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Can Lack of Sleep Stunt Your Growth?

Medically reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD

If I sometimes stay up all night and don't get any rest, will that affect my growth?

It could. 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 enough 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 weight gain and diabetes. Experts are looking into whether this link has to do with hormonal changes.

Getting enough sleep also will help you focus better in school and give you more energy and better concentration for sports and other activities.

Medically reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2021