Studies show we are getting less and less sleep as a society.

The National Sleep Foundation’s annual poll estimated that Americans get an average of about 6.7 hours of sleep during a weekday.

Even Stanford makes a note of this and reported the following:

“The survey findings are a source of great concern,” warned Thomas Roth, Ph.D., Health and Scientific Advisor of the National Sleep Foundation and director of the Sleep Disorders Research Center at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. “People have no idea how important sleep is to their lives. Most of us need eight hours of sound sleep to function at our best, and good health demands good sleep. Conversely, lack of sleep and sleep problems have serious, often life-threatening consequences. This is a case where what we don’t know can harm us — and harm those around us.”

Even as I read that number I think to myself “Hey, that isn’t a bad nights sleep at all.” Regardless of what I may think, my body doesn’t agree. It’s deceiving because most of our bodies have adapted to minimal sleep and give us the impression that we are managing just fine.

If I think about it, I’m not 100 percent most of the day. I’m fairly tired about 20-30 percent of the time. My answer is to drink coffee and rev up my bodies fight or flight system that wasn’t designed for modern working purposes. It was designed to be activated once in a while to save my life from predators.

In other words, coffee/caffeine consumption compounds the problem.

Lack of Sleep and Heart Disease

A lack of sleep (6 hours or less) doesn’t just mean waking up moody and having an unproductive day, do it consistently enough and it could kill you indirectly via heart disease.

It is also associated with all kinds of disease and illness.

In 2011, the European Heart Journal’s review of 15 medical studies, involving almost 475,000 people, found that people with shortened sleep cycles had a 48% increased risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease. They also found that these people were also at a 15% greater risk of developing or dying from stroke.

Interestingly enough, the study also found that long sleepers, or people who average nine or more hours a night, also showed a 38% risk increase in developing or dying from coronary heart disease and a 65% increased risk of stroke. With sleep, as with most things, balance is the most important thing.

Another similar study found that a lack of sleep predicted higher blood pressure. For most people, the body uses the time you are asleep to lower blood pressure, and with a shorter amount of sleep, there may not be enough time for this dip to take place.

Your Natural Sleep Solution

There are many sleep aids that can be purchased but they are artificial and may even cause dependency with some people. As always, Mother Nature has provided us with a natural solution to this ever increasing problem.

This salt and honey combination works to increase serotonin as well, helping us to de-stress naturally – serotonin has been known for many years to play a role in the modulation of sleep.

Lavender is known for it’s pleasant odor and calming effect. In fact, studies have proven that aromatherapy with lavender oil will slow the activity of the nervous system and promote relaxation.

Researchers have also found that lavender increases slow-wave sleep, the very deep sleep in which the heartbeat slows and muscles relax.

Try out this natural sleep aid, and rest easy knowing your body will be ready to face the day.

3-Ingredient Honey Sleep Recipe

This simple, 3-ingredient will help you sleep like a baby.

Ingredients:

Personally, I make a larger batch of this and store it in a glass jar. Just multiply the amounts by 10x each. If the lavender oil seems too strong you can dilute it a little with equal parts water.

Directions:

Take 1/2 teaspoon of mixture and put under your tongue and let it dissolve naturally. You can up the dosage to 1 teaspoon if needed.