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Wearing Bra at Night: is it Actually Good to Sleep in a Bra?

It is an old wives’ tale and many stars used to claim that wearing a bra at night can help in preventing sagging of breasts later in life and in making them perkier. The legendary Marilyn Monroe claimed that she wore a bra every night, and famous broadcaster Mariella Frostrup had worn it since she had been told by Paula Yates to forego a boob job and instead wear a bra at night. However, wearing a bra while sleeping can do more harm than good for your breasts. It doesn’t prevent sagging of your breasts as claimed and even causes many negative effects on your health.

Though you may think that there is no harm caused by wearing a bra to bed; but, as already mentioned, sleeping with a bra on may result in many health problems. Some of these problems are listed below.

Is it bad to sleep with a bra on? Yes, one of the major negative health effects of wearing a bra to bed is that it may inhibit your circulation, especially, if the bra you are wearing is underwire. During sleep, the wire of the bra gets tight against your skin constricting the pectoral muscles (muscles of the chest wall). This restricts the flow of blood to the nerves present in your arms and other areas of the body.

Furthermore, wearing a bra at night with tight compression such as sports bra may harm your breast tissue as wearing it constantly also restricts blood circulation to the breast tissue. Poor blood circulation may result in symptoms of dizziness and cramps.

Just like wearing very tight clothes during sleep may cause restlessness and uneasiness, similarly wearing a bra to sleep, especially a fitted or tight bra may cause irritation and restlessness resulting in disturbed sleep. Even very slight constriction due to bra may cause uneasiness affecting the quality of sleep. Hence, should you sleep with a bra on? It isn’t a good idea to sleep with a bra on as your sleep may get affected and you may not get a good quality sleep. 

One of the other health effects of wearing a bra to sleep is that it may result in skin irritation. The hooks and straps of the bra may rub against your skin causing skin irritation and skin lesions. These skin lesions may even become cysts if you are wearing the bra for long periods of time and especially if the bra you are wearing is underwire. While you are wearing a bra at night, you will not feel or notice the slight pain or discomfort caused due to the skin irritation by the bra.

Hyperpigmentation is discoloration of your skin or uneven skin tone or appearance of dark-colored spots on your skin. The cause of hyperpigmentation is increased melanin pigment on a particular region of your skin. Melanin pigment determines the color of your skin and is present in the outermost layer of the skin. This pigment is produced by the skin cells called melanocytes. Wearing bra while sleeping at night, especially tight and underwire bras may lead to friction, irritation, and damage to the area of the skin where the hooks and straps of the bra rub against your skin. This may stimulate the melanocytes to produce more melanin pigment in that area of the skin resulting in hyperpigmentation.

Sleeping in a bra may result in fungal infection of your breasts. Another health hazard of wearing a bra to bed regularly, an especially ill-fitted bra is getting a fungal infection. The warm and moist environment that a bra provides forms an ideal breeding ground for the fungus. Furthermore, most of the women wear a bra all their lives; hence, they are very prone to develop a fungal infection of the breasts. Thus, you shouldn’t wear a bra to bed, especially if you reside in a hot and humid climate.

By wearing a bra to bed at night, especially a tight, constricting and underwire bra, you negatively affect the lymphatic system. It may impede the blood flow and lymphatic drainage resulting in retention of fluid and chronic inflammation. The lymphatic system helps in removing the toxins from the breast area via the lymph nodes present in the armpits. Therefore, impaired lymphatic drainage inhibits the excretion of toxins from the body. It may result in edema, discomfort, and chronic inflammation of the breasts.

There are many benefits of sleeping without a bra. Some of these are as follows:

As already mentioned, wearing a bra while sleeping at night may lead to disturbed and restless sleep. Hence, one of the benefits of not wearing a bra to bed is that it improves your sleep. Lack of good quality sleep results in tiredness, memory problems and reduced mental alertness the next day. 

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Bras are so designed that they remain tight and hold up your breasts properly all through the day. If bras are loose they will not provide any support to your breasts and may not even remain in their place and slip off. Underwire and sports bras are even tighter than regular bras. Bras may restrict your blood circulation, especially if you are sleeping with a bra on. Hence, the benefits of sleeping without a bra are that you are giving a break to your body during which your body heals and restores proper circulation.

Another of the benefits of not wearing a bra at night is that it improves the lymphatic drainage; thereby, allowing the removal of toxins from the breast area. This prevents the occurrence of fluid retention, discomfort, and inflammation in the breasts.

When you are lying down, your upper airways become narrow, making it difficult for air to travel to the lungs. When you wear tight clothes that restrict movement of the chest it becomes even more difficult for air to get into your lungs. Bras are a perfect example of clothing that restricts chest movement. They are wrapped tightly around the ribcage and prevent the ribs from expanding completely. When wearing a bra to bed, your breathing is shallow, in comparison to not wearing a bra to bed. This results in a reduced intake of oxygen. Hence, sleeping without a bra allows proper breathing.

Wearing a bra to bed, especially tight ones make you sweat more. Sweating is uncomfortable, unhygienic and produces a bad odor. Hence, sleeping without a bra is hygienic.

While wearing a bra to bed you may get injured by the buttons or hooks of the bra or poked by the underwire. The straps of the bra may rub against your skin and cause chafing and injury. Therefore, sleeping without a bra reduces the chances of any injury.

Wearing tight clothing such as a bra leaves a mark or indentation in your skin. By wearing them frequently, these marks may become permanent. By not wearing a bra to bed at night you are giving some time to your skin to bounce back to its original shape.

Though there are many disadvantages of wearing a bra to bed; still, many females want to wear it while sleeping as they feel more comfortable in it. Nowadays, there are many types of sleep bras available to choose from.

While choosing a sleep bra, look for a bra that is made of soft material, has wide and soft straps and is seamless. Don’t choose a bra that is too tight or that has parts that poke or dig in. It is a good idea to choose a plus size sleep bra.

It is better to sleep without a bra as sleep with no bra on is good due to the reasons discussed above. Furthermore, there are no benefits of wearing a bra at night as claimed. It neither makes your breasts perkier nor prevents them from sagging.

However, if you have bigger breasts and you find sleeping without a bra uncomfortable, then you can choose a special sleep bra that is seamless, soft, and comfortable, has soft and wide straps and is without any buttons or hooks.

Should sleep wearing a bra? Many people claim that wearing a bra at night has many beauty and health benefits. Scientifically, this is not true. Moreover, there are many negative health effects of sleeping while you wear bra at night, such as impaired blood circulation, hyperpigmentation of the skin, a fungal infection, and irritation of the skin.

There are many benefits of not wearing a bra to bed. However, many women, especially with bigger breasts find it uncomfortable to sleep without wearing a bra. They can wear a special sleep bra that is made of soft material, has wide and soft straps and is comfortable to wear.






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