A group of American researchers have turned another myth into a reality after a new study published in the journal Sleep revealed that kids indeed grow taller when they sleep.
Researchers from the Emory University and the University of Virginia asked 23 parents to record details of their babies before they went to sleep. The researchers found that the growth rate increased by an average of 43 percent every time a baby went to sleep and increased by 20 percent for every extra hour the baby slept.
Apart from the growth in height, longer sleep episodes were also linked to increase in weight and body-fat composition, while the sleeping patterns differed between boys and girls. While longer sleep episodes were linked with growth among boys, it was the total number of sleep episodes that predicted growth among girls.
“Little is known about the biology of growth spurts. Our data opens the window to further scientific study of the mechanisms and pathways that underlie saltatory growth”, lead researcher Michelle Lampl said.