We’ve already featured a Blog post on whether you should sleep naked or in a bra, but it’s had so much engagement, we thought we’d look further into the subject. It is, in fact, one of the oldest questions in the book, and one we get asked all the time. Your gut response to this question will usually depend on what you were told by your Mum when you were young. You might have been told that sleeping in a bra will give you saggy boobs later in life (which is what I was taught), you might have been taught the exact opposite (like the lovely Marilyn Monroe, and also my childhood best friend), or you might have even been told that wearing a bra to bed will give you cancer (more on that later). But is there an actual answer to this question, or is it all made-up nonsense?
Bedtime Bra Busting
Before we get into the specific pros and cons, let’s look at what actually happens when you go to bed. After you’ve done your night-time routine, you probably lie down. Admittedly this is a guess, but we’re going to assume you don’t sleep standing up, or hanging upside-down like a bat. When you go to bed and lie down, gravity’s pull on your body changes. Yes, everything is still being pulled down (because that’s what gravity does), but instead of being pulled towards your toes, it’s being pulled backwards, into your body. Given that bras are designed to support your breasts from below, there is no way that wearing one at night will help prevent sag. Even if you have big, heavy books that tend to sag, when you’re lying down gravity is working for you, not against you.
But don’t think there’s no benefit to wearing a bra to bed. Indeed, there can be good reasons for wearing one, so let’s look at the specific pros and cons:
Pros Of Wearing A Bra To Bed
Support Post-Surgery: For women who have recently gone through surgery (not specifically breast surgery either – any upper body surgery), wearing a bra to bed can relieve a lot of strain. Keeping everything supported, secure and in one place can help promote the healing process and increase comfort post-surgery. There’s even specific bras for that.
Relief Of Back Pain: If you suffer from back pain, particularly upper back pain, then wearing a bra to bed could help relieve some of the discomfort. This is typically a problem for women with bigger breasts whose backs are struggling to support the weight, who might also find their breasts, back and sides get sore during the night if they don’t wear one.
Comfort: Of course, for some women it’s all about the comfort. They feel more comfortable covered up, feel they want to avoid the dreaded ‘sag’, to just don’t like the idea of having ‘the boobs flopping around in the bed all night’ (actual quote from a pro-bra-to-bed lady). And if it’s comfortable for you, we say go right ahead!
We do want to address one thing though. There is a fairly common myth that if you wear a bra to bed, you can lower your risk of breast cancer. We know that cancer is a scary thing, but we wanted to tell you that there is absolutely no truth to this myth. Studies have shown time and time again that wearing a bra to bed makes literally no difference to you health wise, one way or the other, and definitely doesn’t reduce your risk of breast cancer. If you want to do that, all you need to do is try to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
Cons Of Wearing A Bra To Bed
No Breathing Space: During the day your breasts, chest and shoulders are all under pressure from your bra, and supporting the weight of your breasts. Given the fact that 80% of women wear a bra that’s too small, this means there is some blood flow being restricted to these parts of your body. Continuing to wear a bra at night keeps that restriction going, and doesn’t give your body time to breathe and reset.
Health Hazards: Depending on the type of bra you wear, you could be at risk of injury. Underwire disasters, snapping straps and digging clasps are all a real possibility, especially since your body becomes a dead weight when you sleep. This can cause you some discomfort in the night, and even if you don’t wake up completely, you’ll probably get some pretty disturbed sleep. Additionally, an underwired bra can restrict lymph drainage, preventing the flushing out of toxins. The science is still out on whether this compromises long-term health, but it’s probably best to avoid unnecessary risks, so wear a non-wired bra and make sure it fits. Here at Elle Courbee, we have excellent size guides and can help you ensure you’re wearing the right plus size bra.
It Doesn’t Make You Perkier: Sorry ladies! There is no evidence that wearing a bra to bed makes your breasts any perkier, or keeps them that way for longer. This is one of the main reasons people give for sleeping in their bras, but unfortunately it will only lead to disappointment.
So… What If I Don’t Wear One?
So what if you’re in the not-wearing-a-bra-to-bed camp? Well, nothing really! There are no real benefits to wearing a bra to bed unless you are post-surgery, or have been told to do so by a doctor. So if you don’t want to wear a bra to bed, you don’t have to! It’s all down to your individual comfort and preferences.
Ultimately, if you wanted to do something to keep your boobs ‘perky’ for longer, your best bet is to spend around 20 hours a day lying down, so that gravity can’t have its way. At the end of the day, dozens of different things determine how much your breasts will sag during your life, from age to breast size, if you’ve had children, if you breastfeed, if you smoking, after dramatic weight loss or weight gain – even your genetics play a role. But don’t worry – at Elle Courbee we love you just the way you are. And if you do want a little help, we can provide you with a multitude of plus size shapewear solutions and striking lingerie to help you achieve the perfect silhouette. And if you are going to wear a bra to bed, we recommend something soft with no underwiring in sight.