Sleep Terms & Glossary

We continue in our quest to provide more understanding of the vocabulary of sleep with the letters G-H-I in our helpful glossary of words found in sleep related articles to help give you a better understanding of sleep and sleep disorders.

  •  GABA or Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid – This is an amino acid neuro-transmitter found in the brain that is thought to be involved in sleep and muscle relaxation plus decreasing our emotional reaction.
  •  Genioglossus Tongue Advancement – This is a surgical treatment often used for sleep apnea and/or snoring to improve the airway behind the base of the tongue by opening and stabilizing the air passage.
  • Habitual Snorers – This references though who are snoring most every night.
  • Histogram – A graph that indicates the stages of sleep throughout the night usually used in a sleep study.
  • Hyoid Suspension – A surgical procedure that can be used to treat sleep apnea to improve the airway behind the base of the tongue.
  •  Hypersomnia – Excessive prolonged sleep at night and recurrent episodes of daytime sleepiness with naps that do not provide relief.
  • Hypnagogic Imagery or Hallucinations – Vivid dreams or images that occur during sleep that are often associated with narcolepsy.
  • Hypnagogic Jerk or Startle – A sudden body jerk upon momentary awakening usually at start of sleep onset. These are normal muscle jerks like an electric shock that are also called sleep start.
  • Hypnophobia – A morbid fear of falling asleep.
  •  Hypnotics – Sleep inducing drugs or medications that cause sleep or partial loss of consciousness.
  • Inappropriate Sleep Episodes – These are unplanned sleep periods that usually occur due to sleep deprivation and often occur in an unsafe situation such as driving when you are very tired so you doze off at the wheel.
  •  Insomnia – This is a common complaint of those who have difficulty sleeping that usually has symptoms of difficulty in falling asleep, waking up often during the night and having trouble getting back to sleep, waking up too early in the morning and a general feeling of being un-refreshed after sleeping. Insomnia can cause further problems during the day including sleepiness, general fatigue, difficulty in concentration and irritability and if continued over a long period of time it can cause more serious physical and emotional problems including medical issues.
  • IPAP or Inspiratory Positive Airway Pressure – This is the prescribed pressure for the Bi-level CPAP devices used in the treatment of sleep
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