Normally when we breathe, we don’t expand our lungs, during meditation, if you concentrate on your breathing you can make your lungs expand when you breathe in and feel them contract when you breathe out – concentrating on your breathing helps you relax and relieves your mind of other distractions.
Counting sheep is a commonly suggested remedy for insomnia – I found counting sheep really difficult – my mind kept wandering, or I’d get the fidgets and I gave up counting sheep long ago. What does help is counting your breathing – breathe in on the count of two and out on the count of three – and that usually works when you can’t get to sleep at bedtime.
Lavender can also help – according to folklore lavender provides a better night’s sleep and lavender pillows were common cures for insomnia. Today research has proved that lavender helps with anxiety and insomnia. Researchers found that lavender induced slow-wave sleep, the very deep slumber in which the heartbeat slows and the muscles relax. It is also thought that, during this phase, the brain organises memory.
Lavender oil is used in aromatherapy and is widely available in health food shops.