Sleep Disorders in Women Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Sleep Disorders in Women article.

Airway: The path that air follows to get into and out of the lungs. The mouth and nose are...

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Airway obstruction: Partial or complete blockage of the breathing passages to the lungs. C...

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Antidepressant: 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).

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

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Back pain: Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back in...

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

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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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Calf: The belly or fleshy hind part of the back of the leg below the knee. The calf is mad...

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Cardiovascular: Relating to the circulatory system, which comprises the heart and blood ve...

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Cardiovascular disease: Disease affecting the heart or blood vessels.

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Cataplexy: A debilitating condition in which a person suddenly feels weak and collapses at...

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

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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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Clinical depression: Depressed mood that meets the DSM-IV criteria for a depressive disord...

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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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Continuous positive airway pressure: See: CPAP.

CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP is an effective treatment for moderate to ...

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

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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

ECG: Electrocardiogram.

Eclampsia: Convulsions (seizures) occurring with pregnancy-associated high blood pressure ...

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EEG: Electroencephalogram.

Estrogen: A female steroid hormone that is produced by the ovaries and, in lesser amounts,...

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

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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.

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

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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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Grief: The normal process of reacting to a loss. The loss may be physical (such as a death...

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

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

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Heartburn: An uncomfortable feeling of burning and warmth occurring in waves rising up be...

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

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

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Hot flashes: A sudden wave of mild or intense body heat caused by rushes of hormonal chang...

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

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Hypnagogic: Concerning the drowsiness one commonly feels before sleep, the transitional st...

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

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Indication: 1. In medicine, a condition which makes a particular treatment or proce...

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Infant: A young baby, from birth to 12 months of age.

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

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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.

Low back pain: Pain in the lower back area that can relate to problems with the lumbar spi...

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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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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Menstrual cycle: The monthly cycle of changes in the ovaries and the lining of the uteru...

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Modafinil: An oral drug first approved by the FDA in 1998 for the treatment of narcolepsy,...

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

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Nasal: Having to do with the nose.

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

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Neurotransmitter: A chemical that is released from a nerve cell which thereby transmits an...

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

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Night sweats: Severe hot flashes that occur at night and result in a drenching sweat. Nigh...

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Nose: The external midline projection from the face. The purpose of the nose is to warm, c...

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Obese: Well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be ob...

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Obstruction: Blockage of a passageway. See, for example: Airway obstruction; Intestinal o...

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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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Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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Overweight: The term "overweight" is used in two different ways. In one sense it is a way ...

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

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Paralysis: Loss of voluntary movement (motor function). Paralysis that affects only one mu...

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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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Post-menopausal: See: Postmenopausal.

Postmenopausal: After menopause, the period of time after a woman has experienced 12 conse...

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Postpartum: The period just after delivery, as with postpartum depression. Postpartum refe...

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Postpartum depression: A form of severe depression after delivery that interferes with dai...

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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.

Premenstrual: Just before the start of menstruation. As in a premenstrual headache.

Premenstrual syndrome: A combination of physical and mood disturbances that occur in the l...

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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 drug...

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Progesterone: A female hormone, the principal hormone that prepares the uterus to receive ...

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

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Restless legs: See: Restless leg syndrome.

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

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

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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 paralysis: A frightening form of paralysis that occurs when a person suddenly finds...

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Sleep-disordered breathing: A condition characterized by repeated episodes of hypopnea (un...

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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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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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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.

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Throat: The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of th...

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Tired: A feeling of a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency of accomplishment,...

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Trimester: In obstetrics, one of the three divisions of three months each during pregnancy...

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Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty: A type of operation designed to tighten up flabby tissues and e...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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Withdrawal symptoms: Abnormal physical or psychological features that follow the abrupt di...

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