Is It Bad To Sleep With A Bra On?

Written by Rachana C  • 

I could just say a yes or a no and get it over with. But the why behind the no or yes is important for you all to know and for me to elucidate. I’d like to answer the following four questions to extirpate any ambiguity relating to bra-wearing. Read on to decide for yourself if the answer to, “Is it bad to sleep with a bra on?” is a yes or no.

What Happens When You Wear A Bra (Night Or Otherwise)?

How about beginning with the basics? Why do women wear a bra in the first place?

Image: Shutterstock

Honestly, it is a practice that certain cultures have adopted and spread it across the globe. If you look at ancient Indian women, or women of any ancient tribes for that matter, you won’t find many of them wearing even a blouse, let alone a bra. Wearing a bra is primarily to enhance the aesthetics of your body. Plus, it gives support for the heavily endowed women and makes their lives slightly easier, and that is if they get a well-fitted bra. I doubt how many of us are wearing the right one, for, research says that 80% of women who were a part of that survey wore bras of the wrong size in which 70% wore tight ones, and the remaining 10% wore loose and ill-fitting bras (1).

Does Wearing A Bra Stop Breasts From Sagging?

The emphasis on the fact that your lady lumps are quite literally just fat lumps and are not composed of muscles is something we heard a million times by now. You can’t exercise them like muscles to make them look firm. Also, another fact that the breasts are inevitably going to sag with increasing age had also been stressed upon enough. Wearing the right kind of bra can make your breasts appear perky and firm. Also, women with an athletic level of activity who indulge in running, jogging, or any vigorous exercises must see to it that they wear a well-fitted sports bra to control the excessive movements of the breasts during their activity. This movement not only hastens the process of sag but also causes breast pain in many women.

“What about wearing in the night?” is the question. Bra-wearing is essential only to defy the gravity or rather to reduce the impact of gravity on the breasts. They sag faster because of the earth’s pull, and the only way you can stop that is by wearing a bra that pulls them up. When you are sleeping, your boobs are not in any way under the impact of gravity. So, simply put, you don’t HAVE to wear it. Of course, if you feel that’s awkward and like to keep your things together while snoozing simply slide in a soft cotton bra that doesn’t have the underwire. And if going bra-less is your thing, just do it.

Does Not Wearing A Bra Cause Breast Cancer?

Dress To Kill – that’s where the whole story began. Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer believe that when you wear a bra, you tend to squish your boobs for the whole day and then again in the night which hampers the functioning of the lymphatic system. This makes you more vulnerable to breast cancer over the years. While this was their conclusion after interviewing 4,700 women in the U.S., they argue that cultures that didn’t impose the practice of bra wearing hardly witnessed cases of breast cancer while the bra-wearing cultures saw a staggering number of deaths in women primarily due to breast cancer

This is just one side of the story. What makes it even more confusing is the fact that Science doesn’t approve of this theory. For instance, in the research conducted on a group of post-menopausal women, the researchers couldn’t draw any relevance between bra-wearing (or not wearing) to breast cancer (2). Also, when the authors of Dress To Kill appealed to the American Cancer Society for approval of their hypothesis, they ruled out any scientific basis to the postulated theory. So, we are back to square one. If we can boil things down to trial and error with the reasoning, we can find a solution for this. If you come from a family that has had a history of breast cancer and you feel your bra-wearing has got any link to your lumps in the breast or discomfort of some sort, refrain from wearing one, particularly in the night when your body is recouping for the next day.

What Is The Role Of The Bra In Reducing Breast Pain?

Image: Shutterstock

Like I already mentioned, women with big boobs suffer from breast pain, and some complain of a neck pain too. When I say there’s a lot of movement while walking and running, it sounds vague, doesn’t it? To be more specific, let me tell you when you walk your boobs juggle for about 4 cm back and forth and up to 15 cm when you are running. Isn’t that a huge number? Yes, and that’s where a bra comes into the scene. Sorry, A SPORTS BRA THAT FITS RIGHT, is more appropriate.

Also, women who have undergone any breast-related surgeries need this kind of support to reduce the post-operative soreness. Again, bras to the rescue. And this is helpful in the night too. When they toss on the bed, there could be discomfort and pain, and a bra helps them to deal with the pain better

What’s your takeaway, then?

  • That bra helps purely for support (only as long as you wear it) and to make the breasts look firm. You don’t need that support in the night because the monster called gravity is not acting on the breasts when you are in the sleeping position.
  • That women with heavy bust should invest in a right bra that can reduce the impact on the ligaments of their breasts.
  • And that wearing or not wearing a bra in the day or the night has got little to do with breast cancer (at least scientifically speaking).

If there’s even an iota of discomfort, go bra-less, day or night, and that too regardless of what your culture says or what the society says. But if not wearing is causing the discomfort then wear one. They are your boobs, and you can do whatever you want with them. Plus, when in doubt, always hit the clinic. And when you wear one, wear the right one. I don’t think there’s anything more to this bra story. Do you have anything to add? Please feel free to do so in the comments section below.

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.