Sleeping Better From A To Z: The 26 Terms You Should Know
Many individuals have have sleeping problems or ever suffer from sleep disorders, however, many of them do not fully understand their condition. Furthermore, besides the fact that sleep deprivation takes an enormous toll on your creativity, productivity, and overall health, it is important to understand the various types of disorders, sleep issues, sleep aids, and more in order to find a solution to your sleep problem. Enter the Speed Sleep Sleep dictionary, or everything you need to know about sleep, from A to Z.
A is for (Sleep) Apnea – The technical definition of sleep apnea is episodes of non-respiration that occur during sleep and last for at least ten seconds. These episodes typically happen five times or more a night and are caused by the brain failing to signal the respiratory muscles to breathe. A is also for Alpha Waves, the type of EEG waves that occur during quiet wakefulness; they are the second fastest at 8-12 hertz.
B is for Beta Waves – The sort of EEG activity associated with alert wakefulness, they happen when you are wide awake and are the fastest type of electroencephalographic waves at 12-32 hertz (cycles per second).
C is for Circadian Rhythms – The process of biological activities and changes that occur in your body over 24 hours that regulate body temperature, hormones, and other functions.
D is for Delta Waves – The kind of EEG waves that occur during deep REM sleep; they are the slowest at under 4 hertz (cycles per second).
E is for Electroencephalogram – Also referred to as an EEG, it is the measurement and recording of brain wave activity using electrodes placed on the scalp, this test uses the hertz frequency units of measurement.
F is for Fitness – The quality and amount of sleep you get directly affects your physical fitness; the better your sleep, the more energy you will have. Furthermore, sleep also has an effect on your appetite and metabolism – being sleep deprived can actually cause you to have a more difficult time maintaining a healthy weight.
G is for Genius – Many creative geniuses and other highly intelligent and productive individuals used sleep as a means of advancing their abilities and talents.
H is for Hypnotic Sleep Aids – Popular prescription drugs like Ambien, Lunesta, Halcion, and Sonata are all classified as hypnotics. Also referred to as sedatives or sedative-hypnotic medications, these drugs are commonly prescribed; however, hypnotics have hidden dangers and negative side effects, including daytime drowsiness and eventual dependence.
I is for Insomnia – Generally, insomnia is classified as the inability to sleep, trouble falling asleep, and difficulty staying asleep. Often caused by underlying medical problems or anxiety, insomnia is often treated with prescription sleep drugs, including the aforementioned hypnotics.
J is for Jet Lag – A condition that occurs as a result of air travel through multiple time zones, jet lag is characterized by various physiological and psychological effects like fatigue and irritability caused by a disruption in circadian rhythms.
K is for K-Complex – This a brief spike in EEG activity that typically occurs during stage 2 sleep, sometimes as a response to auditory stimuli. It consists of a sharp upward component followed by an equally sharp downward component and last for more than half a second.
L is for Latency Period – Sleep latency is the time from “lights out” when you originally lay down, to the time when sleep begins.
M is for Mental Imagery – The simple process of creating images in your mind, mental imagery techniques can be used to promote sleep and combat sleeping problems.
N is for National Sleep Foundation – The National Sleep Foundation was established in 1990 as a nonprofit foundation dedicated to studying and understanding sleep and sleep disorders, and consequently improving public health and safety. They have a sleep-related social network called Pillow Talk where individuals can discuss their sleep problems and share tips on how to sleep better.
O is for Opiates – Another class of sleep drugs, opiates range relatively common medications Tylenol#3 to more controlled substances like Percocet (oxycodone) and methadone. These codeine derived narcotics are used to treat severe sleep disorders (among other things) and regular use can lead to dependence and other detrimental side effects.
P is for Pavlov – Speed Sleep was developed based on the scientific principles established by Dr. Ivan Pavlov, a Nobel Prize winner who studied behavior and conditioned response.
Q is for Quality Sleep – When it comes to getting proper sleep, quality counts just as much as quantity. After all, if you were tossing and turning all night, it doesn’t really matter if you stayed in your bed for eight hours – you certainly won’t be well-rested the next day.
R is for REM Sleep – The state of deep sleep characterized by rapid eye movement, muscle paralysis, irregular breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure; REM sleep is when dreaming occurs.
S is for Sleep Disorders – Physiological and psychological conditions characterized by an inability to fall asleep, sleep disturbances, wakefulness, and an inability to stay asleep.
T is for Transient Insomnia – Sometimes referred to as situational insomnia, transient insomnia is considered short-term sleeplessness or trouble sleeping that is usually caused by stress, anxiety, or excitement.
U is for Universal – Regular sleep is a universal human need; it helps our bodies and minds restore themselves and process the events of the previous day.
V is for Valuable – Investing time and effort into getting proper sleep and solving any sleep problems is one of the most valuable things you can do for your overall health and wellness.
W is for Wakefulness – Scientifically, wakefulness is any brain state that occurs when a healthy individual is not asleep.
X is for (e)Xcellent Sleep – Yes, it is a little bit of a stretch, but excellent sleep is one of the keys to living an overall excellent and productive life.
Y is for Youth – While many times people start experiencing sleep disorders or sleep problems later in life; young people can suffer from sleep issues as well. Furthermore, children and young adults can be negatively affected by their parents’ sleeping problems – not only is there a genetic link for some disorders, individuals with sleep debt are more likely to be irritable and moody.
Z is for Zzzzzzz – The sound of a good night’s sleep.