Sufficient amounts of sleep coupled with a healthy diet of fruits, nuts, vegetables, meat and water help the body to produce an adequate number of growth hormones, as does deep breathing. However, human beings are rarely able to achieve any significant increase in height after puberty. Stretching exercises and leg-lengthening surgery may help increase height, but the latter is accompanied by serious health risks.
Height is determined by genetics, nutrition, hormones and stress. Men usually stop growing by age 18 and women by age 16. While medications may claim to alter height after puberty, their claims rarely have any kind of scientific basis.
Leg-lengthening surgery is a risky and complicated procedure that fractures two bones in the legs and gradually moves the pieces apart, encouraging new bone to grow in the gap. The process is formally known as distraction osteogenesis or osteodistraction, and it is performed primarily to correct bone deformities, but some hospitals perform it for cosmetic reasons. However, recovery can last over a year, and patients are at severe risk for infections, damaged nerves and blood vessels and fat embolism. Some hospitals require patients seeking cosmetic leg-lengthening surgery to undergo psychiatric evaluation prior to the surgery.
While this is not an option available to most people, astronauts who spend enough time in space do grow taller because of the weaker gravity.