When preparing to sleep for the night, some women wear a bra, while others prefer to go braless. This is typically influenced by personal preference, but does it actually matter whether you wear one or not? Many women wear a bra to bed because they believe it can have anti-ageing effects that are as good as cosmetic surgery. However, whether it is beneficial or harmful has been widely debated over the years.
In this article, we’ll explore the effects of wearing bras to bed, from its advantages to disadvantages. By doing this, we hope to provide you with the information you need to help you decide whether wearing a bra to bed is the right choice. Read on to find out whether wearing a bra to bed has an impact on your breasts and any health implications that could arise.
Should you wear a bra to bed?
Many women wear a bra to bed as it makes them feel more comfortable during the night, and some believe that doing so provides added support to their breasts to prevent them from sagging. Breast sagging is a natural part of ageing for all women, as the connective tissue holding them in place gradually loses its elasticity over time.
Several factors can contribute to the likelihood of sagging, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, smoking and weight gain or loss. These different factors can make it difficult to measure the direct effects of wearing a bra to bed on breast sagging, as there are many other reasons this may occur. However, as sleep involves laying horizontally, there isn’t a great deal of force pulling the breasts down during the night, so it’s unlikely that wearing a bra significantly affects the likelihood of sagging.
Many experts have concluded that the disadvantages of wearing a bra to bed far outweigh the advantages. We’ve outlined the main drawbacks below so you can learn more about its effects on the body.
How does wearing a bra to bed affect the body?
It inhibits blood circulation and lymphatic drainage
Bras tend to be tight-fitting, with many designs containing underwire to offer extra support. These bras can restrict blood circulation by constricting the muscles in your chest, preventing the blood flow from properly reaching the nerves around your body. Compression garments such as sports bras can also prevent blood from circulating properly around your breast area, so you should never wear these for sleeping.
Furthermore, wearing a bra to bed can also impact lymphatic drainage, which is vital for removing toxins from your breasts through the lymph nodes in your underarms. The tight-fitting elastics and wires commonly seen in women’s bras prevent the lymphatic system from draining, stopping the toxins from filtering out of your system. This can cause serious health implications, such as chronic inflammation of the breasts, among other illnesses.
It disrupts your sleep cycle
It’s no secret that tight-fitting clothing can make it difficult to sleep, and bras are no exception. Their hooks, wires and straps are likely to rub against the surface of your skin during the night, causing discomfort and irritation. Going braless and wearing loose clothing at night is more likely to promote comfortable and restful sleep.
It can cause hyperpigmentation
Wearing a bra to bed over long periods can cause skin hyperpigmentation due to the constant pressure and friction that can often be experienced. This friction can cause the body to overproduce melanocyte, which can cause elevated melanin levels. Melanin pigment determines your complexion and is found in the outer layers of the skin, so overproduction in specific areas can result in dark spots and uneven skin tone.
Benefits of not wearing a bra to bed
Improved respiration and circulation
One of the main health benefits of not sleeping in a bra is an overall improvement in respiration. While it is unlikely that wearing a bra will affect your breathing when you’re on the go, it can often become an issue when lying down.
Your upper airways become slightly narrower when lying horizontally, making it more difficult for air to reach your lungs. Therefore, wearing tight clothing and underwear can further restrict air circulation in your chest, as they are likely to prevent your ribs from expanding to their full capacity, making your breathing more shallow as you sleep. This causes your usual oxygen intake to be much lower, preventing your body from getting the level it needs. Alternatively, sleeping without a bra allows you to breathe easier during the night and improves your comfort levels for a more comfortable and restful sleep.
Another health benefit that comes with sleeping without a bra is that it can promote better hygiene. While some sleepers prefer to wear one at night, it isn’t the cleanest clothing choice as it increases the likelihood of your temperature increasing and sweating during the night, making for an uncomfortable sleep. The accumulation of sweat caused by your bra can also lead to body odour, acne and even fungal infections, so there are plenty of benefits when it comes to going braless.
Hyperpigmentation and scar prevention
As wearing a tight-fitting bra to bed can cause hyperpigmentation of the skin due to the pressure and friction that can be caused, this can easily be avoided by ditching your bra altogether. This will allow your melanin levels to remain constant and consistent in all areas of the body, so you will be unlikely to develop dark spots and uneven skin tone.
When deciding whether or not you should wear a bra to bed, it is clear that the negatives far outweigh the positives. Bras are great at providing the support you need during the day, but overwearing these garments can harm the body, which is why it’s important to go braless during the night to eliminate unnecessary pressure and friction for a better night’s sleep.