Sleep Dictionary

Sleep Dictionary

Acromegaly: A disorder marked by a progressive enlargement of the head and face, hands and feet, and chest due to excessive amounts of growth hormone. It may be associated with OSA because of an abnormally formed upper airway.

Abdomen: The part of the human body below the chest and above the pelvis, and encloses the stomach.

Adenoids: Spongy masses of lymphoid tissue that help protect kids from getting sick, occupy the nasopharynx, the space between the back of the nose, and the throat.

Allergens: Substances such as dust that trigger the body's allergicreaction and cause the nose to become runny or congested.

Alveoli: Small sac-like structures located at the end of the bronchioles where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide from the blood takes place.

Angina: A chest disorder pain or discomfort that occurs when your heart muscle does not get enough blood.

Apnea: The cessation of breathing that may occur during sleep.

Artery: One of the tubular vessels that carry blood from the heart.

Asthma: A Greek word that Hippocrates used to describe episodes of shortness of breath. Today it refers to a disease marked by sudden, repeated attacks of shortness of breath due to narrowing of the bronchi. There may also be wheezing and cough.

Back: The rear or dorsal part of the human body between the neck and the pelvis.

BMI: A common abbreviation for body mass index, which is calculated by dividing the body weight in kilograms by the height in meters squared, to get a measure of whether or not a person is overweight or has a risk factor for a disease such as OSA.

Bronchi: The airways that connect the windpipe (trachea) to the lungs.

Bronchioles: The smaller airways in the lungs.

Bruxism: A clenching or grinding of the teeth usually during sleep. Bruxism may be associated with OSA.

Chest: Is also called the Thorax. The part of the body it lies between the neck and abdomen.

CPAP: A commonly used abbreviation for continuous positive ainvay pressure, which is used to relieve the obstruction in the oropharynx in patients with OSA.

CT: A commonly used abbreviation for computerized tomography, which is a special type of X ray imaging technique for getting detailed information about the anatomy in a particular part of the body such as the sinuses.

Diaphragm: The muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdomen. It is the main provider of inspiratory force by expanding the size of the chest cavity. The diaphragm also lowers the pressure in the conducting airways in the lungs and up through the trachea to the oropharynx to below the atmospheric level so that air from the outside can be pushed in.

Hormone: A chemical substance formed in an organ or gland in the body that is secreted into the blood and carried to other organs or parts of the body. Hormones regulate the function and growth of various parts of the body.

Hypertension: A term used for high blood pressure. It usually is applied to the pressure in the arteries that carry blood from the left side of the heart to various parts of the body such as the brain, kidneys, digestive system, and muscles. This is called systemic hypertension. High blood pressure in the arteries that carry blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs is called pulmonary hypertension.

Hypothalamus: A gland located at the base of the brain closely involved with the nervous system. The hypothalamus secretes hormones that regulate various body functions such as the release of other hormones from other glands in the body. It is involved in the control of appetite and body weight.

Hypothyroidism: A condition in which the thyroid, a gland located under the skin in front of the neck, secretes abnormally low amounts of active hormone into the blood. This causes the body to use energy from food slower than normal, causing problems of weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.

Hypoxemia: The technical term for low blood oxygen content, which may occur if air cannot get into the lungs because of a blockage in the upper airway as in an event of OSA. Hypox refers to "low levels of oxygen" and emia means "in the blood."

Insomnia: A condition in which the person complains of difficulty falling asleep or problems staying asleep. Some people with OSAS - obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, have a disorder of maintaining sleep caused by the severe arousals that end the apneas.

Larynx: The organ of voice production located in the upper part of the respiratory system between the pharynx and the trachea. It includes the vocal cords.

Laser: A device that produces a beam of high-energy light that can be used to shrink or burn tissue during a surgical procedure such as reduction of the size of the uvula and soft palate.

Limbs: The upper and lower limbs are commonly called the arms and the legs.

Lungs: The main part of the respiratory system that takes oxygen from the air into the bloodstream and allows carbon dioxide to escape from the body:

Mandible: The technical term for the jawbone.

Menopause: The technical term for the permanent interruption of a woman's normal monthly menstrual periods.

MRI: A commonly used abbreviation for magnetic resonance imaging, which does not involve the use of radiation as in X rays but may be very useful in looking at a particular structure in the body.

Mucous: Membrane a soft pink skin, like structure that lines many cavities and tubes in the body, such as the respiratory tract. The mucous membrane secretes a fluid containing mucus.

