This comprehensive guide continues contains many terms relevant for you to have the knowledge to make the most of your Oxa experience. Whether you're interested in sleep monitoring, relaxation techniques, or understanding the science behind Oxa, this resource has you covered.
From resonance breathing to heart rate variability, this guide will demystify the language of Oxa, making it accessible and easy to understand.
A - C:
Asleep calmness: Your average level of calmness throughout the night. Determined by analyzing your heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV), Asleep calm provides insight into the state of your nervous system, thereby shedding light on your sleep quality. A calmer sleep typically leads to a more restful and rejuvenating rest.
ASMR - Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response: One of the soundscape options for Oxa's sleep preparation, aimed to unwind your mind as your body relaxation. ASMR is conventionally a term used to describe a tingling, relaxing sensation that some people experience in response to certain visual, auditory, or tactile triggers.
ANS - Autonomic nervous system: The biological systems responsible for maintaining internal bodily functions and regulating responses to stressors and changes in the environment. It operates involuntarily, meaning it works without conscious control. Two main branches: PNS and SNS
Biofeedback: Techniques involving the use of electronic monitoring instruments to provide individuals with real-time information about their physiological processes. With Oxa, the data collected by the sensors is processed and displayed in real-time on the app's interface and in the audio guidance. Users can see and hear how their physiological responses change as they engage in breathing exercises or relaxation techniques.
bpm - Breaths per minute in case of breathing, or beats per minute in case of heart rate
Box Breathing: A simple and effective breathing exercise used to promote relaxation, reduce stress, improve focus, and enhance overall well-being. In a seated or standing position, the inhale, hold, exhale, and hold (or pause) each last 4 counts, repeating in a pattern until you feel comfortable. Box breathing is taught to individuals in high-stress situations, such as military and special operations personnel, to help maintain composure and clarity under pressure. Also known as 4:4:4:4, square breathing, tactical breathing
Breath hold: Check your tolerance to breathlessness. The exercise guides several rounds of deep breathing, followed by a period of retained exhalation. Oxa detects when you need to inhale and measures the amount of time, tracking changes in tolerance over time. The body's natural response to high CO2 levels is to breathe, so training can help you become more comfortable with discomfort and delay the urge to breathe. Increasing your mind and body's tolerance to elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) is known to reduce panic and stress responses and enhance mental focus. AKA: Breath retention in Buteyko, BOLT (Blood Oxygen Level Test)
Breathing rate (BR): The number of breaths taken per minute. It is a vital physiological parameter that reflects the rate at which air is drawn into and expelled from the lungs to facilitate the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide with the bloodstream.
For adults at rest, the normal breathing rate typically ranges from 12 to 20 breaths per minute.
During physical exercise or stress, breathing rate can increase significantly to meet the body's increased oxygen demand." Respiratory rate
Breath rate variability (BRV): a measure of the variation in time between consecutive breaths. When individuals are stressed or anxious, their BRV may become more irregular and less variable. AKA: respiratory rate variability (RRV)
Buteyko: A minimal breathing technique, developed by Dr. Konstantin Buteyko, a Russian physician, in the 1950s. It was initially designed to address respiratory conditions such as asthma and other breathing-related disorders.
Calmness: Oxa's unique calmness score is calculated using your heart rate, breathing rate, and HRV. It shows how calm your nervous system is on a scale of 1-10. 10 represents deep calm, 5, a normal day, and 1 high stress.
Carbon dioxide: A naturally occuring waste gas produced during cellular metabolism, particularly during the process of cellular respiration. Carbon dioxide is formed when oxygen is combined with nutrients in cells to produce energy (ATP). It is transported in the bloodstream to the lungs, where it is exhaled from the body during exhalation. The removal of carbon dioxide is crucial for maintaining the body's acid-base balance and ensuring that the blood and tissues remain at the appropriate pH levels for optimal physiological function. AKA: CO2
Check in: A freeform alternative to Oxa's guided breathing sessions, similar to the monitoring function during sleep, but for use anytime, anywhere. Each vital check records four metrics: breathing rate, calmness, heart rate, and heart rate variability. Choose between 1 minute, 1 hour, and Flexible. AKA Vital check
D - P:
Exhale: The body's process of expelling air from the lungs (and with it, CO2 from the bloodstream) to the external environment. It involves the release of air from the lungs, through the windpipe and out of the nose or mouth. During exhalation, the diaphragm relaxes (lowers), and carbon dioxide captured from the bloodstream by the lung's alveoli is expelled from the body.
Heart Rate (HR): Heart rate indicates the number of times your heart beats per minute (bpm). It is a fundamental physiological measure of cardiac activity and can vary depending on factors such as physical activity, emotional state, age, and overall health. Your heart rate is regulated by the autonomic nervous system, specifically the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches.
