How wearing a bra to bed impacts your sleep, skin and circulation
It can even cause fungal infections.
Many of us are guilty of leaving our bra on overnight: maybe you did so because you heard about Marilyn Monroe’s habit of doing the same — or, more realistically, you were just feeling a bit lazy after a night out.
While some prefer to regularly sleep in a bra as they find it more comfortable, others argue that it’s a no-no and could have consequences from premature sagging to restricted breast growth.
But is there any truth to those warnings? Or are they just old wives’ tales?
When it comes to wearing bras to bed, we have to get the truth off our chest. These are all the actual reasons why you should curb your bra-sleeping sooner rather than later.
It impacts your circulation
If your bra has an underwire or is otherwise tight-fitting, it will press down on your pectoral muscles, meaning that blood flow to your arms and other body parts will become constricted.
Some bras, like sports bras, also act as a kind of compression garment. This, in turn can prevent blood flow to your breast tissue, leading other to circulatory issues with symptoms including dizziness and muscle cramps.
It irritates your skin
We’ve all taken our bra off after a long day to find the shape of it literally embedded into our flesh — so the amount of skin irritation that arises from wearing your bra overnight isn’t worth thinking about.
The straps, hooks, and underwire from your bra can also be a source of discomfort as they rub against your body overnight.
Dr Seth Rankin, founder of private GP chain London Doctors Clinic told Cosmpolitan: ‘If your bra often leaves impressions in your skin from being too tight, then wearing it 24/7 won’t give the skin a chance to recover and bounce back from these, leading to long-term indents in the tissue.’
It can cause hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation happens when melanin is elevated in certain parts of the body, leading to dark and discoloured patches of skin. Wearing a bra at night can lead to hyperpigmentation due to the friction it creates between your bra and the skin increasing melanin production in those areas.
Although hyperpigmentation is just a cosmetic issue, many people spend a fortune on chemical peels, laser therapy, microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, or at-home treatments to lessen its appearance. It’s far easier and cheaper to prevent than to cure.
It can lead to fungal infections
Fungal infections are uncomfortable and can be unsightly, so having one on your boobs (and having to cover yourself in medication in this awkward are) is probably the last thing you want.
The warm, slightly sweaty conditions that come from wearing a bra to bed are the perfect environment for fungal infections to thrive. This is also why it’s especially important to not sleep in your bra during the summer.
It can mess up your sleep
Let’s face it, bras are uncomfortable at the best of times, meaning if you wear these tight and constricting garments to bed, your sleep will suffer.
From increased perspiration to restricted breathing if the bra sits tightly around your ribcage, there are plenty of issues that can disrupt your rest or make you feel more tired come morning.
Given there’s no evidence to show wearing a bra overnight alters your breast shape or prevents sagging, it’s really not worth it for the long-term impact it will have on your sleep pattern.
If you really can’t fathom the idea of sleeping without any kind of bra, go for seamless, breathable pieces specifically designed for bedtime. And absolutely no underwire.
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch by emailing [email protected].