Primary Insomnia Glossary of Terms

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

Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Amnesia: An impairment to or lack of memory. Antegrade amnesia refers to a lack of memory ...

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Anticonvulsant: A medication used to control (prevent) seizures (convulsions) or stop an o...

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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).

Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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Atypical: Unusual, or not fitting a single diagnostic
category.

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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Blindness: Loss of useful sight. Blindness can be temporary or permanent. Damage to any p...

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Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine d...

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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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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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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 insomnia: See Insomnia, chronic.

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

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Cognition: The process of knowing. Cognition includes both awareness and judgment.

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

Cognitive therapy: A relatively short-term form of psychotherapy based on the concept that...

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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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Dry mouth: The condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. This is due to...

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Dysfunction: Difficult function or abnormal function.

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

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

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FDA: Food and Drug Administration.

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Feedback: Many biologic processes are controlled by feedback, just as the temperature in a...

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

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Hepatic: Having to do with the liver.

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

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Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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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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Hypochondriasis: The belief and fear of serious illness which lasts for six months, beyond...

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

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Imagery: Both a mental process (as in imagining) and a wide variety of procedures used in...

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

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

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

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

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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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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Muscle relaxant: Muscle relaxant is a term usually used to refer to skeletal muscle relaxa...

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Narcolepsy: A neurological disorder that is marked by the recurrent, sudden, uncontrollabl...

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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 dr...

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

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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.

Relaxant: Something that relaxes, relieves, or reduces tension. For example, a muscle rela...

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

Residual: Something left behind. With residual disease, the disease has not been eradicate...

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Rule out: Term used in medicine, meaning to eliminate or exclude something from considera...

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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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Sleep restriction therapy: A type of therapy in which the number of hours of sleep are res...

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Sleeplessness: Insomnia. See also Fatal familial insomnia.

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

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

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

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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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Symptomatic: 1 With symptoms, as a symptomatic infection. 2 Characteristic o...

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Tension: 1) The pressure within a vessel, such as blood pressure: the pressure within t...

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

Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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

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

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Medical Dictionary