Heart rate is primarily measured by the pulse or ECG.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV): A healthy heart does not beat with metronome-like regularity; instead, there are slight variations in the time between each beat. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) quantifies these variations. HRV is a measure of the variation in time between successive heartbeats, also known as the R-R intervals on an electrocard.
HRV is typically measured using electrocardiography (ECG or EKG) equipment. Specialized software analyzes the intervals between heartbeats to calculate HRV values.
Higher HRV is often associated with a more dominant and flexible parasympathetic system, which is linked to relaxation and recovery.
Higher HRV is often observed in individuals who are physically fit and mentally resilient.
Inhale: The physiological process of bringing air from the external environment into the respiratory system. Whether consciously or involuntarily initiated, an inhale draws air into the nose or mouth cavity, through the wind pipe, and into the lungs. During inhalation, the diaphragm lifts (contracts), and the air entering the lungs fills the alveoli (small sacs within the lungs) and facilitates the exchange of oxygen (coming in) and carbon dioxide (going out) with the bloodstream.
Minimal Breathing: A state of minimal or very shallow breathing where individuals take small and shallow breaths. This can occur naturally during deep relaxation, meditation, or sleep when the body's oxygen requirements are lower.
Oxygen: A naturally occuring gas essential for human respiration. It is inhaled into the lungs, where it diffuses into the bloodstream and is transported by red blood cells to body tissues. Oxygen is used by cells in a process called cellular respiration, where it is combined with nutrients to produce energy (in the form of adenosine triphosphate, ATP) and carbon dioxide. AKA: O2
Parasympathetic Nervous System: The part of the ANS that slows heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. Oxa helps you stimulate this system to promote relaxation and recovery. Key features of the parasympathetic system include: Lowering heart rate. Stimulating digestion and nutrient absorption. Relaxing smooth muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. Promoting a sense of calm and reducing stress. AKA: PNS, rest and digest
Position shifts: The number of times you change position during the night. It is important for promoting comfort, improving sleep quality and addressing specific sleep-related concerns, such as sleep apnea or snoring.
Power Breathing: A hyperventilation-style exercise characterized by 30-40 rounds of forceful inhalations followed by passive exhalations. After the rapid over-breathing phase, the exercise usually measures the length of the retained exhale.The fast, forceful breathing technique causes levels of CO2 to decrease in your lungs and blood, increasing your breath hold time.
Pseudo onset: Oxa’s sensor gradually ends the audio experience based on a pseudo-detection of when you fall asleep. Once you stop following the guided breathing rate and your breathing rate returns to 10 breaths per minute or more, the audio fades out and switches to monitoring. A typical relaxed breathing state is faster than the guided relaxation rates. After approximately 2 minutes of independent breathing, the audio ends and sleep monitoring stays active.
Q - Z, 123:
Resonance Breathing: Resonance is a state in which your heart and breathing rates synchronize. The technique involves breathing at a specific rhythm (typically around 6 bpm) to synchronize and optimize the interactions between your heart rate and your respiratory system. The goal is to achieve a state where your heart rate variability (HRV) becomes more coherent, meaning that there is a more consistent and harmonious pattern in the time intervals between your heartbeats. AKA Coherence
Respiratory Inductance Plethysmography (RIP): Oxa's non-invasive method used to measure changes in thoracic and abdominal volumes during breathing. RIP provides a way to monitor respiratory patterns and assess lung function without the need for invasive procedures or direct contact with the patient. RIP typically involves the use of elastic bands or belts that are placed around the chest and abdomen. As a person breathes, the changes in the chest and abdominal volumes cause alterations in the inductance, which Oxa measures.
Session: Each Oxa exercise, including vital check-ins, tutorials, and sleep monitoring, is logged as a unique session in your account. The session stores the vital data that was collected during the exercise.
Sleep duration: The time you spent asleep: from the moment you drift off until you wake up. The amount of sleep one gets can greatly affect their physical well-being, mental health, and daytime energy levels.
Sleep onset: The time it takes you to fall asleep. Ideally, this period should be within 10-15 minutes, signifying a balanced sleep cycle. Oxa's sleep onset is calculated after the sleep session ends, based on a custom analysis of the HR and BR signals at the beginning of the sleep session. AKA Time asleep in
Streak: A measure of the number of consecutive days that a user has participated in breathing exercises with Oxa
Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS): The part of the ANS responsible for preparing the body for action during times of stress or danger. When the sympathetic system is activated, it triggers a "fight or flight" response, which includes: Increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Dilation of the pupils to enhance vision. Redirecting blood flow to the muscles, brain, and heart. Releasing stress hormones like adrenaline to provide a burst of energy. Inhibiting non-essential functions like digestion. AKA fight or flight
4:7:8: A form of paced breathing, aimed to help activate the body's relaxation response by activating the PNS and reducing activity in the SNS. In a comfortable quiet place, the exercise follows a pattern of 4 count inhale, 7 counts hold, and 8 count exhales, repeating for 4 or more rounds. Developed by Dr. Andrew Wells, an integrative-medicine physician.