Last Updated on October 1, 2023 by Louise Carter
Waist trainers are called ‘cinchers’ because they cinch the waist and pull it inward, creating an hourglass figure. As they’re worn for up to 8 hours, people consider bedtime the ideal time to wear them.
Sleeping in a waist trainer won’t help you lose weight, but it’ll keep the waist tight and taut. Wearing a waist trainer in bed can also enhance your posture as it prevents the spine from twisting overnight.
Unfortunately, the drawbacks of sleeping with a weight trainer outnumber the benefits.
You’ll risk weakening your core muscles by acting as a crutch rather than encouraging the muscles to develop overnight. Also, you risk tearing the bedsheets.
Wearing a waist trainer in bed may lead to dehydration and bloating overnight, and many people who wear cinchers in a horizontal position develop acid reflux, preventing them from sleeping.
Snoring and sleep apnea are likelier if you sleep in a waist trainer, as your oxygen intake will be reduced. Internal organs can also be repositioned by lying down in a waist trainer, and you risk cracking ribs.
If you wear a waist trainer to bed, loosen it until you feel more comfortable. Elevate the head, and place pillows between your knees and under the back to maintain a weight balance.
Benefits of Sleeping in A Waist Trainer
Many people consider wearing a waist trainer in bed to lose weight.
Waist trainers don’t reduce belly fat, meaning you won’t burn more calories during sleep than usual. According to Sleep, you may gain weight if a waist trainer prevents you from getting enough rest.
If weight loss is a priority, wear a waist trainer during the day. This will reduce your appetite and, by extension, your calorie intake, so you’ll have fewer daily calories to burn while you sleep.
Sleeping in waist trainers can improve your appearance. Over time, the waist will be compressed, leading to an ‘hourglass’ figure. You may squeeze into a smaller dress or jeans size without losing weight.
Sleeping in a waist trainer can improve your posture. You can’t twist your pelvis or hips away from your spine during sleep, so you’ll stand taller upon waking.
This can also improve your confidence upon waking up and throughout the day.
Is It Bad To Sleep with A Waist Trainer On?
The most obvious concern with wearing a waist trainer in bed is discomfort that may disturb your sleep. Significant pain is often considered a price to pay for aesthetic rewards.
There are other risks associated with wearing a waist trainer in bed. Familiarize yourself with these concerns and ensure you make the right choice for your overall health and ability to sleep.
Waist Trainer or Bedsheet Damage
These items are intended for wearing in the upright position, not while reclining.
Friction against bedsheets is unavoidable if you sleep wearing a waist trainer, and this tension may pull at the fabric of both your cincher and bedding.
Natural sweat and oils produced by the body can also seep into a weight trainer while you sleep.
While waist trainers are usually worn under clothes, so appearance isn’t as important, you may find that it starts to smell after a while.
Weakens Core Muscles And Bones
The more time you spend wearing a waist trainer, the less active the core muscles will be. This can cause muscle atrophy, akin to walking with a crutch long after a broken leg has healed.
Loosening the waist trainer may help, giving your core muscles some breathing space while you sleep. The more your waist relies on the cincher, the weaker your core will become.
A waist trainer will also exert significant pressure on your ribs while sleeping. Over time, this can weaken, bruise, or even crack the ribs, which is a painful and debilitating injury.
As explained by Arquivos de Gastroenterologia, the digestive and gastric tracts are slow to empty during sleep. The process speeds up during REM sleep, but blood flow remains slow and steady.
If you wake up, you may feel bloated while wearing a waist trainer, especially if you ate or drank close to bedtime. You may need to remove the waist trainer to relieve discomfort.
Some wear a waist trainer to shed ‘water weight’ through compression of the stomach muscles.
While a waist trainer will promote sweating, this can quickly result in damp sheets and dehydration. Opinion is divided on how serious dehydration during sleep will be.
The Journal of Sleep Medicine claims that dehydration doesn’t necessarily impact sleep quality in healthy adults. However, a dehydrated brain is likelier to struggle with prolonged sleep inertia upon waking.
A waist trainer can reduce your overnight oxygen by 30 – 60%. Wearing a waist trainer means you’ll likely be left gasping for breath throughout the night.
You may not suffocate, but you’ll snore loudly, potentially ruining the sleep of yourself or a partner.
As a waist trainer compresses the stomach while you sleep, you may experience heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. Left ignored, these warning signs can cause gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD doesn’t just introduce minor discomfort when you’re trying to sleep. It causes stomach acid to permanently burn the esophagus, and you’ll be at more risk of intestinal blockages.
If you experience acid reflex while wearing a waist trainer, loosen it until the symptoms subside. Heartburn should be considered a warning that the cincher is fastened overly tight.
Impaired Organ Function
Cinchers should be worn while standing or sitting upright, not lying down.
When the body is horizontal and a waist trainer is fastened, your organs – including the liver and kidneys – are forced into unnatural positions.
If you continue to wear a tight waist trainer overnight, these organs can be permanently displaced.
As per Acta Chirurgica Belgica, this concern can be initially asymptomatic or result in cramping, abdominal pain, and jaundice. If the liver obstructs the bowel, further hazards can present themselves.
Can You Die if You Sleep in a Waist Trainer?
No instances of people dying while sleeping in a waist trainer have been recorded, but the hazards can lead to health issues that shorten your lifespan or impact your quality of life.
While you’ll almost certainly wake up if you climb into bed wearing a waist trainer, note how you feel. Cease waist training if you struggle for breath or feel your body isn’t functioning as it should.
How Long Can I Sleep in A Waist Trainer?
A waist trainer should never be worn for longer than 8 hours, so it should only be sported during a traditional night of sleep.
If you wear a waist trainer for too long, you risk displacing your organs. Even if you avoid this side effect, the cincher will irritate the skin, leading to soreness, redness, and swelling.
Don’t lose sight of a waist trainer’s impact on your respiratory system.
If you keep your waist trainer on for too long while sleeping, you may not find your oxygen supply grows thinner. This can leave you feeling light-headed and weak.
How To Sleep Comfortably in A Waist Trainer
If you want to sleep in a waist trainer, avoid eating for several hours before bed.
Loosen the waist trainer at least 1 inch before attempting to sleep. This may mean it takes longer to see the results you seek, but it’s preferable to putting your health at risk.
If you sleep on your back while wearing a waist trainer, slide pillows or rolled-up towels under the base of your spine and knees to offer lumbar support and prevent pressure on your pelvis.
If you’re prone to snoring or acid reflux due to the presence of a waist trainer in bed, elevate the head with multiple pillows. Better still, sleep on your left-hand side.
If you sleep on your side, you may find a hollow gap between your waist and the mattress as the waist trainer pulls your stomach inward.
Slide a pillow under this space to prevent discomfort and excessive weight on your right hip.
Sleeping while wearing a waist trainer is possible, but it’s inadvisable. The possible side effects of waist training can be considerable, so it’s safer to remain awake and take safety precautions.