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Sleep Terms Unravelled – Part three: terms S to Z

By Stephanie Hutcheon   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Monday 14th April 2014

You may have read part one and part two of our sleep terms unravelled; here is our final part where we look at the most common sleep terms between the letters ‘s’ and ‘z’.

S

  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a type of depression which has a seasonal cycle. SAD is also referred to as the ‘winter blues’. Find out the symptoms, causes and treatment of SAD here

  • Shift work – this is where a person’s work shifts will alter around the 24 hour period; sometimes working day shifts then moving to night shifts. This can have a big impact on the circadian rhythm and may cause shift work sleep disorder

  • Sleep apnoea – this sleep disorder is when a sufferers breathing is interrupted (brief pauses) during sleep. There are three types of sleep apnoea; obstructive sleep apnoea, central sleep apnoea and mixed sleep apnoea.

  • Sleep debt – this is the amount of lost sleep you have built up from getting the insufficient amount of hours sleep each night. A good example is staying up past unsociable hours to meet a deadline. It usually takes longer than a lie in on a weekend to pay off your sleep debt.

  • Sleep efficiency – this is the total time you spent in bed divided by the total time you spent asleep. Total time spent asleep can be worked out by subtracting the time it took you to fall asleep and any awakenings during the night from your total time spent in bed. Scoring 85% or more is seen as healthy and normal; the closer to 100% the better your sleep efficiency is.

  • Sleep inertia – a condition where a person may feel groggy and not fully awake after waking up at the wrong time of their sleep cycle. Find out more about sleep inertia here

  • Sleep latency – also known as sleep onset, it’s the time taken from full wakefulness to fall asleep. Sometimes a MSLT can be used to help people who suffer from narcolepsy or excessive daytime sleepiness.

  • Sleep paralysis – a parasomnia where a person passes between sleep and wakefulness with the inability to move or speak.

  • Sleep spindle – quick bursts of waves which usually occur during stage 2 of NREM.

  • Slow wave sleep (SWS) – this is stages 3 and 4 of NREM also known as deep sleep. If you’re awoken from SWS you may feel confused and disorientated.

  • Siesta – a term originated from Spain meaning to take an afternoon nap, usually during the hottest hours of the day. Most villages and towns close their shops to take part in the afternoon siesta.

  • Sleep hygiene – a number of practices used to help you get good quality sleep. Common examples are: 7-9 hours of sleep, avoid alcohol before bed and turn off electronics in the hour leading up to your bedtime.

  • Sedatives – medication which helps to calm and relax a person. This medication is useful for people who suffer from stress and anxiety.

  • Serotonin – a hormone which affects your sleep levels, appetite and mood.

  • Sleep cycle – a sleep cycle is when you have slept through all of the sleep stages (NREM and REM). On average you go through 4-5 cycles per night; each cycle lasts between 90 and 120 minutes.

  • Sleep deprivation – this is when you’re not getting enough sleep either through personal choice or through a health condition; it can be acute or chronic.

  • Sleep disorders – these are disruptions to your normal sleep pattern and can also affect you in your day-to-day activities. There are many sleep disorders such as: insomnia, sleep-walking, narcolepsy and OSA.

T

  • Theta waves – these waves appear during sleep and deep relaxation (e.g. meditation). They help to improve learning and memory.

U

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP or UP3) – surgery used to help treat people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring. This surgery is very last resort if other forms of treatment are unsuccessful.

V

  • Ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (VLPO) – sleep-active neurons found in the hypothalamus; they are mainly active during NREM and help release the neurotransmitters GABA and galanin.

W

  • White noise – a wide frequency of sounds that help mask out external noise pollution that may interfere with sleep such as traffic or noisy neighbours.

X

  • Xanax – also known as alprazolam, this is a type of benzodiazepine medication used to help people who suffer from anxiety.

Y

  • Yoga – certain yoga poses before bedtime can help relieve stress and tension making your sleep more peaceful. Find out which yoga poses you can try here

Z

  • Z-drugs – classed as a non-benzodiazepine this group of medicine helps people who suffer from insomnia. However, they do have a similar effect on the brain like benzodiazepines so may carry some of the same side-effects, benefits and risks.

We hope you have enjoyed our small series of sleep terms and if you missed part one or part two you can follow the links. Remember, this is just a short guide and doesn’t cover all of the sleep terms that you may come across. 




Easter Holidays- How to maintain a sleep routine

Thursday 10th April 2014

The Easter holidays are upon us and with the majority of schools in the UK beginning their Easter break on Monday 7th April and ending on Tuesday 22nd April, it will be a long two weeks for parents to keep their children occupied. Additionally, as students won’t be attending school for a significant period of time, they may stay awake later and spend their mornings in bed meaning they run the risk of falling out of sync with the sleeping pattern they have become accustomed to.

