March 14, 2013
You hear it often, especially if you were a child that grew up within Filipino culture. Adults and even other kids tell you that you should get some sleep if you want to grow taller. Some even use it as a reason for you to go and nap in the afternoon. But is there any truth to this? Do you really grow taller only when you’re asleep? Or is this merely a myth often used to trick children so that the adults can have some peace and quiet?
It could also be that it’s just a random reason given to explain why some children end up taller or shorter than others. It’s funny to think about, but it’s actually something that you can look into as I will reveal it in this article. Is there really sound logic and science behind it, or is it just a superstition passed throughout the ages?
So is it true?
Scientifically speaking, it is a fact that your body releases its growth hormones during deep sleep. Your pituitary glands produce growth hormones and add them into your body’s blood stream. This causes your bones to thicken, strengthen, and lengthen little by little. From this point, it’s pretty quick to conclude that sleep indeed does play an important role in your physical growth and development. So yeah, it is true.
But does zero sleep equal zero growth?
It seems like a stupid question, but it’s pretty valid. Well first of all, it’s impossible for any human being to live long enough to see any “growth” if he doesn’t sleep. This brings you back to the question: do you really grow taller only when you’re asleep? Well, while it is a fact that you do grow when you sleep, it doesn’t necessarily entail that you only grow when you do so. You grow more when sleeping than you do when awake. Simple as that.
So how much does sleep contribute to growth?
Almost all of it. When you’re fully relaxed in deep sleep, you give your active bodily functions a chance to rest, allowing your body to “tune up” for the following day. Like with cars or other machines, you can only fully tune or fix it when it’s at rest.
So in the end, regardless of purpose, sleep will always be good for you, though you won’t get much if you get too much of it. You don’t have to worry about whether or not you or a child will grow or not. Eventually, they just do, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop encouraging yourself or others to sleep. Just don’t give too much hope.
Remember that the genes play the most significant factor when it comes to growth. You may have tall genes that even the utmost deprivation of sleep can’t stop, or not-so-tall genes that even sleeping for 12 hours during a nap won’t fix. Don’t forget to be thankful for whatever stature you end up with; just don’t give up hope that you can’t alter it, even a little bit. Sweet dreams!