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Commonly Used Topics When Discussing Sleep

The vocabulary of sleep or sleeplessness has many words that might not be familiar to many people. Here are a few words that you might see and an explanation of their meanings.

Common Sleep Topics

  • ASPS or Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome – When your daily sleep / wake cycle are advanced or your sleep phase occurs ahead of the normal bedtime and your wake time is too early, it is known as a circadian rhythm disorder. This can result in sleepiness early in the evening and a wake up well before dawn.
  • Apnea – It is used often to describe the cessation of breath or airflow from the mouth and the nostrils for ten seconds or more. Its literal meaning is “no breath.” Read our article for information on what is sleep apnea?
  • Auto-PAP or CPAP – Also known as Auto Adjusting Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device, it is a machine that monitors changes in breathing and will automatically make adjustments to the pressure to allow proper airflow. Check out our review of CPAP machines.
  • Bi-Level – This is similar to a CPAP machine but is a more expensive type of machine that provides higher pressure for inhalation and lower pressure for exhalation. It is often liked better by patients than other machines.
  • Biological Clock – A process in the brain that will regulate your biological rhythm including the sleep/wake cycle and other biological fluctuations like hibernation, reproductive cycles, hormone secretion and other bodily functions.
  • Bruxism – This is a term used to describe clenching your jaws or grinding your teeth during sleep. It causes stress to the muscles and tissues around the jaw.
  • Cheyne-Stokes Respiration – This is a breathing pattern during sleep that waxes and wanes with high and low regular fluctuations to the respiratory rate and volume.
  • Chronotherapy – This is the use of bright light as therapy to induce a change in sleep patterns and is advocated as an inexpensive and better treatment than antidepressant drugs with fewer side effects.
  • Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders – This refers to sleep disorders that are caused due to a late night work shift or a change in time zone when traveling. It occurs when your 24 hour “normal” day is disrupted and it cannot get into a regular sleep pattern.
  • CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure – This is the pressure needed to treat a patient with sleep apnea and maintain an open airway to sleep normally. The pressure value is determined when a patient undergoes a CPAP study to determine what is needed.
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