However, in order to make the transition from a relaxing holiday to returning to 9am double maths lessons that little bit easier, it is important to maintain a healthy sleep routine. See the tips below for advice on how to achieve a refreshing Easter break.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Easter Holidays- How to maintain a sleep routine

Bedroom Battleground – How night-time bickering is killing our sleep

Tuesday 8th April 2014

Our latest look at the nation’s sleep habits put the spotlight on bedtime bickering and it seems that the old relationship adage ‘never let the sun go down on an argument’ may well be lost on today’s couples, with the bedroom looking more like a battleground than a sanctuary. We found that the average UK couple gears up for a between-the-sheets argument three to four nights a week, with a typical row lasting nearly nine minutes.

The top five most likely reasons for a bedtime bicker were;

  1. Hogging the duvet: 41%
  2. Mobile phone disturbance: 36%
  3. Bodily functions: 24%
  4. Sleep talking and snoring: 19%
  5. Noisily going to the toilet: 17%

The situation was revealed to be rather more alarming when it came to the frequency of such arguments, with ‘three to four’ nights per week was the highest-reported number;

  1. Three to four nights per week: 47%
  2. One to two nights per week: 31%
  3. Five to six nights per week: 16%
  4. Every night of the week: 6%

All-in-all it seems that as couples aren’t so much cosying up together as drawing battle-lines at the first sign of a disturbance – hardly the most relaxing of bedtime situations and not one that is likely to lead to a peaceful night’s sleep.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Bedroom Battleground – How night-time bickering is killing our sleep

Sleep Terms Unravelled – Part two: terms I to R

Monday 7th April 2014

Last week we looked at some of the more common sleep terms between the letters A and H; take a look here if you missed it. Today we are going to look at the common terms between I and R.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Sleep Terms Unravelled – Part two: terms I to R

Sleep Terms Unravelled – Part one: terms A to H

Tuesday 1st April 2014

Sleep is a very complex subject and sometimes you may come across some terms that you have never heard of before. We’ve gathered some of the more common sleep terms that you may come across. 

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Sleep Terms Unravelled – Part one: terms A to H

5 Celebrity Sleep Secrets

Friday 28th March 2014

Many of us have unusual sleeping habits and celebrities are no exception. In a previous article we examined the correlation between success and sleeping habits, discovering that former UK Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher certainly didn’t value sleep and Andy Murray revealed the secret to his Wimbledon success was sleeping 12 hours a day. However this article will focus on the strange sleeping habits of our favourite celebrities.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: 5 Celebrity Sleep Secrets

Stressed and Sleepless – How we worry away 12 DAYS of sleep a year

Wednesday 26th March 2014

Stressful thoughts at night-time directly contribute to losing an average of nearly 12 days of sleep a year, according to the results of the latest Ergoflex® sleep survey. Stress and anxiety regularly top the polls of what keeps us awake at night, but we were keen to delve a little deeper and discover exactly what it is that’s worrying us into wakefulness.

The top five stressful thoughts in our survey were:

  1. Work – 63%
  2. Children – 51%
  3. Bills – 47%
  4. Upcoming social events – 30%
  5. Parents  - 16%

While we were well aware that night-time anxiety was a depressingly common occurrence for many of us, we were surprised at just how much shut-eye we were losing as a result. Breaking the average sleep lost to stress down to a nightly figure, our worries are taking up a massive 47 minutes per night, every night.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Stressed and Sleepless – How we worry away 12 DAYS of sleep a year

Treatment of Sleep Disorders – Medical and non-medical treatments

Tuesday 25th March 2014

Many of us will suffer with a sleep problem at least once in our lifetime. Even if it’s just being unexpectedly awoken during the deep sleep stages; it will still leave us feeling run-down and tired the following day. However, for some if the sleep problem persists it could be a sign that they are suffering from a sleep disorder. Different sleep disorders require different forms of treatment in order to manage or banish the disorder successfully. Let’s take a look at the most common types of treatment available.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Treatment of Sleep Disorders – Medical and non-medical treatments

Time for the clocks to go forward – How to adjust to the lighter nights while maintaining your sleep quality

Monday 24th March 2014

It’s nearly that time of year again when the clocks go forward meaning lighter nights and many people becoming excited for the summer to arrive.  However, one of the main downfalls to this yearly event is losing one precious hour of sleep. For some, losing one hour of sleep can really disrupt their circadian rhythm (one of the cycles of the body clock), which controls when we eat and sleep along with other factors involved in our daily lives. Furthermore lighter nights mean the production of melatonin (the hormone which controls your sleep-wake cycles) slows down – it’s usually stimulated by dull/dark areas. Find out how to increase your melatonin naturally during the lighter nights. Let’s take a look at when the clocks change along with some tips to help you avoid feeling sluggish after one hour less of sleep.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Time for the clocks to go forward – How to adjust to the lighter nights while maintaining your sleep quality

A Man’s Best Friend – Amazing sleep facts about dogs

Thursday 20th March 2014

On average dogs sleep for around 14 hours a day; this is usually dependant on the breed of your dog and whether it is a working dog or house pet. Larger dogs require more sleep than smaller dogs as it takes longer for the body to repair and replenish itself. Dog sleep is generally similar to humans; we have a sleep position we feel comfortable in, just like dogs and a dog’s sleep cycle almost mimics a human sleep cycle. Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about your dog and sleep.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: A Man’s Best Friend – Amazing sleep facts about dogs

Insomnia- How to support someone who is suffering from the disorder

Tuesday 18th March 2014

There are many online resources focused on providing tips and advice for people experiencing insomnia, these without question provide valuable knowledge for insomnia sufferers and aim to help them to improve the quality of their sleep. However, there is very little information focused on offering guidance to family members, friends or in fact anyone who is involved in the life of an insomnia sufferer.

