It goes without saying that sleep is pivotal to your general health. But did you know that sleeping could make you grow taller? Not only is the growth hormone secreted at increased levels during deep sleep but sleeping also allows the discs within your spine to repair and expand, thus making you taller the following morning. In addition, a good sleeping position can improve your posture, and together with some simple stretches, you can grow taller or at least appear taller.
Sleeping to grow taller: right or wrong?
This might sound ridiculous at first but research has shown that you indeed wake up a little taller prior to your sleeping. This is owing to your intervertebral disc, a disc-like material in between each joint in your spine, which acts like a shock absorber and facilitates the movement of the spine.
This intervertebral disc is unfortunately compressed during the day and as a consequence, you lose around one percent of your height. Be that as it may, when you sleep at night, the intervertebral disc gets to recover and return to its natural state, which allows you to return to your true height. Thanks to this, you literally wake up taller than your height before you go to bed.
Growing taller during sleep is even more prominent in childhood and adolescence stages. It is no secret that your body releases different kinds of hormones when you sleep with a view to helping you recover and rejuvenate.
During adolescence, the brain actively releases growth hormones into the bloodstream while you are in deep sleep (usually an hour after falling asleep), which facilitates the lengthening and thickening of your bones as you grow. Sadly, the production of this hormone gradually declines when you age, and most people stop growing taller after puberty however much they sleep.
Even if you can no longer add a few inches to your height once you are an adult, at least try to maintain your current height and avoid height loss resulting from poor posture. Studies have pointed out that poor posture engenders 1 inch of height loss for the average person.
In fact, muscle weakness and laziness can cause the spine to curve more than it should do, leading to poor posture and height reduction. If you are lazy and rarely stand straight during the day, sleeping in a poor position will only make your posture worse. The good news is you can utilize sleeping as a chance to correct your posture and prevent too much curvature of the spine.
How can I sleep to grow taller?
You must be asking that question now that you know the additional benefits sleep brings about. Do not worry about whether your growth hormone is still secreted or not because with the right sleeping position, you can improve your posture to ensure that you do not lose any inches from your current height and even wake up a little taller than the night before.
The picture above illustrates the most popular sleeping positions, with Foetus being the most common one. There is nothing wrong with the Foetus position as long as your head is not positioned too far forward. In other words, your head should be placed in a way that the natural curvature of your spine is in place. The Soldier position is also recommended.
Here are a few reminders for a good sleeping position to grow taller:
- Have a good mattress so that your spine retains its natural shape.
- Your knees should not be locked straight in any positions.
- Always make sure that you are comfortable when you sleep.
- Do not sleep with a thick pillow because it will push your head too far forward. If you sleep in a Soldier position, choose a thin pillow.
- Sleeping with no pillows is not suggested as it will cause your head to tilt back and push your chin forward, thus creating poor curvature of the neck.
- If you sleep in the Foetus position, use a thick enough pillow to prevent your head from moving to the side.
Stretches to grow taller
Deep sleep and good sleeping positions do make you taller naturally or at least maintain your height. But are there any other ways that help you grow taller? Some people insist that regular stretching can increase your height while others dismiss this idea as unrealistic. So, can you really get taller by stretching?
The answer is you actually can. Stretching can help to improve mobility, prevent injury, and fight off aches and pains. Despite the undeniable influence of the bone structure on your height, stretching can make you taller if you are a “chronic sloucher”. As your trunk muscles are likely to be in a constantly shortened state if you slouch when sitting or standing, stretching can help improve your posture and allow you to stand up straighter, thereby effectively making you taller. Any stretching exercises that lengthen your spine and stretch your pecs such as yoga are highly recommended if you sit hunched over at a desk all day.
Moreover, not only can you grow taller by stretching but you also maintain your height when you are older given that your stature tends to diminish with age. Now that you have the answer to the question “Can stretching make you taller?”, try to keep up a stretching routine with the following tips.
Stretches while standing:
- Before you stretch, warm up your muscles. Do some easy exercises that work most of your muscles until you feel loose.
- Extend your arms and legs as if you are trying to reach the ceiling.
- Stay in this position from 15 to 20 seconds. Relax briefly and then repeat about 5 times.
- For the best result, practice stretching 3 or 4 times a day. You may feel some tension but you should not feel pain while stretching.
Stretches while lying down:
- Lie down on the floor and relax your body. Try to get your spine into a neutral position.
- Extend your arms over your head. Use enough force until you can feel the tension. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, relax your body, and then stretch again.
- Perform this stretch on your back and then on your stomach.