There are some common myths out there about sleeping with a bra on.
You may have heard that if you don’t do it, your boobs will sag as you get older, or that if you do it, you could restrict your blood flow and cause major health problems down the line.
When it comes down to it, though, sleeping with a bra on is all about your preference—with a few caveats here and there.
If you’re ever concerned about wearing a bra for an extended period that relates to a specific health issue you have, make sure to discuss it with your personal doctor who knows more about your health history.
But overall, there’s no right or wrong way to dress to go to sleep—and that includes whether or not you sleep in a bra. We’re here to break down everything you need to know about it and how to make the best decision for you.
Is it good to sleep with a bra on?
There are no scientific studies pointing to any negative side effects of sleeping with a bra on.
“Sleeping with a bra on is a personal decision,” explains Cynthia Flynn, a board-certified ob-gyn with Just Answer. “If you are more comfortable sleeping with one, there is no medical harm in it.”
Additionally, there are some circumstances in which you might benefit from sleeping with a bra on.
“Women with large breasts will benefit most from a sleep bra,” says Flynn. “Women who are nursing benefit from wearing a nursing bra at night for comfort and to prevent leakage.”
Are there any side effects of sleeping with a bra on?
It’s a common myth that sleeping with a bra on can cause cancer, which is completely untrue. The biggest issue you may experience is a too-tight bra digging into your skin.
If you’re acne-prone, you might want to skip a bra and choose to sleep in a moisture-wicking shirt or top. Bras can accumulate sweat, dirt, and oil, which can lead to acne breakouts that develop as you sleep.
Flynn points out that in rare cases, you can even develop a yeast infection under the breasts that would need to be treated with an anti-fungal cream.
If you do sleep in a bra, make sure to wash it regularly. “You should be sure that the bra does not compress any single area of the breast tissue,” adds Flynn. “It should gently spread the breast tissue across the chest wall.”
How to sleep with your bra on
Flynn says to seek out a bra marketed as a sleep bra if you want to wear one overnight.
“The best sleep bras are cotton or cotton blend and feel comfortable as soon as you try them on,” she tells Saatva. “Exercise bras and sports bras can work too, as long as they are not tight.”
You should also avoid sleeping with an underwire bra at night.
Why should you take your bra off at night?
If you have acne-prone skin or sweat a lot during the night, then you might benefit from taking off your bra to fall asleep. If you wake up with uncomfortable marks from indentations while sleeping with a bra on, then you might want to skip one as well.
Is it better to sleep with a bra or without?
It’s 100% a personal decision whether or not to sleep with a bra on, but factors like breastfeeding, larger boobs, and more can all play into your decision.
According to Flynn, there’s no medical reason to choose to wear a bra or go without one, so do whatever feels best for you.
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