Can Lack of Sleep Stunt Your Growth?

Can Lack of Sleep Stunt Your Growth?

My mom says if you stay up all night and don't get any rest you can stunt your growth. Is this true?
- Damien

It could be. A single night of no sleep will not stunt growth. But over the long term, a person's growth may be affected by not getting the full amount of sleep. That's because growth hormone is normally released during sleep. If someone consistently gets too little sleep (known as "sleep deprivation"), growth hormone is suppressed.

Lack of sleep also can affect other hormones. Studies show that sleep deprivation is linked to obesity and diabetes. Experts are looking into whether this link has to do with hormonal changes.

So in this case your mom may be right. Getting enough sleep also will help you focus better in school and give you more energy and better concentration for sports and other activities.

Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: September 2013

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
Web SiteNational Sleep Foundation (NSF) NSF is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public health and safety by achieving understanding of sleep and sleep disorders, and by supporting education, sleep-related research, and advocacy.
Related Articles
What Should I Do If I Can't Sleep? Find out what the experts have to say.
What Teens Say About Sleep We know what the experts think: The right amount of sleep is essential for teens. But what's happening in the real world? We ran a survey to find out. Here are the results.
Common Sleep Problems Sleep problems can keep some teens awake at night even when they want to sleep. If that sounds like you, find out what you can do.
Is it OK to Sleep Less on Weekdays and More on Weekends? Find out what the experts have to say.
5 Ideas for Better Sleep Insomnia can be a big problem for teens. Read our tips on getting a good night's sleep.
How Much Sleep Do I Need? Teens need about 8-1/2 to more than 9 hours of sleep each night. But you might not be getting it. Here's why - and tips for getting more shut-eye.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter