Sleep plays a crucial role in the height development of children. However, not everyone knows the best sleeping positions for children to ensure they get a good and deep sleep. Let’s explore in this article the positions that experts recommend for parents to apply to effectively enhance their children’s height. Here is some information about the best sleeping positions for height development as well as how to sleep to effectively increase height.
Why does sleep help increase height?
There are many factors affecting a child’s height development, with sleep accounting for up to 25%. Scientists emphasize that sleep greatly influences both the physical and mental development of children. Sleep is crucial for height because during sleep, the pituitary gland releases growth hormone, a key factor in promoting height growth.
Growth hormone is released throughout the day, but for children, it is released most during deep sleep, particularly around 1 hour after they start sleeping. Furthermore, the amount of growth hormone released during deep sleep is four times higher than during the day.
This graph shows that the amount of growth hormone decreases gradually as children enter adulthood. Therefore, it’s important to take advantage of this hormone’s benefits in improving a child’s height from an early age.
For children, the process of bone development mostly occurs during sleep. Explaining this phenomenon, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States suggest that the body’s weight pressure on the cartilage layer at the ends of bones while standing makes it difficult for bones to grow compared to when lying down. Therefore, when the bones do not have the opportunity to develop, it implies that the child will have difficulty gaining extra height. So, how should one sleep to increase height? How much sleep time is enough to effectively improve height?
Recommended Sleep Time According to Age
The National Sleep Foundation in the United States has conducted specific studies on human sleep and published the results of an investigation into the appropriate amount of sleep for each age group.
After 300 scientific analyses by 18 researchers from the National Sleep Foundation, including experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Dermatology, and the American Psychological Association, a chart has been established to clearly show the required hours of sleep corresponding to each life stage as follows:
Children in the Toddler Stage (1 – 2 years old)
At this stage, children need about 11-14 hours of sleep, including naps. They can now sleep in their own room throughout the night, although bedtime may become a battleground.
Initially, children may not adhere to a regular bedtime routine, so it’s essential for parents to establish a consistent and regular schedule to help them become accustomed to a sleep routine. This approach helps avoid fatigue and sleep deprivation for both the child and the parent.
Preschool Children (3 – 5 years old)
At this age, children start attending preschool, kindergarten, or pre-elementary school, making it more critical than ever to ensure they adhere to a predetermined sleep schedule.
Ensure that the total hours of both day and night sleep amount to at least 10 hours, with daytime naps being sufficient to avoid disrupting the child’s nighttime sleep.
School-Aged Children (6 – 13 years old)
Children require 9-11 hours of sleep each night. With a fixed school schedule, ensuring that children go to bed at the right time each evening is the best thing you can do for your child at this age.
After returning from school, children may engage in extracurricular activities and complete homework. Therefore, it’s important to help children get 9-11 hours of sleep each night before waking them up to start the next day’s morning routine.
Teenage Years (14 – 18 years old)
Although during the teenage years, children can be much more independent in their bedtime routines and schedules before going to bed at night, parents should ensure that their children get a full 8 hours of sleep each night.
With busy schedules filled with piles of homework and extracurricular activities, it’s crucial to allocate a reasonable amount of time for adolescents to ensure their health and alertness for effective height development.
Best Sleeping Positions for Height Growth
Sleeping positions significantly affect a child’s development. Even minor changes in sleeping positions can create favorable conditions for optimal bone development.
If a child frequently sleeps in a hunched position, with bent legs and arms, it’s advisable to correct this sleeping posture. Such a sleeping position can impede joint and bone development, hindering the child from achieving the desired height. So, how should one sleep to increase height effectively?
There are three positions that help children sleep well and significantly increase height:
This is one of the most effective positions for children to improve height because muscles and joints are allowed to relax freely. You should encourage the child to lie supine, straight, with limbs stretched out to ensure maximum height development.
