Yes. You ARE taller in the morning, than you are at night!
So many people ask if this is true. Yes, you are taller in the morning than you are in the evening, or even as the day goes on. The easiest way to confirm this, is to check your rear-view mirror in the car. When you get in first thing in the morning, you adjust it up, as you are sitting taller. Once you’ve gone about your day, once you get back into your car hours later, you will, once again, adjust the mirror. This is because you are slightly shorter at that time of day.
Why does this happen?
The main reason for this is that our joints swell at night to flush out, and heal by re-hydrating. (another reason to stay hydrated, even before bedtime!)The synovial fluid in the joints does its job by flushing, and protecting the joints. The joints are a little more swollen after this hydration process has been done. Each of our vertebrae actually swell at night as a result of this process as well. When each of the vertebrae swell, it causes you spine to elongate. This allows you to be taller once you wake in the morning.
How much taller?
Some people can ‘grow’ as much as ½-1 inch during sleep. I’ve even had a patient who was an actor in New York city. He would only go to auditions the first thing in the morning, so he’d have a better chance at qualifying for any height requirements for the role!
Why do I shrink throughout the day?
Once we stand up, and start walking around, we are at the mercy of gravity. That hydrating fluid is dispersed in other parts of the joints, and is not as concentrated as it was first thing in the morning. Gravity pulls us right back to where we were before the hydrating process had begun. Once again, it’s why we then change the rear-view mirror down once sitting in the car at the end of the day. Poor posture can also affect this. Not standing or sitting properly can affect the length of your spine throughout the day, and lead to poor muscle support.
Does this swelling make my joints hurt more?
Yes, they can. Most people who have osteoarthritis(OA), find this to be true. They wake with pain, and find that once they’ve showered, walked around or exercised a bit, the pain diminishes. Most say they feel better a few hours after waking, once their day is moving along. This is because their joints already have excess fluid due to inflammation. Once the hydration takes place along with the inflammation, the joints have swollen quite a bit. This causes the morning joint pain. I caution patients not to take drug-based anti-inflammatories for this, as the pain is generally diminished throughout the morning. This inflammation is generally mild, and can be controlled by natural anti-inflammatories that do not damage the digestive tract. Natural anti-inflammatories also aid in reducing systemic inflammation that causes heart disease and so much more. Other forms of arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are much different, and can even worsen throughout the day. Treatments for those types, vary greatly from OA, and prescriptions may be given for those.
For help reducing inflammation naturally, please call my office for a complementary consultation.
Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C.
Accurate Care Pain Relief Center
20235 N. Cave Creek Rd. #110
Phoenix, AZ 85024