As a woman, I know the feeling of being completely exhausted after a long day, flopping straight into my bed when I get home, curling up into a ball with the covers pulled tight, and falling asleep. Who can think about pajamas when your bed looks so comfy and irresistible? If we’re tired enough, we can fall asleep in jeans, a dress, you name it. We can even fall asleep wearing a bra.
Maybe you’ve never thought about the health effects of wearing a bra to bed, or maybe you even heard the myth that wearing a bra to bed will make your breasts perkier. Though it may seem completely harmless, the truth is, wearing a bra to bed can actually result in a number of health problems.
Here are five reasons you should never wear a bra to bed:
1. It Impedes Circulation
When you sleep in your bra, especially if your bra has underwire, your circulation suffers. If the wire is too tight against your skin, your muscles will be constricted, affecting the circulation of the nerves in your arms. Wearing a snug-fitting bra to bed, including a sports bra, can hurt breast tissue due to constantly restricted circulation.
2. It Causes Restlessness
Being constricted, even slightly, can affect your sleep. Much like wearing clothing to bed that’s too tight, wearing a bra can cause restlessness due to irritation that you may not even notice. Wearing a bra to bed can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
3. It May Cause Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is a large word for dark spots, discoloration or uneven skin tone. It’s a condition caused by increased levels of melanin, which is the pigment in the body that determines skin color. Bras that are too tight can cause hyperpigmentation by constantly rubbing against your skin, causing friction, irritation and damaging your skin.
4. It Causes Skin Irritation
Wearing a bra to bed can easily cause skin irritation. The hooks and straps can protrude into your skin, eventually causing lesions or even cysts if left for too long, particularly if the bra is underwire. While you may not notice any discomfort while falling asleep, your body is sure to suffer irritation throughout the night.
5. It Affects the Physiology of the Breast
Wearing a constrictive bra to bed can negatively affect the lymphatic system. By impairing blood flow and lymphatic drainage, a too-tight bra can lead to chronic inflammation and fluid retention. The lymph glands help remove toxins from the breast area, so impaired lymph drainage can negatively affect the liver, kidneys and other parts of the body by keeping toxins in, instead of pushing them out. It could also cause breast cancer.
Sydney Ross Singer, medical anthropologist, breast cancer researcher and co-author of Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, states:
“Sleeping in a bra is the worst thing to do for the breasts. Bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men, while the incidence rises the tighter and longer a bra is worn, to over 100 times higher for a 24/7 bra user compared to bra-free. The compression of the breast tissue by the bra, which is evident by seeing red marks or indentations in the skin from the bra, results in fluid and toxin accumulation, causing pain, cysts, and ultimately, cancer. To find out if your bra is harming your breasts, try going bra-free for one month and feel the difference.”