With this position, the child’s body is always in the most comfortable state, with no parts being compressed or subjected to any pressure. When a child sleeps in this position, blood circulation in the body flows smoothly without any obstruction, thus maximizing height growth.
Inclined Sleeping Position
This height-increasing sleeping position helps prevent the compression of the child’s spine. You can encourage the child to lie on their side, allowing their limbs to stretch comfortably without folding the joints. If using a mattress, it is advisable to choose one with moderate firmness, avoiding excessively sagging ones to prevent the occurrence of a curved back.
Prone Sleeping Position
Some children prefer this height-increasing sleeping position, while others may find it uncomfortable. This position benefits lung activity, providing comfort to the chest area for the child, as it can help improve lung capacity and promote respiratory function, which is beneficial for height. However, pediatricians do not recommend parents to let their children sleep in this position as it can lead to breathing difficulties.
It can be seen that when parents ensure their children sleep in the proper position, the opportunity for height increase is significantly enhanced. The child’s spine is stretched, and the bone joints and ligaments are relaxed. Consequently, the spine becomes longer, thereby helping the child grow taller each day.
Read more: How Does Sleep Affect Height Development?
How to Achieve Quality Sleep
To attain a good night’s sleep, Professor Patrick Fuller at Harvard Medical School has highlighted some good habits and also emphasized the elimination of bad habits that can affect sleep quality, as follows:
Abandoning bad habits before bedtime
Stay away from mobile phones and electronic devices
If children want to eliminate insomnia, the first thing to do is to refrain from using electronic devices before bedtime. The blue light from smartphones and other devices inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone that aids in easier sleep.
Studies at Osaka University in Japan have also shown that light from mobile devices prevents the brain from resting, leading to inadequate and shallow sleep for children.
Limit caffeine intake
Caffeine disrupts a child’s sleep and can lead to anxiety, extreme restlessness, and hyperactivity, significantly impacting sleep quality.
Moreover, caffeine can also interfere with the absorption of calcium into the bones. When children consume excessive caffeine, the amount of calcium excreted in the urine increases. Low blood calcium levels prompt the body to draw calcium from the bones. With repeated occurrences, caffeine directly affects bone health, leading to stunted growth.
Say no to bedtime snacks
Research by physicians at Edward Hines Hospital in the UK indicates that the habit of eating before bedtime can have severe consequences for health, reducing the quality of sleep.
Eating before bedtime can trigger the reflux of food from the stomach into the esophagus, causing nighttime heartburn. This phenomenon can also abruptly wake the child up due to episodes of coughing.
Additionally, lying down immediately after eating increases pressure on the stomach’s digestive capabilities. Undigested food in the stomach can cause discomfort and fatigue for the child.
No sleeping with pets
Children often have a habit of sleeping with pets, but pets, like children, have their own sleep patterns. They might disrupt your child’s sleep as they may think your child is awake when they are changing their sleeping position. This can disturb the child’s sleep quality, causing them to wake up unexpectedly.
Cultivate good bedtime habits
- Reading books before bedtime helps children ease into a deep and restful sleep. However, avoid reading complex books that may strain the child’s cognitive abilities or overly gripping books that prevent them from stopping. Choose gentle and simple stories instead.
- Listening to soothing and gentle music can also help children fall asleep faster.
- An airy sleeping space will provide the child with a more complete sleep. Ensure that the beddings, pillows, and curtains are always clean, and a comfortable mattress will help the child relax better during sleep.
- Maintaining proper bedroom lighting is also a way to ensure better sleep for children.
Only with a proper sleep environment, suitable nutrition, and regular exercise habits can we optimize and ensure safe height development for children. Hopefully, the information provided above will be useful for parents aiming for their child’s optimal height growth.
Hi everyone, I’m Tony Scotti, an expert in the field of height increase with many years of experience researching and applying height increase methods, and have achieved promising results. I have created increase height blog as a personal blog to share knowledge and experience about what I have learned during the process of improving my own height.