Insomnia Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Insomnia article.

Acid reflux: A common condition and an abnormal one in which acid in the stomach rises up...

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

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Adverse effect: A harmful or abnormal result. An adverse effect may be caused by administr...

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Amitriptyline: An antidepressant medication. In some patients with depression, abnormal l...

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Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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

Antihistamines: Drugs that combat the histamine released during an allergic reaction by bl...

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

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Apnea: The absence of breathing (respiration).

Asthma: A common lung disorder in which inflammation causes the bronchi to swell and narro...

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

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Bipolar disorder: A mood disorder sometimes called manic-depressive illness or manic-depr...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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

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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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Chamomile: An herb often used in the form of a tea as a sedative.

Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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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 fatigue syndrome: A debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fa...

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Chronic insomnia: See Insomnia, chronic.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: COPD. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Chronic pain: Pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over ...

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Circadian: Refers to events occurring within the span of a full 24-hour day, as in a circa...

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Cognitive: Having to do with thought, judgment, or knowledge.

Congestion: An abnormal or excessive accumulation of a body fluid. The term is used broadl...

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Congestive heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it, with f...

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COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Any disorder that persistently obstructs bron...

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Cough: A rapid expulsion of air from the lungs, typically in order to clear the lung airwa...

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

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diarrhea: A common condition that involves unusually frequent and liquid bowel movements. ...

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Effective dose: The dose of a drug that will achieve the desired effect.

Emergency department: The department of a hospital responsible for the provision of medica...

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

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

Fever: Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37...

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Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the US Public Health Service that provides ...

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GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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High altitude: Altitude sickness occurs at high altitude. So what is high altitude?

High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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

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Idiopathic: Of unknown cause. Any disease that is of uncertain or unknown origin may be te...

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

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Indicate: In medicine, to make a treatment or procedure advisable because of a particular ...

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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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Involuntary: Done other than in accordance with the conscious will of the individual. The ...

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Jet lag: A temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms as a resu...

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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.

Mania: An abnormally elevated mood state characterized by such symptoms as inappropriate...

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

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Meditation: A typically self-directed practice for relaxing the body and calming the mind....

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Melatonin: A hormone that is produced by the pineal gland and is intimately involved in re...

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Memory: 1. The ability to recover information about past events or knowledge. ...

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

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Motor: Something that produces or refers to motion. For example, a motor neuron is a nerve...

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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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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

Neck: The part of the body joining the head to the shoulders. Also, any narrow or constric...

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Nicotine: An alkaloid (a nitrogen-containing chemical) made by the tobacco plant or produc...

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Nursing: 1) Profession concerned with the provision of services essential to the maintena...

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Nursing home: A residential facility for people with chronic illness or disability, partic...

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Objective: In a microscope, the objective (also called the objective lens) is the lens nea...

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Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): See sleep apnea, obstructive.

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

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Physiologic: Something that is normal, that is due neither to anything pathologic nor sign...

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Pineal gland: A small gland that is located near the center of the brain. This gland secre...

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

Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Prescription drug: A drug requiring a prescription, as opposed to an over-the-counter drug...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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

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Psychiatrist: A physician who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of m...

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Pulmonary: Having to do with the lungs.

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

Resolution: In genetics, the degree of molecular detail on a physical map of DNA. Resoluti...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Restless legs: See: Restless leg syndrome.

Schizophrenia: One of several brain diseases whose symptoms may include loss of personalit...

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Sedative: A drug that calms a patient, easing agitation and permitting sleep. Sedatives ge...

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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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Sleeplessness: Insomnia. See also Fatal familial insomnia.

Snoring: A rough rattling noise made on inspiration during sleep by vibration of the soft ...

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

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

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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.

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

Transient insomnia: See Insomnia, transient.

Trauma: A physical or emotional injury.

Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Medical Dictionary