Insomnia Medications Glossary of Terms

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

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

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

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Alternative medicine: Healing arts not taught in traditional Western medical schools that ...

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

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Anatomy: The study of human or animal form, by observation or examination of the living be...

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

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

Antifungal: A medication that limits or prevents the growth of yeasts and other fungal org...

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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).

Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the...

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

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

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Blind: 1. Unable to see. Without part or all of the sense of sight.
2....

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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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Breastfeeding: Feeding a child human breast milk. According to the American Academy of Ped...

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

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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 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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Cirrhosis: Liver disease characterized by irreversible scarring. Alcohol and viral hepatit...

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Cluster: In epidemiology, an aggregation of cases of a disease or another health-related c...

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

Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Cure: 1. To heal, to make well, to restore to good health. 2. A time withou...

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

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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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Elavil: See: Amitriptyline.

Emphysema: 1) A lung condition featuring an abnormal accumulation of air in the lung's ma...

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Endep: See: Amitriptyline.

Endocrine: Pertaining to hormones and the glands that make and secrete them into the blood...

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Epilepsy (seizure disorder): When nerve cells in the brain fire electrical impulses...

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Erythromycin: Erythromycin is a common antibiotic for treating bacterial infection. Sold...

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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.

Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after concep...

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Fibromyalgia: A disease characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscle...

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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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Glaucoma: A common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eyes rises becaus...

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Hangover: A common nonmedical term for the disagreeable physical effects following excessi...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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

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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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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.

Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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MAOI: Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor.

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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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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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Metabolism: The whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. ...

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Mortality: A fatal outcome or, in one word, death. The word "mortality" is derived from "m...

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

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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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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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

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

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

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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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Parkinson's disease: A slowly progressive neurologic disease that is characterized by a fi...

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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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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.

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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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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Quality of life: The patient's ability to enjoy normal life activities. Quality of life is...

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Receptor: 1. In cell biology, a structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cel...

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

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Restless leg syndrome: An uncomfortable (creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling, twitching,...

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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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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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

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

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Somatic: 1. Relating to the body. a. As distinguished from the mind (the psy...

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

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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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Sublingual: Underneath the tongue. For example, a sublingual medication is a type of lozen...

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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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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.

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.

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

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Tongue: A strong muscle that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is covered ...

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Toxicity: The degree to which a substance (a toxin or poison) can harm humans or animals. ...

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Transient insomnia: See Insomnia, transient.

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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Warfarin: An anticoagulant drug (brand names: Coumarin, Panwarfin, Sofarin) taken to prev...

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Medical Dictionary