It’s a life-long debate that sparks so many questions: should you sleep in a bra at night? There are many myths and tales about leaving your bra on as you sleep, and many women are left a little confused as to what is right or wrong. Some deem sleeping in a bra completely bizarre, whereas others swear by it, each with their own reasons for their choice.
So, whether you opt for freedom or stay strapped up for the night, I’m here to clear up the facts and the fiction about sleeping in your bra. I’m going to discuss all the arguments of how bras keep everything in place, tighten muscles or prevent growth – whatever you’ve heard, I’m here to clear it all up for you to make the decision.
The Myths and Tales
We’ve all heard the horror stories of wearing a bra to bed and the claims of night time bra-wearing being the true secret behind icon Marilyn Monroe’s famous figure. There are beliefs that wearing a bra to bed can:
• Lift the chest muscles naturally and prevent sagging as you age
• Improve body posture
• Offer orthopaedic back support
• Prevent spinal and back pain
The other side of the argument of those who choose a bra-free night’s rest separates the women community as they claim sleeping with your bra on can:
• Cause restlessness and discomfort
• Restrict blood flow potentially leading to health problems
• Cause hyperpigmentation including dark spots and uneven skin tone
• Lead to skin irritation across the chest
There are clear arguments on both sides, leading to a world-wide long-lasting debate of what is the correct sleeping method: bra or no bra? Fear not, I’m not just going to leave you to contemplate both arguments, a little confused as to what to do. I said I would set the record straight and that is exactly what I intend to do.
The Real Facts
So, we have clear advantages and disadvantages of wearing your bra through the night – but which one wins? Here are the answers to a few common FAQs:
Does Sleeping in a Bra Prevent Growth?
There is no medical evidence that sleeping in a bra restricts breast growth, therefore young women should not fear falling asleep in one. However, if you are going to sleep in a bra, you may prefer a wireless or sports bra as these will be more comfortable and less restrictive. This is something to bear in mind as wearing too tight a bra could impede blood flow and lymphatic drainage, which can cause fluid retention and inflammation.
Should You Wear a Bra to Bed When Pregnant?
It’s no secret that your body changes when you become pregnant, and again after the baby is born. So, if having a little extra support keeps you more comfortable at night, then there is little harm in doing so. However, it is far from a must for all expectant mums.
Does Wearing a Bra at Night Prevent Sagging?
In short, no. As Dr Seth Ranking, founder of private GP chain London Doctors Clinic, recently told Cosmopolitan:
"Let's think about this from a scientific point of view,"
"Sagging is caused by the downwards pull of gravity on the mass of your breasts. That's why bigger breasts sag more, as there's more fat within the tissue for gravity to work on.
"When you're lying down flat, the effect of gravity pushes the breast tissue back towards your chest, instead of down towards your toes. So, wearing a bra (the purpose of which is ultimately to support breasts from below) is essentially redundant in bed, as breasts naturally compress back down onto the chest."
The truth is, there is no scientific evidence that wearing a bra at night improves posture, muscle lifting or acts as an orthopaedic aid to your back either.
In fact, many reasons behind wearing a bra at night are based on ideas and implications with no solid evidence to support them. The bottom line is that bras are extremely uncomfortable for many women and, with no solid evidence to suggest wearing a bra through the night can benefit you in any way, it makes little sense to put up with the restlessness of wearing your bra as you sleep.
Here’re some true facts that can support the concept of not wearing a bra at night and put this debate to bed (pun intended) once and for all!
Professor Robert Mansel of Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales and Simon Cawthroth, Frenchay Hospital, conducted a study which proved that women who live bra-free are less likely to have breast cancer – which heavily suggests that wearing a bra at night can cause health implications.
As the facts support a bra-free sleep to be more beneficial to your health, I would recommend that you leave the bra for the day time and enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep! Even if Lorraine Kelly swears by it.
Ditch the myth of bra-sleeping enhancing your breast muscles and opt for a more health-conscious method. If you’re worried about back pain and posture, check out a high-quality orthopaedic mattress and thank me later – say goodbye to restlessness, discomfort and skin irritation!