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Is there a link between sleep and height? While the evidence is not clear, concerns about height are still valid.
Tall stature, for example, is associated with superior overall physical health. Furthermore, most societies tend to associate positive characteristics to tall individuals more often than short ones.
Sleep promotes growth based on the well-known production of human growth hormone during deep sleep.
A registered nurse and clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle described this process in a nutshell on her website.
The pituitary gland is stimulated by the hypothalamus to release growth hormones when we sleep.
The hypothalamus releases this growth hormone travels to the liver, where it is converted into an insulin-like substance known as somatostatin.
The hormone stimulates cell generation and regeneration in various tissues, such as muscles and fatty tissues.
When researchers claim that two items are linked, they do not imply that one causes the other.
When we comprehend the vital role of growth hormones in human development, it is reasonable to assume that sleep causes height.
After all, as previously said, sleep produces growth hormones, which impact bone density and length and lead to a greater height.
At present, the average height of a child is approximately 140cm (54in) and continues to grow throughout puberty and into young adulthood.
Biological factors including DNA, nutrition, activity, and other variables are just as likely to determine a person's height, which generally stops growing after puberty.
Sleeping longer will not automatically turn a toddler into the next LeBron James, and attempting to do so might get in the way of other vital tasks.
Before we brush off the inquiry, let us look at why our youth might be concerned about their height in the first place.
Following that, we will examine the evidence on how much sleep youngsters require to mature.
Finally, we will look at why sleep is essential for achieving all stages of development other than height and ways to help kids sleep better and reduce their height concerns.
People of various ages use another person's height to form impressions about them, just as they do with other physical features.
In a 2005 Gallup poll, 71 per cent of American adults thought taller women are more readily respected at work than shorter ladies.
When asked the same question about men, the percentage of respondents who said yes grew to 86 per cent.
It is no surprise that roughly half of males and females in the survey's lowest height category desired to be taller.
The way people perceive height has a significant impact on both genders. Adults' thoughts on how the height of preteens and teens might affect their sports participation, making friends, and self-confidence in social situations were all investigated by Gallup.
Regardless of gender, adults believe that taller youngsters have an advantage in making friends.
However, they felt that shorter females had an advantage in the other two categories. Boys were also more self-assured (81-82 per cent) and had better communication skills (73 per cent).
Although this study was based on adult views, it reflects the conflicting demands placed on girls to be taller or shorter and the public pressure for boys to be taller.
Tall individuals are also dealt with differently from tiny people, even in brief encounters.
Social scientists conducted a three-part study for 27 days to see whether pedestrians would yield to taller persons (i.e., walk around them or let them pass) on a narrow sidewalk and a busy commercial street.
Tall individuals were also more likely to be obeyed by pedestrians than shorter people. Taller people were also more likely to hit individuals standing in their path, though this was not always the case.
On the other hand, shorter persons would typically side-step the tall person to prevent any physical contact.
According to these findings, short children and teens may be more emotional than their peers.
When taller classmates run into them in the corridors, they may feel insignificant even if they are not bullied directly.
It might not be just other children: Teachers and other adults may treat youngsters as older or younger than their peers, depending on their height.
They might believe that smaller kids are intellectually, physically, and emotionally stunted. These preconceptions lead to behaviours that can negatively influence their growth.
Moreover, because sleeping is something we all do, it may seem like an easy shortcut to growing taller—to stand out from the crowd, both literally and metaphorically.
Unfortunately, few studies investigate whether sleep can make someone grow taller, having only produced conflicting results so far.
A study published in the Brazilian Journal of Pediatrics cited two others linking shortened sleep duration and reduced height.
One conducted in Singapore revealed that short sleep duration was linked to lesser stature.
Another study in North America found that longer nocturnal sleep and even daytime rest were connected to increased height.
However, research conducted in the United Kingdom revealed the opposite result, showing no long-term growth over time.
It's no surprise that shorter sleep duration was linked to an increased risk of childhood obesity in the same study.
While the connection between sleep and height is debatable, sleep is still necessary for child development in other areas.
Our circadian rhythm regulates several bodily processes, including our metabolism.
Poor sleep can have a variety of negative consequences, one of which is a decrease in academic performance.
It can also lead to agitation and tension, both of which might harm their relationships. So, focusing on height alone may be a bit short-sighted.
The greatest thing you can do for your kid is to set an excellent example by sleeping well yourself.
If this seems like an unrealistic goal, consider these ideas from AcousticSheep® on how to help kids and teenagers sleep better, as well as extra suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
For school-age children, have them:
For teens, have them:
We recognise that caring for children might make it difficult to fall asleep. SleepPhones® headphones are ideal for tuning out snoring partners while still listening to the children.
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Even if you explain to your children that determining whether sleeping longer makes them grow taller is difficult, they will not be relieved.
It will also not stop adults and other kids from forming preconceptions about their height.
Marguerite Kelly suggests indirectly promoting your child's personality as a parent.
Commend them on any small academic accomplishments, such as finishing their homework. Praise the way they treat others in general.
Encourage them to participate in activities, such as sports that might make them self-conscious if they were not involved.
Finally, please do not assume that because they are taller or shorter than their friends, they are more or less emotionally mature simply because of it. Treat them the same way you would any other child their age while allowing them to "develop at their own pace."
If your child's height appears to be caused by a medical condition, such as hypothyroidism, seek out a pediatric endocrinologist immediately. A professional will assist you in locating the best resources and therapies for you.
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