Disorders That Disrupt Sleep (Parasomnias) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Disorders That Disrupt Sleep (Parasomnias) article.

Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Absorption: Uptake. For example, intestinal absorption is the uptake of food (or other sub...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Addiction: An uncontrollable craving, seeking, and use of a substance such as alcohol or a...

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Aerobic: Oxygen-requiring. Aerobic bacteria need oxygen to grow. Aerobic exercise requires...

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Alprazolam: A benzodiazepine sedative that causes dose-related depression of the central n...

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Anemia: The condition of having a lower-than-normal number of red blood cells or quantity ...

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Ankle: The ankle joint is complex. It is made up of two joints: the true ankle joint and ...

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Anticholinergic: Opposing the actions of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Anticholinerg...

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Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Apnea: The absence of breathing (respiration).

Attenuate: To weaken, or to make or become thin.

Benzodiazepines: A class of drugs that act as tranquilizers and are commonly used in the t...

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Biofeedback: A method of treatment that uses a monitor to measure patients' physiologic in...

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Bladder: A hollow organ in the lower abdomen that stores urine. The kidneys filter waste f...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Brain stem: The stem-like part of the base of the brain that is connected to the spinal co...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Caffeine: A stimulant compound found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa (chocolate), and kola...

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Cerebrovascular: Pertaining to the blood vessels and, especially, the arteries that supply...

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Cerebrovascular disease: Disease of the blood vessels and, especially, the arteries that s...

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Chloral hydrate: A prescription sedative/hypnotic drug developed in the 19th century. The ...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic renal failure: Now more commonly classified as chronic kidney disease and is liste...

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Critical care: The specialized care of patients whose conditions are life-threatening and ...

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Dementia: Significant loss of intellectual abilities, such as memory capacity, that is sev...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Dialysis: The process of cleansing the blood by passing it through a special machine. Dial...

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Dopamine: An important neurotransmitter (messenger) in the brain.

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

Dyskinesia: The presence of involuntary movements, such as the choreaform movements seen i...

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Electrocardiogram: A recording of the electrical activity of the heart. Abbreviated ECG an...

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Electroencephalogram: A technique for studying the electrical currents within the brain. E...

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Electromyogram: A test that records the electrical activity of muscles. Normal muscles pro...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Excessive daytime sleepiness: A neurological disorder in which there is a sudden recurrent...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Ferritin: The major protein concerned with iron storage. The blood ferritin level serves a...

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Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 degr...

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Flexion: The process of bending, or the state of being bent. For example, flexion of the f...

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Gastroesophageal: Pertaining to both the stomach and the esophagus, as in the gastroesopha...

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Gastroesophageal reflux: The return of stomach contents back up into the esophagus This fr...

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Gastrointestinal: Adjective referring collectively to the stomach and small and large inte...

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Growing pains: Mysterious pains in growing children, usually in the legs, likely occurring...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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Hemoglobin: The oxygen-carrying pigment and predominant protein in the red blood cells. He...

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Hemorrhage: Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

Hygiene: The science of preventive medicine and the preservation of health. Also commonly ...

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Hyperactivity: A higher than normal level of activity. An organ can be described as hyper...

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Hypnosis: A part of healing from ancient times. The induction of trance states and the use...

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Incidence: The frequency with which something, such as a disease or trait, appears in a pa...

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Injure: To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emotional sense. Fr...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep due to a number ...

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Internal medicine: The medical specialty dedicated to the diagnosis and medical treatment ...

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Iron: An essential mineral. Iron is necessary for the transport of oxygen (via hemoglobin ...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Knee: The knee is a joint which has three parts. The thigh bone (the femur) meets the lar...

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Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Limb: An arm or a leg.

Lithium: A naturally occurring salt that, in purified form, is used to treat certain psych...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Medical school: A school with a curriculum leading to a medical degree. The mission of eve...

