Let’s talk about bras. Almost all women wear a bra during the day. After all, they help to support the chest, provide comfort, and improve the silhouette. They make us feel more confident and sexy. A well-fitting bra can ease back pain, too. However, have you ever wondered whether you should keep your bra on at night while you sleep?
It may sound like a bit of a silly question. After all, if wearing a bra during the day doesn’t do any harm, why would you want to sleep without a bra? What you may not know, though, is that wearing a bra to bed can be detrimental to your health. There are many reasons why you’re better off removing your bra before you go to bed.
In this guide, we’ll go over the main advantages. We guarantee that some may surprise you. Read on to find out more.
You may have heard the old wives’ tale that if you sleep without a bra, your breasts will grow saggy over time. You’ll be happy to hear that this myth is simply untrue. Marilyn Monroe may have sworn by wearing a bra to bed to maintain her physique, but there was really no need for it.
Our breasts become saggier as we get older, whether we wear a bra or not. This is because, over the years, our skin slowly starts to lose its elasticity and plumpness. It’s for this same reason that all of us eventually develop wrinkles.
Wearing a bra during the day can’t stop this from happening, but it can help to lift your breasts up and prevent them from appearing droopy. Bras give our chest valuable support and enhance our natural shape.
Unfortunately, they don’t have the same effect when you’re sleeping. During the day, when you’re standing upright, gravity naturally causes your breasts to sag downwards. At night, when you’re lying flat, your breasts actually get pushed back towards your chest, rather than down to your toes. This makes wearing a bra while you sleep completely pointless. Bras support your chest from around your ribcage, so they can’t do anything to stop your breasts from sagging when you’re lying down.
The only clothes made to be worn at night are pajamas. Pyjamas are specifically designed to be soft, pliable and comfortable so that they don’t affect your sleep. Bras, on the other hand, aren’t designed to be worn in bed.
Because of this, they can become pretty uncomfortable when lying down for hours on end. Not to mention, if your bra happens to be an unconventional shape, a bit too tight or made of itchy materials, it can make matters even worse.
Sleeping with a bra on can have a harmful impact on your sleep cycle. There are three main stages of sleep: light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep. All stages are equally important, as each stage handles a different function. In deep sleep, for example, your body grows and repairs damaged tissue. In REM sleep, your brain processes memories from the day before and helps you learn.
If you aren’t completely comfortable when sleeping, you might miss out on REM sleep entirely. This is because bras can cause irritation and restlessness, and REM sleep requires your body to be still. A lack of REM sleep results in daytime tiredness, a lack of alertness and memory problems. If you remove your bra before going to sleep, you’ll feel more energetic and well-rested in the morning, setting you up for the day ahead!
All bras are designed to be tight so that they hold your breasts up properly during the day. If they were loose, they wouldn’t offer your breasts any support, and may even slip off. Sports bras and bras with underwire tend to be even tighter. Such tight garments can actually restrict and compress blood vessels in the area around your chest, shoulders, and ribcage. So if you wear a bra to bed, you may hinder the circulation of blood around your skin.
This won’t cause any real damage if you only wear a bra during the day. Your circulatory system is strong and can withstand tight clothes for a fairly long time. However, if you keep your bra on overnight, you never give your body the break that it needs. Over months and years, this could do your body some real harm. Poor blood circulation can lead to dizziness, cramps, varicose veins and other health issues.
Just by taking your bra off when you go to bed, you’ll give your body a much needed eight-hour break. During this time, your body will heal, and restore proper circulation. If you wear your bra throughout the night, you might set yourself up for problems in the future.
The lymphatic system is an important part of the body’s immune system. It’s a network of glands, vessels, and organs that rid the body of waste products, which can do damage if allowed to build up. The lymphatic vessels carry fluid called lymph through the body.
Lymph flows from body tissues and contains bacteria and other harmful cells, which the body doesn’t need. The glands, called lymph nodes, filter out and break down these cells. The dead cells are then deposited into the blood and eventually removed from the body through urination.
Lymph nodes are spread throughout the body, but the main clusters appear in the neck, abdomen, groin, and armpits. Each armpit contains between fifteen and thirty small lymph nodes, though the exact number varies from person to person. The lymph nodes and vessels sit just beneath the skin.
Most bras, when worn correctly, sit right on top of the lymph nodes in the armpit. As we’ve already discussed, bras are fairly tight and compress the skin. This means that they can interrupt the flow of lymph from the lymph nodes.
If lymph isn’t properly flowing around the body, it can stop the lymphatic system from working properly. This can lead to a build-up of fluid and waste products, and eventually infection. It’s important to give your lymph nodes a break by taking your bra off at night.
We don’t need to tell you why breathing is important. It’s how your body gets oxygen! Oxygen is very important – all tissues in the body need a constant supply of it. The brain, most importantly, needs a lot of oxygen so that the brain cells can function properly.
It needs around three times as much oxygen as any other organ in the body. When you’re using your brain more, such as when you’re sitting an exam, it uses more oxygen still. So of course, it needs a lot of oxygen during sleep, when the brain is busy forming memories and repairing the body.
It’s already a bit more difficult to get oxygen when asleep than when awake. Lying down can cause the upper airway to narrow, meaning it’s harder for air to pass into the lungs. When you’re awake you can choose to breathe more deeply, but it’s not as straightforward when asleep.
Wearing tight clothes, which restrict chest movement, makes it even more difficult to get a good air supply. Bras, of course, are a prime example of restrictive clothing. They wrap tightly around your ribcage, preventing your ribs from expanding fully. When you sleep in a bra, your breathing may not be as deep as it should be. This can result in a decreased oxygen intake.
