"Sleeping gas" is a generic term that is used to describe the incapacitating effects of a general anesthetic in vapor form, such as nitrous oxide, sevoflurane, isoflurane, desflurane and Xenon. These chemicals are volatile, which means that they readily change state from liquid to gas at normal temperatures.
In addition to incapacitating an individual, volatile general anesthetics are used to prevent an individual from becoming conscious of what is occurring around them. In medical and dental procedures, this relaxed state prevents voluntary movements in the recipient that could interfere with medical and dental personnel. The correct administration of general anesthetic requires years of study and experience. Incorrect dosing of individuals can lead to coma or death.