Just like the person actually suffering from insomnia, the condition can begin to have a major effect on the lives of those closest to them and it is not uncommon for these individuals to feel a little helpless at times. This article is focused on providing help and advice to those people who are trying to support someone with insomnia. 

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Insomnia- How to support someone who is suffering from the disorder

Your Body and Sleep – What happens to your body during sleep

Thursday 13th March 2014

Many of us don’t realise the extent of work that some parts of the body go through while we sleep. Although these bodily functions slow right down compared to how active they are during the day, they are still doing some pretty amazing things such as rejuvenating the skin to keep us looking youthful. We will take a look at some parts of the body and see how they work while we sleep. 

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Your Body and Sleep – What happens to your body during sleep

Spring Cleaning – Here’s why you should start with your bed

Wednesday 12th March 2014

In our latest look at the UK’s sleep habits we found that the majority of people aren’t aware of the recommended length of time that they should use their bedding for, sometimes keeping the same pillows and duvets for years longer than they should. Experts say that pillows and duvets should be replaced every two and five years respectively, however, 82% of respondents to our survey didn’t know this information and many were willing to stick with the same bedding until it began to cause problems with their sleep.

This isn’t about interior design style or keeping up with the latest trends, it’s something that directly impacts upon your sleep quality and even your health.

If, like many of us, spring cleaning is on your agenda in the next few weeks then perhaps it’s a good idea to start with your bed. You might find that you’ll be rewarded in more ways than one.

Category: Ergo Flex News

Read full: Spring Cleaning – Here’s why you should start with your bed

Celebrities Uncovered- 5 famous faces who have drifted off at the worst times

Tuesday 11th March 2014

It is not uncommon to fall victim to the occasional doze at an inappropriate time, whether it be in a lecture at university or when completing a tedious report at work, most people have done it at some stage in their life. However, have you ever fallen asleep live on TV or even during dinner with the Queen? These famous faces all have reason to be a little embarrassed by their unfortunate momentary snoozes.

Category: Sleep Research

Read full: Celebrities Uncovered- 5 famous faces who have drifted off at the worst times

Ergoflex® Awarded GOLD Trusted Merchant Accreditation for overwhelmingly positive customer feedback

Monday 10th March 2014

We’re delighted to announce that Ergoflex® has received the Feefo Gold Trusted Merchant accreditation, thanks to the overwhelmingly positive customer feedback that we receive on the popular independent review portal.

To be granted Gold Trusted Merchant status, a retailer must achieve a rate of 95% (or higher) ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ reviews. Ergoflex® achieved a Service rating of 98% and Product rating of 97%, from over 1100 customer reviews left on the Feefo website during 2013. We’re naturally proud of this achievement, as it validates our ongoing commitment to the highest standards of customer service and providing the best quality memory foam mattress products.

Feefo Managing Director Andrew Mabbutt said of the accreditation; “Feefo is delighted to be able to present these awards to merchants that truly deserve them. These awards recognise the outstanding nature of customer service from organisations that buy in to social engagement and the power of peer influencers. I am incredibly proud of the fact that such a high quantity of our merchants have achieved these standards.”

Managing Director of Ergoflex® UK, Jed MacEwan, commented; “We know internally that our customers love their Ergoflex® mattresses, but we’re incredibly thankful that they take the time to tell the world about it by posting their reviews. For an e-commerce retailer it’s invaluable that trusted independent websites like Feefo provide the service that they do, as they give the online shopper that extra peace-of-mind that’s often  required when deciding to commit to a brand and make a purchase. Understanding and having the benefit of reading previous customers experiences can actually be more effective than any marketing campaign when it comes to selecting a product and supplier. Feefo ’s platform provides a quick, honest, independent and transparent way in which prospective shoppers can access this information.

To receive Feefo’s Gold Trusted Merchant Award is an acknowledgement of the exacting standards that we're committed to providing our customers at Ergoflex® - the team should be rightly proud of the service levels delivered in 2013, and for this to be independently acknowledged with this award demonstrates the hard work that goes into the service we are able to provide on a day-to-day basis."

Category: Ergo Flex News

Read full: Ergoflex® Awarded GOLD Trusted Merchant Accreditation for overwhelmingly positive customer feedback

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