QuickCheck: Are people actually taller in the morning?

Have you ever found yourself seemingly appearing taller in the morning; perhaps you have noticed a slight difference in the way you look in the mirror or your clothes just fit differently on you?

If so, you’re not the only one as the Internet is claiming that this increase in height is a natural phenomenon.

However, is there any truth to these claims and if so, what scientific reasons exist for this? Is it true that we are actually taller in the morning?



Whenever we remain upright, gravity compresses the spinal discs and this leads to a slight loss of height.

This - coupled with daily activities that cause further compression of the spine's discs, such as walking and standing - contributes to a loss of height.

By contrast, sleeping horizontally during the night gives the spinal discs a chance to rehydrate and this causes a slight morning height gain in the morning.

This is explained by Jean Sibonga of the Human Research Programme at Nasa, who says that it is this expansion that causes the increased height.

"Normally, standing up in standard Earth-gravity compresses these discs. Because we sleep horizontally at night, we actually wake up ever so slightly taller courtesy of fluid-engorged intervertebral discs," said Sibonga.

"When we're walking around in the morning and we have that one-g [force] push on us, these discs start to extrude some of that fluid," she added.

With that said, how much height will a person gain through the night?

Some studies have shown that an ordinary individual can gain 0.5 to 1cm of growth while asleep. While this may not appear to be a substantial amount of height, it could have an impact on how tall we appear.

This was determined by a University of Manchester, United Kingdom study; using a stadiometer to measure and assess the heights of 12 individuals throughout the day, it found that a person has an average height increase of 0.6cm in the morning compared to the evening.

Similarly, an independent study published in the Annals of Human Biology reported similar outcomes, revealing an average overnight height gain of 0.8cm among subjects.

So, you are a little taller in the mornings - so start walking with a little more confidence with this revelation.


1. https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/people-taller-mornings-than-evenings- 8588617/#:~:text=We%20reached%20out%20to%20experts,Sharda%20Hospital%20told%20indianexpress.com.

2. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20150513-will-humans-keep-getting-taller

3. https://www.onlymyhealth.com/reason-behind-you-feel-taller-during-morning-1683884359

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