden twitching of muscles (myoclonic twitch), which is experienced just when a person starts falling asleep. In involves a jump like feeling, resulting in sudden awakening for a moment.
Hypnogram: It is a graphical representation of various stages of sleep with respect to the hours of sleep.
Hypnophobia: It is known by the name somniphobia, which is the fear of falling sleep. This may be the result of experiencing repeated nightmares.
Hypopnea: This is a condition, which involves low or shallow breathing rates during sleep.
Hypoxia: This is a condition in which there are inadequate levels of oxygen is observed in whole body, or in particular region of the body.


Idiopathic hypersomnia: It is characterized as the excessive daytime sleepiness. The hypersomnia, when the causes of the disorder are unknown, it is known as Idiopathic insomnia.
Inappropriate sleep episodes: These are nothing but unplanned, and sudden sleep episodes that occur during unsafe situations like driving. Sleep deprivation is the main cause of these episodes.
Insomnia: It is a sleep disorder, in which the patient faces the problem of falling asleep.
Intermediary sleep stage: It is nothing but the 2nd stage of NREM of sleep.
Inspiratory positive airway pressure: It is one more type of respiratory device used for treating sleep apnea.


Jetlag: It is a temporary condition caused due to alteration of body’s circadian rhythm, which is in turn an outcome of travelling across several time zones through airways. It is medically known as desynchronosis.


Kleine-Levin syndrome: This is a neurological disorder, which is in short abbreviated as KLS. Sometimes, it is even called by the name sleeping beauty syndrome. The person suffering with this disease will have persistent episodes of excessive sleeping and eating.


Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty: It is surgical method used for treating snoring, in which the some parts or whole uvula, which is present in the rear of tongue is removed with the help of laser.
Latency Period or Sleep Onset Latency: It is the time taken for going from full wakefulness to sleep.
Light Sleep: It is the 1st, 2nd and 3rd stage of sleep, which is nothing but NREM sleep stages.
Limit Setting Sleep Disorder: This is typical sleep disorder usually seen in toddlers, which is characterized by not setting proper bedtime limits by the care takers. This indeed results in delay in bedtime and inadequate sleep in toddlers.
Light Therapy: This therapy is used to treat circadian rhythm disorders, which include delayed sleep phase disorder and seasonal affective disorder. This therapy includes exposure of light on the patient.
Lingualplasty: This is another surgical method used for treating sleep apnea and snoring. This treatment involves in surgical resection of tongue.


Macroglossia: An unusual enlarged tongue is medically known as Macroglossia.
Maxillomandibular Advancement: It is one more surgical method used for treating Sleep apnea. It is also known by the names MMA, orthognathic surgery, Bimaxillary advancement (Bi-Max), Maxillomandibular Osteotomy (MMO). This is a surgical procedure of moving the top and bottom of job forward.
Melatonin: It is a hormone, which is derived from Serotonin. It is responsible for the sleep, aging and reproduction in mammals. It is chemically known as N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine.
Mixed Sleep Apnea: It is sometimes called as complex sleep apnea, which is the combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Multiple Sleep Latency Test: This test is used for finding the sleep latency of a person.

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