Mucus: A thick, slippery secretion produced by the mucous membrane that helps to lubricate and protect parts of the body such as the respiratory tract.

Nocturnal: Myoclonus a repetitive jerking of an arm or more commonly one or both legs during sleep. It is also called periodic limb movements of sleep and may be associated with arousals that ruin sleep. It is particularly common after the age of forty. Nocturnal refers to nighttime,  " myo" means, "muscle," and clonus is the technical term for "twitching."

Nostril: Is one of the two channels adjoining nasal wall, and passage of the nose.

Oropharynx: The area extending from the level of the palate to the entrance of the larynx at the vocal cords. It is the collapsible region responsible for snoring and OSA.

OSA: A commonly used abbreviation for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Oximeter: A device worn on the finger or earlobe that can measure levels of oxygen in the blood painlessly. It is one of the measurements made during a sleep study to assess the severity of OSA Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Oxygen: An odorless, colorless gas that makes up 21 percent of the atmosphere of the Earth. Oxygen is necessary for most forms of life and is absorbed through the lungs into the blood.

Palate: The roof of the mouth made up of a hard bony part and a soft muscular part. The soft part has an extension called the uvula and is important for speech production, swallowing, and vibration, producing the noise of snoring.

Pelvis: The pelvis is a ring like structure of the large bones at the lower end of the trunk.

Pharynx: A technical term for the upper part of the throat at the base or back of the tongue.

Pilates: Is a physical fitness system of exercises that promote the strengthening of the body, that was developed by Joseph Pilates (1880–1967), German-born American physical fitness instructor who developed the system.

Polysomnography: A technical term for a sleep study that involves recording brain waves for assessing the quality of sleep, airflow at the nose and mouth as well as efforts made to breathe, electrocardiogram, and other parameters including blood oxygen levels, in order to determine the nature and severity of a sleep- related breathing problem. The study is painless and noninvasive.

Pulmonary: A term that relates to the lungs or the artery that takes blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs.

Pulmonary hypertension:  A term a doctor may use when talking about high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery. This occurs when oxygen levels in the alveoli in the lungs are low because of lung disease or because fresh air does not get into the lungs due to a blockage in the oropharynx caused by OSA.

Retina: The structure inside the eye that receives light and begins its processing for the brain.

Rhinitis: The technical term used for a runny or congested nose. Rhino refers to the "nose" and itis means "inflammation or swelling."

Snoring: The noise produced by vibration of the soft palate and uvula.

Sleep Apnea: Cessation of breathing that occurs during sleep. Usually due to obstruction of the airway, it can also be due to inability of the brain to initiate respiration. The term Apnea (OSAS - obstructive sleep apnea syndrome).

Sleep Cycle: The usual pattern of arrangement of the stages of sleep in a normal person. The usual sleep cycle begins with Stage I and II sleep, fol lowed by deep sleep, then a return to Stage I and II, then REM sleep, then Stage I and II sleep.

Sleep Inertia: A confused or muddleheaded feeling observed on awakening from deep sleep.

Sleep Paralysis: The disturbing sensation of being awake, but unable to move at all. Though It can occur in normal individuals, it occurs much more frequently in the sleep disorder narcolepsy.

Sleep Talking: Any speaking during sleep -it may be complete sentences but more often only phrases or single words.

Sleepwalking: Any complex physical action, such as walking, that occurs with the sleeper only partially awake and in a trance-like state.

Sleep-Wake Cycle: The twenty-four-hour cycle of alternating periods of sleep and wakefulness -the usual sleep-wake cycle is to sleep for seven-and-a-half to eight hours, and be awake for sixteen or sixteen-and a-half hours.

Somnambulism: Same as sleep walking.

Surge: To move in waves.

Tai Chi: Is a practiced in the west today, is a good exercise method series, of gentle movements that can bring about stress reduction, improved balance and many other health benefits.

Tongue: Large muscle at the floor of the mouth.

Tonsils: Structures located on both sides of the oropharynx that may cause narrowing of the airway if enlarged.

Trachea: The main airway that divides into large bronchial tubes going to each lung.

Trunk: The part of the body apart from the head and limbs.

Turbinates: Tubular structures that project into the nasal chambers and increase the surface area of the walls inside the nose. A mucous membrane that is rich in blood vessels covers these turbinates. The turbinates may swell and cause nasal obstruction.

Uvula: A cone-shaped projection hanging down from the soft palate in the oropharynx. The uvula may become swollen and enlarged in people who snore.

Vessels: A tube in which a body fluid such as blood is contained and circulated.

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