Secret to a great sleep

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If you ever get to go to a nice, open farm and spend some time breathing in the fresh air you’ll know how it makes your lungs feel like they had a spring clean out. Maybe it isn’t just because of less pollution but also what is in the air itself.

I read an interesting study that said sleeping on animal skin may reduce a baby’s risk of developing asthma. Scientists believe germs in the hide and fur prime the immune system not to trigger allergies.

The findings come from a study of 2,441 healthy German babies whose progress was monitored until the age of 10.

More than half slept on animal skin during their first three months of life. They were 79 per cent less likely to develop asthma by six years of age than children not exposed to animal skin.

The results, presented at the European Respiratory Society’s International Congress in Munich, lend support to the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ that suggests too much cleanliness early in life can increase susceptibility to allergies.

Lead researcher Dr Christina Tischer, said the results supported earlier research.

“Previous studies have suggested that microbes found in rural settings can protect from asthma. An animal skin might also be a reservoir for various kinds of microbes, following similar mechanisms as has been observed in rural environments,” she said.

When it seems like every preschool has lists of what can’t be brought into school due to allergies, this research shows that the human body is an incredible machine that has an extraordinary ability to adapt to anything it experiences.

Lift heavy weight and it builds stronger muscle; get a cold and you build an increased immune system.

Small, frequent stimuli can keep the body growing and adapting. So let the kids play with the dog, even in the mud or the dirt. Put away the anti-bacterial wipes and soaps and sprays that we all seem so obsessed with.

Let their immune system learn how to deal with every day germs and the like and they will have a more robust, healthy body for it.

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