Children Grow Taller While They Are Asleep

original - [http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20050202/health.htm#6]

LONDON: A new study conducted by scientists at The University of Wisconsin suggests that 90 per cent of bone growth happens at night. According to the BBC, the researchers led by Dr Norman Wilsman put sensors into the leg bones of baby lambs and confirmed that most growth spurts occurred when the animals were at rest or sleeping.

Almost no growth occurs when the lambs are standing or moving around.

Bone length was continuously measured by the sensors every 167 seconds for around three weeks.

What was really interesting was that the bones were growing only when the animals were lying down, and almost no growth occurs when the lambs are standing or moving around,Dr Wilsman was quoted as saying.

The researchers believe that when the animal is at rest, pressure on the bones involved with growth of the growth plates is eased, allowing them to elongate.

Growth plates may be like springs that, during standing and walking, experience compression and tension. When these strains are eased, as when the animal lies down or goes to sleep, they resume growing, Dr Wilsman added.