Glossary of Sleep-related terms

Sleep Debt

The result of recurrent sleep deprivation that occurs over time, when an individual does not obtain a sufficient amount of restorative daily sleep. Sleep debt is like a monetary debt; it must be paid back at some time. The larger the sleep debt, the stronger the tendency to fall asleep. This accumulation of "lost sleep" may contribute to a decreased quality of life, the onset of related health problems, and the increased risk of injury and/or accident. See Sleep Deprivation.1