Man 1cm taller in morning than at night, scientists say
WASHINGTON, Apr 19: If you've ever woken up and felt on top of the world it may be because you're actually one centimetre taller in the morning than at night. Don't believe it? There is science behind it.
You should just try measuring your height early in the morning and then again in the evening. You will be astonished to see that you were taller in the morning than you are in the evening! This happens because of our body science that works differently, both in the morning and evening.
When you sleep, your spine is no longer subjected to the pressures of gravity, and your body is able to replenish lost fluids between your intervertebral discs, which stretch and relax. The excess fluid provides up to a half inch more of height upon waking. This same force is at work when astronauts travel to outer space.
According to NASA research, astronauts gain up to two inches in height once they are freed from the gravitational pressure of Earth. As soon as they come back to Earth, though, they return to their normal height.
Unfortunately, we don't live on the moon, and the force of the earth's gravity compresses our spines throughout the day, draining that extra fluid and shrinking height that extra half-inch.
To some degree, a similar stretching of the spine happens to you every night. When you lie down, gravity isn't pushing down on your vertebrae. You can do your own experiments with a meterstick. Measure your height carefully as soon as you get up or while you are still lying down. You will find that you're about a centimetre or two taller.
That's not as much as astronauts change in space. The idea, however, is the same. As the day passes, your vertebrae compress through normal activities, and you'll lose those few centimeters you "grew" overnight.
The spinal cord also plays a significant role in supporting this phenomenon. Our spinal cord consists of 33 vertebrae, overlapping each other. It is only because of our vertebrae that we are able to sit, stand and walk. The vertebrae is further divided into following 5 sections: Cervical, Dorsal, Lumbar, Sacral and Coccygeal. The spinal cord has gentle materials in between the vertebrae. When the body is at total rest, while sleeping, the materials in the vertebrae stretch and thereby increase our height by 1 cm in the morning.
On the other hand, when we wake up, the body again starts working followed by continuous movements and due to our own body weight, the same materials get compressed; therefore, our height reduces by the evening.
In fact, gravity also flattens the materials between vertebrae and pushes out the water between our spinal discs while we are standing. This can make us lose a centimeter of our respective heights. And, as we are sleeping, the body is in a horizontal position, so it is not affected by the gravity.
Isn't it amazing, how gravity and our body's own mechanism can increase and decrease our height! -BUSINESS INSIDER