Height variation throughout the day or growing taller overnight?
Of course, you cannot suddenly shoot up by three or four inches upon getting up. In fact, you are taller by half an inch on average in the morning. The opposite happens in the evening with a slight decrease by more or less the same amount. So, what is responsible for this phenomenon?
The body part that takes responsibility for such a fluctuation in height during the day is your spine. Before we go into details, let’s deconstruct how your spine is made of.
The human spine consists of 33 vertebrae interlocking each other to create a single support structure for your whole body. It is the pillar of your body thanks to which you are able to move and walk in an upright position. Between these vertebrae are the intervertebral discs that facilitate movement, rotation, extension, and flexion of the spine. These discs are made of cartilage tissue, which gives them a kind of bearing between the vertebrae and high elasticity .
When we go through our day from morning till night, the spine has to support the body weight and thus its intervertebral discs are compressed. Their thickness is decreased accordingly, leading to a decrease in height at the end of the day. What is more, gravity also plays a role in compressing the discs between our spine. In addition, other parts of the body like the knees also suffer from this compression when we go about our daily activities in an upright position.
The counter-effect occurs at night when we are lying on our bed. Without bearing the body weight nor gravitational effect, your intervertebral discs can decompress or “stretch out”. This makes you literally taller when you wake up the following morning. That being said, the compression and decompression of your spine take place every day and every night as a natural process. To further prove this point, astronauts are a few inches taller when they come back from outer space compared to their normal height on earth. However, upon returning to earth, they will gradually return to their normal height due to gravity . Therefore, the effect of growing taller overnight is merely temporary.
What should I do for a permanent height increase?
Now that it is clear you cannot grow 2 inches taller overnight, you are probably asking yourself this question. The good news is there are quite a few things you can do to increase your height fast and permanently.
Watch your posture
Starting with your posture, you can gain around an inch in height if you correct your posture. Posture can either positively or negatively affect how tall you look. Bad posture might make a tall person appear short as they are hunched over whereas good posture can make an average-sized person seem taller than they actually are.
To maintain proper posture, you should:
Stand with your back straight and your shoulders back.
Pull the stomach in while keeping your head straight.
Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and let your arms hang at your sides.
Avoid slouching and keep your back straight while sitting at work.
Practicing good posture not only helps you look taller and more confident but also prevents back pain in the long run.
Eat plenty of nutritious foods
Although scientists agree that genetics has the strongest impact on one’s final adult height, environmental factors like nutrition are also crucial for natural height development. In fact, nutrition is especially important for children and adolescents during their growing years. By eating nutritious foods, they can reach their maximum potential height and avoid stunted growth. As adults, good nutrition also supports bone strength, reduces risks of bone diseases as well as prevents height loss as you age.
To increase height maximally, you should add a lot of micronutrients and macronutrients to your diet. Micronutrients are essential minerals and vitamins that are required in modest doses while macronutrients are protein, carbs, and fats that keep your body energized.
Follow our article on the best foods to increase height.
You can also consider taking height growth supplements to ensure you are giving your body exactly what it needs to foster maximal growth. Besides, this method is also easier and more convenient considering the busy schedules that barely give us time to cook and take care of ourselves.
Exercise daily and sleep adequately
When it comes to a person’s height, exercise and sleep should not be left out. They help children and teenagers stay healthy and fit to grow well from childhood to puberty. Moreover, some exercises such as basketball, volleyball, swimming, and cycling can boost growth hormone production and stretch your body effectively, thereby making you grow taller in no time.
On the other hand, sleep allows your body time to repair and recharge itself. More importantly, it is the time when growth hormone is secreted at peak levels. Produced by the pituitary gland in your brain, this hormone is primarily in charge of your height growth and body development. For this reason, you should get enough sleep (preferably 8 hours per night) throughout your growing years, particularly at puberty, to maximize your height gain.
All in all, the notion of growing taller overnight is simply derived from height variations during the day due to the gravitational effect. To increase height effectively, you should nurture your bones through good nutrition, daily exercise, and enough sleep. Maintaining good posture can also bring you to your true height and make you appear taller.