Believe it or not, it’s not just your lungs which need to breathe. Your skin needs to breathe too! By wearing a bra to bed every night, and not allowing proper airflow over your skin, you’re opening up the door to a possible infection.
As you know, your body is already hosting millions of bacteria. These bacteria aren’t necessarily harmful, and some are even beneficial (like the good bacteria in your gut). But when you create the correct conditions on the surface of the skin, another type of microorganism can take hold: fungus.
Fungal infections are commonly found in areas of the skin that are warm and moist, such as the groin and feet. The breasts also sweat a lot, especially at night when you’re under the covers. So add a tight fitting bra to the mix, and you can see how you might end up with a fungal infection.
If a fungal infection starts to grow on your breasts, you may develop red, scaly, raised patches. These rashes might be extremely itchy or even painful to the touch and won’t go away unless you apply an antifungal cream. However, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Taking your bra off when you go to bed will result in cooler and drier skin. With proper airflow around your breasts, it’s far less likely that a fungal infection will take hold.
Even if you don’t develop a fungal infection from keeping your bra on overnight, you will still sweat more. At night, you sweat a lot anyway, due to wrapping yourself up in bedsheets and blankets. Of course, you can limit the sweating by wearing loose, cotton pajamas (or even sleeping without clothing). If you wear a tight bra, you’ll find yourself sweating far more than you need too. Especially as the breasts are already prone to sweating at the best of times!
Sweating, let’s face it, is plain uncomfortable. I’m sure you’ve experienced the unpleasant sensation of waking up in the morning in a pool of sweat. If you sleep with a partner, it’s a bit awkward for them, too. But aside from this, sweat is also unhygienic. Because of the chemical makeup of sweat, it attracts bacteria, which quickly feed and multiply. This is why you start to smell after being sweaty for a while – it’s the bacteria that smells, not the sweat itself.
If you sweat a lot at night due to wearing a bra, you may find yourself having to shower more often than you would otherwise. As well as being an annoyance, this also means that you’ll use up more water, and use up your soap quicker. Not to mention, you’ll have to wash your bra, nightclothes, and bedding more often, too. The more you wash a bra, the looser it gets. And once it gets too loose, it’s useless and needs to be replaced. So by not wearing a bra to bed, you’ll not only have better hygiene, but you’ll also save money.
If you think about it, bras are not straightforward garments. They’re made of lots of small pieces of fabric and types of material. Depending on the type, your bra may feature metal hooks, loops, straps, or underwire. It could even have hard plastic buttons or decorative bows. There’s a reason you wouldn’t let your baby play with one (apart from the embarrassment!). If a bra were to break or malfunction, it could actually pose a choking hazard, or even damage the skin.
At night, your natural defenses against injury are lowered. This is because when you’re sleeping, you simply aren’t as aware of the world around you. In the deepest stage of sleep (slow-wave sleep), it’s extremely hard to wake up. Have you ever woken up in the morning in pain, only to discover that you’ve hurt your arm from sleeping on it? Fire alarms are loud for this same reason: people have been known to sleep through incredible circumstances.
If you wear a bra to bed, you may get poked by underwire, prodded by hooks or dented by buttons. This could actually cause a minor injury. You could also experience chafing, where your skin is rubbed raw by the fabric. And if you’re sleeping deeply enough, you might not even wake up until it’s too late to readjust yourself. You wouldn’t sleep in shoes or a belt, so why sleep in a bra?
I’m sure we’ve all experienced wearing a piece of clothing so tight that it leaves a dent in your skin. Common culprits of this phenomenon are socks, pantyhose, watches, and – of course – bras! Take your bra off after having worn it all day, and you’ll see its shadow pressed into your skin. You may be so used to seeing these red inscriptions that you think nothing of them. However, they may have consequences.
We’ve already discussed the potential risks involved with cutting off blood circulation. There is another important point to make, though. If you frequently wear clothing tight enough to cause indentations, they may actually become permanent. Just ask anyone who’s been married for ten years to take off their wedding ring. If the ring is tight, it will have left a permanent mark on their finger.
If you never take your bra off, you won’t give your skin any time to bounce back. And as a result, you may find that the dents around your ribcage and shoulders stay there forever. Forget wearing a strapless top or a backless swimsuit again! Not only this, but permanent pressure can also cause hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin).
This may sound a bit far-fetched but bear with us. We just had to end this guide on possibly the most attractive (and surprising) point of all. Alongside sleeping without a bra being better for your health, it could also improve your marriage!
If you’re sleeping in a bra, it probably means that you aren’t spending a lot of time naked with your partner. Especially if you’ve both got jobs, housework, and kids to look after. Not sharing intimacy with your partner is a sure fire way to make you feel more distant from each other.
Going braless in bed is one easy and effective way to help get back intimacy between you and your spouse. This can be invaluable if you find it hard to sleep next to your partner. Skin-on-skin contact is a powerful thing, and important in long-term relationships. This is because it releases a hormone called oxytocin, or the ‘love hormone’. Oxytocin makes you feel close to your partner, and more in love with them. Not only that, but it makes you feel happier in general, and more able to overcome stressful situations.
So, there you have it: not only will sleeping without a bra improve your physical health but your personal life as well. And with that, you’ve reached the end of our guide! You now know the many benefits of removing your bra at the end of the day. Isn’t freedom a lovely feeling?