Growth hormone (GH) is produced by the pituitary gland and is the main hormone that controls every organ and function in the body. Growth hormone promotes the conversion of foods into energy, increases protein synthesis, stimulates cell division, and stimulates the growth of organs in the body - from bones to muscles and nerves.
Growth hormone plays a very important role in children's height growth.
Children who are deficient in the growth hormone will grow slowly, and become stunted and shorter than their peers. Low growth hormone levels also reduce the firmness of the bones and make the bones more prone to fracture. Moreover, the growth hormone decline also weakens the immune system in children and hinders their height growth. Therefore, sufficient growth hormone production is essential for children to grow and reach their desired height in the future.
Although nutrition and exercise affect growth hormone production, sleep is the most important and the most determinant factor. How should you sleep to get the desired height? Below are the tips to help you sleep properly.
The growth hormone is released throughout the day. However, in children, sleep is the time that the growth hormone is secreted most. A sleepless night or a night of insufficient sleep may not affect height growth much. Nevertheless, if this happens frequently, it will have significant consequences.
According to experts, children have to sleep at least 8 hours per day (preferably from 9:00 PM or 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM or 6:00 AM). Sleeping much in the daytime will be completely counterproductive.
Sleeping in the wrong postures will put pressure on the bones and cartilage, which will hinder the growth of bone length and stature. It is an extremely harmful habit if you lie on the side, bend your back, and draw your knees towards your chest while sleeping. Just a few minor modifications in sleeping postures will facilitate bone growth.
For the best sleeping posture, you should lie on your back with your body straight and your arms straight down the body or with your head tilted and your arms and legs stretched out for comfort but you should not bend the joints. These sleeping postures cause the joints not to be compressed and help the cartilage between the spines be expanded favorably, thereby promoting height growth.
Soft mattresses will make you feel comfortable and pleasant while sleeping. However, if the mattresses are too soft, they will adversely affect the height. A sturdy and flat mattress will surely support the entire body while you're sleeping and help your skeletal muscles grow. On the contrary, if the mattresses are too soft, they will cause the entire spine to be bent, thereby inhibiting height growth during sleep.
Furthermore, you should limit your sleeping in hammocks because sleeping in hammocks adversely affects not only your height growth but also your back.
The pillows that are too high can make your neck bones and your back bend forward and reduce the growth of skeletal muscles. As a result, the height cannot grow to the full extent.
According to experts, it is best to sleep without a pillow. If you are unfamiliar with this, you should replace the high pillows with thinner ones to minimize the negative effects on height growth.
Limit caffeine and sugar
It's a good idea to be mindful of what you eat and drink, especially when it's getting close to bedtime. Caffeine, which you find in things, like coffee, tea, and some sodas, can make it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Sugary stuff, like candy and sweet drinks, can also mess with your sleep. So, it's best to avoid these things in the hours leading up to bedtime.
Staying active is another piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting good sleep. When you're physically active during the day, your body tends to sleep better at night. It's like giving your body a good reason to rest and recover. But here's the catch: try not to do tough workouts too close to bedtime. Exercise increases your heart rate and body temperature, which can make it harder to fall asleep if you do it right before bed.
Limit screen time
Limiting screen time, especially in the hour before bedtime, is a simple but powerful way to improve your sleep. Screens, like those on phones, tablets, and TVs, emit a type of light called blue light. This blue light can trick your brain into thinking it's still daytime, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
Managing stress is a crucial part of ensuring you get a good night's sleep. When stress and anxiety are running high, it can be challenging to unwind and fall asleep peacefully. Thankfully, there are some straightforward relaxation techniques you can try.
Deep breathing, for example, is a quick and effective way to calm your nerves. You can do this by taking slow, deep breaths in through your nose, holding for a few seconds, and then exhaling slowly through your mouth. This simple exercise can help relax your body and mind.
It's natural to feel a little sleepy during the day sometimes, and taking a short power nap can indeed be refreshing and help you recharge. However, the timing and duration of your naps can significantly affect your nighttime sleep quality.
Long or late afternoon naps, for instance, can be counterproductive. When you nap for extended periods or too close to your bedtime, you risk interfering with your regular sleep schedule. This can make it harder to fall asleep at night or even lead to a disrupted sleep pattern.
Getting enough sleep won't make you taller if you're already done growing, but when you're still growing (like during childhood and teenage years), it helps you reach your full potential height. The tips we talked about for better sleep are also just good for feeling better and doing well in daily life.
- Related post: Proper sleeping tips help improve height