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Sleepless night? Try essential oils.

A recent University of Minnesota review investigated the effects of a few deep breaths of an essential oil while drifting off to sleep. The review concluded the inhalation of essential oils is a worthwhile option to explore after a night or two of restless sleep.

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expert-perspectives

How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?

The answer to the question, “How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?” has been the proverbial unicorn or Bigfoot for many parents, probably for many centuries: easy to imagine but much harder to find.

And while parents search for the magic formula to get their little bundles of joy to finally sleep through the night, Health Talk is here to offer five tips and suggestions from our resident sleep expert, Michael Howell, M.D.

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expert-perspectives

Make the most out of Daylight Saving Time

This weekend, we spring ahead and lose an hour of sleep as part of Daylight Saving Time. For many people, this may create some problems only because they forgot to set their clock ahead before going to bed.

For those who tend to be night owls, shift workers, or who have sleep disorders, it can be more problematic. The additional loss of precious sleep can be a more substantial problem. When we are sleepy, we often don’t perform as well at work and are more likely to make mistakes and have car accidents.

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expert-perspectives

Sleep key component to athletic performance

The world’s best athletes are descending upon Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Every elite athlete looks for an edge against their competitors to improve their athletic performance but what if the answer was as simple as getting more sleep?

According to Michael Howell, M.D., a sleep expert within the Department of Neurology, that’s precisely what elite athletes excel at.

“The best athletes I’ve ever met are extremely good sleepers,” said Howell. “Although you may not think your brain is doing much during sleep, your brain is putting connections together and it is amplifying circuits that are important.”

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expert-perspectives

Why we need sleep

Everyone knows that we need sleep to function but you probably haven’t thought about the biological necessities of sleep.

Health Talk spoke with Conrad Iber, M.D., director of sleep medicine at the University of Minnesota, and got his perspective. Here’s what he had to say:

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expert-perspectives

New “chill out” drinks target students in need of a break

Most energy drinks promise college students a quick boost to help power through the day, but a new line of beverages is formulated to do just the opposite.

“Relaxation drinks” are trading sugar and caffeine for ingredients like melatonin, valerian root and L-theanine to promote a calming effect.

With names like (Bob) Marley’s Mellow Mood and Just Chill, the products are gaining attention in the marketplace. They accounted for over $32 million in sales in 2012…

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