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Sleep Apnea

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Interesting Sleep Topics

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.

  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • 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.