Sleep Disorders Glossary B

Sleep Disorders Glossary - B

Basic Sleep Cycle

See Sleep Cycle.


Bedtime is defined as the time when one attempts to fall asleep or the time at which one goes to bed.


Benzodiazepines are the central nervous system (CNS) depressants. They work by slowing down the activity of the central nervous system. They are useful for managing insomnia, Restless Legs Syndrome, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, sleepwalking, and REM Behavior Disorder.

They slow the messages going to and from the brain to the body, including physical, mental and emotional responses. Also referred to as 'minor tranquillizers'. Examples include Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam), Restoril (temazepam), and Halcion (triazolam), Oxazepam (Alepam, Murelax, Serepax), Nitrazepam (Alodorm, Mogadon), Flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), and Temazepam (Normison, Euhypno).

Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure [BiPAP]

Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure/ BiPAP is a method of respiratory ventilation used primarily in the treatment of sleep apnea and various lung diseases.

Unlike CPAP, BiPAP uses an electronic circuit to monitor the patient's breathing, and provides two different pressures, a higher one during inhalation and a lower pressure during exhalation.

This system is more expensive, and is sometimes used with patients who have a higher than average CPAP pressure and/or who find breathing out against an increased pressure to be uncomfortable or disruptive to their sleep.

Bimaxillary Advancement

Bimaxillary advancement is also known as Maxillomandibular advancement. It is a surgical procedure, which moves the jaw top (maxilla) and bottom (mandible) forward. Used to correct facial deformity, receding chin, and for sleep breathing disorders.

Biological Clock / Biological Rhythm

Biological Clock is a term applied to the brain process that regulates 24-hour fluctuations in body temperature, hormone secretion, and a host of other bodily activities. It is an innate mechanism in living organisms that controls the periodicity or rhythm of various physiological functions or activities.

Body Position

In sleep studies, four sleep positions are identified; back, left side, right side or abdomen. Some tests also indicate if a patient is sitting up.

The amount of time spent sleeping in each position and the occurrence of respiratory events in a particular position are tabulated. Body position is recorded in both diagnostic sleep studies and CPAP titration studies.


Bradycardia is defined as a heart rate of under 60 beats per minute, though it is seldom symptomatic until the rate drops below 50 beat/min. It is also less commonly known as brachycardia.

Brain-Wave Rhythms

Brain-Wave Rhythms are the rhythmic fluctuation of electric potential between parts of the brain, as seen on an electroencephalogram. Brain waves are the brain's spontaneous electrical activity studied by electroencephalography (EEG).

The four basic types of brain waves are alpha, beta, theta, and delta, with the type distinguished by frequency. Alpha waves fall between 8 and 13 Hertz (Hz), beta are above 13 Hz, theta between 4 and 7 Hz, and delta are less than 4 Hz.

Alpha waves are usually the dominant rhythm seen in the posterior region of the brain in older children and adults, when they are awake and relaxed. Beta waves are normal in sleep, particularly for infants and young children.

Theta waves are normally found during drowsiness and sleep and are normal in wakefulness in children, while delta waves are the most prominent feature of the sleeping EEG.

Bright Light Therapy

Bright light therapy is the treatment used to treat circadian rhythm disturbances. Bright light therapy is also used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).


Bruxism is also called teeth grinding. Bruxism is g rinding one's teeth while asleep. The term "clenching" means you tightly clamp your top and bottom teeth together, especially the back teeth. Episodes of grinding are more severe after stressful days.


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