Akilla® Definitions

Akilla ® - A private educational campaign specifically set up to educate New Zealanders on the dangers of drowsy-driving and how it can be prevented.

Akilla ® Front Seat Sleeper - A person who has a "death wish". Research has shown that a driver can readily pick up the breathing patterns of a front seat sleeper, putting them to sleep. We all know the effect on people when we yawn, or how you can put babies to sleep by yawning at them. There are five explanations given in the 'Contagious Theory of Yawning'. The most likely explanation is that yawning is a method of communication originated from the apes.

Akilla Hurdles ® - "'micro-sleeps". A drowsy-driver experiences greater difficulty in staying awake as the number of micro-sleeps increase.

Akilla Sleep Trap ® - "The most insidious of them all". A sleep deprived driver needs to reach a destination (eg; return from holiday). But to arrive there the driver experiences a 'combination of events' that add to the drivers' drowsiness and can lead to a drowsy driving crash. For example; Lunch Dip, plus Circadian Dip plus the hottest part of the day. The driver experiences micro-sleeps ten minutes to home but decides to continue on with the journey. The driver falls asleep at the wheel and does not make it to the destination.

Circadian (biological clock) - A clock in the brain is regularly programming our organs and tissues to prepare us for sleep at night and wakefulness during the day. Circadian rhythm, the body's natural rhythm associated with the earth's rotation, causes nearly everyone to be less alert or even drowsy between 1:00pm and 4:00pm each day.

Drowsy - Heavy with sleepiness, sleepy.

Drowsy-driving - Driving while being heavy with sleepiness, sleepy.

Drowsy-driving crashes - Crashes that occur as a result of driving while being sleep deprived, driving while being sleep deprived with a pre-existing sleep medical condition, or driving while being sleep deprived and the state of wakefulness influenced by an external factor. Crashes that occur as a result of fatigue (ie; performing a task - eg; sport, driving). Inattention crashes that are caused by sleepiness.

Drowsy-driving incidents - Incidents that occur on the road where there is no crash but the cause of the incident has been determined as drowsy driving.

Fatigue - "Disinclination to continue performing a task at hand."117 Fatigue (clinical and research meaning) can result from physical labour as well as repetitive behaviours such as driving long distances. An individual can be fatigued without being sleepy, but conditions that produce fatigue also expose underlying sleepiness. Fatigue can also include mental tiredness.

Fatigue* - Some organisations use the word "fatigue" to cover sleepiness as well as fatigue (repetitive behaviour) and inattention. New Zealand Sleep Safety has adopted the clinical and research meaning of fatigue to be less confusing and identify solutions more clearly. An asterisk above fatigue (ie; fatigue*) denotes that the organisation citied is using the word "fatigue" to mean more than just tiredness from repetitive behaviour (eg; driving, playing golf)

Inattention - Not paying attention, thinking about other things while driving (preoccupation), being distracted. For example; mobile phone usage, reading a map, adjusting the sound system, eating, reading the newspaper, turning around to talk, built in video game monitors, dealing with children in the back seat, or being distracted by scenery, people or crashes. All of these are made considerably worse by being drowsy and/or fatigued.

Insomnia - A condition characterised by difficulty falling or staying asleep enough to feel rested. Waking in the middle of the night or waking too early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep is also insomnia. Sleeping for a full night but then waking unrefreshed or you have the perception that you didn't sleep well are also types of insomnia.

Micro-sleep - "The closest thing to a near-death experience while driving". A short period of time, usually two to 10 seconds, when the brain of a sleep-deprived person actually enters into a sleep state, even though it may look like he or she is still sitting up and paying attention (except for the glazed look in his or her eyes). A "micro-sleep" will overcome the best intentions to remain awake.

Narcolepsy - Neurological sleep disorder, triggered by a physical problem or defect deep within the brain. Narcolepsy results from the brain's inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. People with narcolepsy repeatedly become drowsy during the day and may fight off the feeling until they either become alert again or fall asleep. Narcolepsy involves sudden brief attacks of muscle weakness. The sleepiness can occur at inappropriate times like while driving a car.

Polysomnograph machine - An unobtrusive scientific equipment. Sensors or transducers are attached to your head, near your eyes, nose and mouth, and on your chin, chest, legs, fingers or ear lobe. The detail that it provides gives a wealth of information about exactly what's going on in your brain and body while you are sleeping. For example the Polysomnograph readout can tell when you went to sleep, when you entered rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, when you awakened and for how long, and when and if you stopped breathing (sleep apneoa) and how long it took for you to begin breathing again. It records - airflow from the mouth and nose, blood-oxygen levels, brain waves, eye movements, heartbeat, muscle activity and movements, rib cage and abdominal movements.

Power Nap - A refreshing 15-20 minute sleep. Short naps have a tremendous power to restore performance.

Restless Legs Syndrome - Unusual tingly, crawling, creepy sensations in the legs when lying down to rest or sleep.

Sleepiness - Sleepiness is a process that is a result of both circadian rhythm and the need to sleep.Sleepiness is " the inclination to sleep".

Sleep Apneoa Syndrome - In sleep apneoa your breathing stops or gets very shallow while you are sleeping. Each pause typically lasts 10-20 seconds or more. These pauses can occur 20-30 times or more an hour, and the result is poor quality sleep. Sleep Apneoa Syndrome is a medical condition. Apneoa is a Greek word meaning "want of breath".

Sleep Clinic - A testing facility where sleep disorders are diagnosed by sleep medical specialists.

Sleep Debt - The difference between the number of hours of sleep that your body needs and the number of hours you actually sleep.

Sleep Deprivation - The cumulative sleep debt. The total sleep debt (add together nightly sleep debt) since the last time sleep debt had been paid back by sleeping.

Sleep Medicine - Includes (but isn't limited to) sleep science, sleep research, sleep disorders, neurophysiology of sleep, sleep and breathing, sleep and endocrine system, neuropharmacology of sleep, behaviour, psychiatry and sleep, sleep and the body function, sleep and development and ageing.

Snooze Alert® - Powernap® timer - An electronic timer provided by New Zealand Sleep Safety to time Power Naps.

Important note: The above definitions are New Zealand Sleep Safety definitions for the Akilla ® Sleep Safety Educational Campaign. Definitions vary in the literature and some organisations (eg; fatigue).