Most of us wear bras all day long, and we’re gratified at the end of the day when the time comes that we can free our bust from its confining prison. But plenty of women don’t do that at all – they just swap one bra for another. A large number of women wear sleep bras to bed, or camisoles with shelf bras, for a variety of reasons. It’s time to put the debate to bed, once and for all: should you wear a bra at night?
Is there a Medical Argument for Sleep Bras?
Some people believe there are medical benefits to wearing sleep bras. There’s a longstanding bra myth that wearing a sleep bra to bed can help prevent sagging, and that’s why many women do it.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much science behind this myth – most medical doctors consider it untrue. There’s anecdotal evidence that wearing a sleep bra at night can make your breasts perkier, but the true cause of sagging – stretching of the ligaments that hold the breasts in place (as well as loosening of the breast tissue due to pregnancy and breast feeding) are forces that take their toll with time, age and gravity. As long as you wear a good, supportive bra during the day, and make sure to wear a good sports bra when you exercise, there’s no medical evidence that wearing a sleep bra at night can help prevent sagging.
However, there are other benefits of wearing sleep bras. Women who have very full breasts often find that the breast tissue shifts or makes them uncomfortable during the night. A good, comfortable sleep bra can hold the breasts in place, and prevent uncomfortable shifting and uneven distribution when you sleep. Some women also find that they breathe better at night – and therefore sleep better – with a sleep bra to help contain large breasts.
Possible Health Risks of Sleep Bras
On the flip side of the argument, detractors of sleep bras argue that wearing a bra at night can cause health risks. Some argue that sleep bras can prevent the lymph nodes from draining and can affect blood circulation, which can contribute to cancer. This myth, too, is completely unfounded. Doctors confirm that wearing a sleep bra at night poses absolutely no health risk, and the American Cancer Society has confirmed that wearing a bra does not contribute to breast cancer. So if you do like to wear a sleep bra at night, you have nothing to worry about, health-wise!
Sleep Bras are Great for Support and Comfort
Ultimately, the biggest argument in favor of wearing a sleep bra at night is comfort. Many women with fuller breasts – D cup and above – find themselves more comfortable being mildly supported by a sleep leisure bra at night. Look for a sleep bra that fits properly – if it’s too tight it’ll be uncomfortable, but if it’s too loose you may as well not be wearing one. Many women prefer sleep bras that are wire free for comfort. If you want the support of a sleep bra but just don’t care for the idea of wearing a bra at the end of the day, you can always wear a camisole with a shelf bra insert – it’ll give you some support, but it’s more comfortable and less constraining than an underwire bra, and you’ll look cute for bedtime!