Dressed to Kill – Should you sleep in your bra?
The internet is full of conflicting information whether or not to wear a bra while sleeping. There is also a lot of confusion around the topic, and the so-called benefits and possible health risks. Some research has suggested that wearing a bra at night could even potentially cause breast cancer.
Women have used bras for centuries to lift and separate, provide support, or just make everything stay put. But wear one to bed, and suddenly rumors fly that the bust-boosting garment increases your risk of breast cancer and even flattens your chest.Which of these claims is true, or are neither?
The verdict? There is no outstanding evidence anywhere that says that you should or shouldn’t wear a bra to sleep, so the best course of action when deciding whether to wear it or not is to review all the facts.
Whether night-time bra-wearing can stop sagging is the million-dollar question. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to firmly support the theory.
One of the good things about wearing a bra to bed is that it may provide you with more comfort, particularly if you are well endowed. Some women swear that wearing a bra to bed helps to improve the shape of their breasts themselves and also insist that it helps prevent sagging. Still, even the best push-up bra in the world can’t help your body defy gravity. However, Douglas McGeorge, a cosmetic surgeon, says that nightly bra-wearing may help with stretch marks, especially if your breasts are larger than the average B or C cup.
“Underwire bras do not cause or increase your risk of breast cancer.” This rumor started in 1995 with a book called Dressed to Kill, in which the authors claimed that women who wore tight-fitting bras every day (particularly underwire) had a much higher risk of developing breast cancer . The authors said that by constricting the lymphatic system—which eliminates toxins from your body—bras trap toxins in the breast tissue and cause breast cancer. The problem: There’s no scientific evidence to support this theory.
“Wearing a constrictive bra to sleep affects the physiology of the breast. It can impair the blood flow and lymphatic drainage, which, at worst, can lead to chronic inflammation, oedema (fluid retention) and discomfort.” If you find marks on your body from your bra strap or the side panel of your bra, then you might be wearing a bra that is too tight and constrictive for you.
It is very important to consider the material and make of the bra that you are sleeping in. Bras with underwire can push on your chest when you are laying down and this can result in cysts over time. Something a little softer, like a sports-bra, is much better.
So, here’s my advice: it’s OK to wear a bra to sleep if you feel like it. Just make sure that it is the right one.
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