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Menopause: The time in a woman's life when menstrual periods permanently stop; it is also...

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Menstruation: The periodic blood that flows as a discharge from the uterus. Also called me...

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Methadone: A synthetic opiate. The most common medical use for methadone is as a legal sub...

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Multiple sclerosis: A disease that is characterized by loss of myelin (demyelinization). A...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Myelitis: Inflammation of the spinal cord, such as from infection or immune inflammation.

Neurological: Having to do with the nerves or the nervous system as, for example, a neurol...

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Neurology: The medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders o...

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Neuropathy: Any disease or malfunction of the nerves.

NREM sleep: NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep is dreamless sleep. During NREM, the brai...

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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder characterized by brief ...

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Olivopontocerebellar: Pertaining to three particular parts of the brain -- namely, the oli...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Osteoarthritis: A type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss ...

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Oxycodone: Oxycodone is the active ingredient in OxyContin. Oxycodone is an opioid, a clos...

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Panic: A sudden strong feeling of fear that prevents reasonable thought or action. The wor...

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Parasomnia: A sleep disorder in which odd or dangerous events occur that intrude on sleep....

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Pathology: The study of disease. Pathology has been defined as "that branch of medicine...

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral neuropathy: A problem with the functioning of the nerves outside the spinal cor...

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Pharmacy: A location where prescription medications are sold. A pharmacy is constantly sup...

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Polysomnography: Continuous recording of specific physiologic variables during sleep. Poly...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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Psychiatric: Pertaining to or within the purview of psychiatry, the medical specialty conc...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

Rebound: The reversal of response upon withdrawal of a stimulus.

Reflux: The term used when liquid backs up into the esophagus from the stomach.

Relapse: The return of signs and symptoms of a disease after a remission.

REM sleep: REM sleep is the portion of sleep when there are rapid eye movements (REMs).

Renal: Having to do with the kidney. For example, renal cancer is cancer of the kidneys.

Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Respiratory rate: The number of breaths per minute or, more formally, the number of moveme...

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Restless legs: See: Restless leg syndrome.

Reuptake: The reabsorption of a secreted substance by the cell that originally produced an...

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Sclerosis: Localized hardening of skin. Sclerosis is generally caused by underlying diseas...

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Serotonin: A neurotransmitter that is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Sero...

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Serum: The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood. Serum differs from plas...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Sleep apnea: The temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep, often resulting in daytime ...

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Sleep disorders: Any disorder that affects, disrupts, or involves sleep. The most common...

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Sleep hygiene: A series of practices and non-medical treatments for insomnia. Sleep hygien...

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Sleepwalking: Purposeful moving, usually but not always including walking, while in a deep...

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Slow-wave sleep: Stage 3 and 4 non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep.

Somnambulism: Sleepwalking. Purposeful moving, usually but not always including walking, ...

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Soothing: Bringing comfort, solace, reassurance, peace, composure, quietude.

Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Subarachnoid: Literally, beneath the arachnoid, the middle of three membranes that cover t...

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Subarachnoid hemorrhage: A bleeding into the subarachnoid, the space between the arachnoid...

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Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Substance abuse: The excessive use of a substance, especially alcohol or a drug. (There is...

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Suicidal: Pertaining to suicide. the taking of ones own life. As in a suicidal gesture, su...

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Sweating: The act of secreting fluid from the skin by the sweat (sudoriferous) glands. The...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Tachycardia: A rapid heart rate, usually defined as greater than 100 beats per minute.

Tachypnea: Abnormally fast breathing.

Tardive dyskinesia: A neurological syndrome characterized by repetitive, involuntary, purp...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Tricyclic antidepressants: One of a class of medications used to treat depression. The tri...

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Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue. Tumors are a classic sign of inflammation, and can be ...

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Urinary: Having to do with the function or anatomy of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or ur...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Voluntary: Done in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The opposite of i...

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Xanax: See: Alprazolam.

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