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Is Sleeping in a Bra Bad for You?

Fact Checked
Up to date
Update: May 17, 2023
5 min read

Written by

Manya Mishra
Content Writer
Sleeping With Bra On

Did you know that the iconic beauty Marilyn Monroe slept with her bra on to prevent any sagging? However, old wives’ tales contradict this and say sleeping with the bra on can in fact cause sagging. So, which is it? Well, don’t you worry! We bring you all the information on sleeping with a bra on. So, read ahead to know about the truth of the matter.

Is it OK to sleep with a bra on?

As of now, there are no medical studies that talk about any ill effects of sleeping with a bra. In fact, large-chested women who toss and turn a lot in their sleep can benefit from sleeping with a bra on as it can restrict breast movement. It also holds for women with breast implants. Sleeping with a bra on can offer you more support and allows the implant to stay in an optimal position. However, opt for a soft, comfortable bra that won’t hamper blood circulation.

How does sleeping in a bra affect your body?

While there are a few benefits of wearing a comfy bra to bed, the disadvantages are plenty. 

Inhibits Circulation

Sleeping with a bra that comes with underwires or is tight-fitting can obstruct blood circulation. When the underwire or the bra elastic presses against your skin, it can compress your chest wall muscles and limit the blood flow to the nerves in the arm and through your entire body. 

Disrupts Your Sleep

Have you ever tried to sleep in skinny jeans or snug clothes? It feels uncomfortable, doesn’t it? So, one of the reasons you should take your bra off at night is that a tight-fitting bra can make it uncomfortable, especially if the size is wrong and the pressure you experience can disrupt your sleep quality. In fact, this is why one should sleep in loose-fitting clothes as it can feel comfortable. 

Irritates Your Skin

A bra is not a simple piece of clothing. With plenty of hooks and straps, it can lead to skin irritation as it continuously rubs against your skin. Also, tight-fitting fabric and sweat can lead to skin irritation.

Produces Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a condition where the melanin levels are high in some body regions. So, when you wear a bra every night, it constantly rubs on you and generates friction. And this process can promote melanocyte production and lead to forming of dark spots and even uneven skin tone. 

Promotes Fungal Infections

Tight clothing, such as a bra, is the perfect habitat for fungal growth because of the accumulation of sweat and moisture. So, it is best to sleep without a bra if you are someone who sweats a lot. 

Alters Breast Physiology

When you wear a bra to sleep, it can alter the physiology of the breasts as it affects the lymphatic system adversely. Now, the chief role of the lymphatic system is to flush out any toxins present in the breasts through the lymph nodes in the armpits. So, wearing a bra all the time can hamper lymphatic drainage. In addition, it can cause inflammation and retention. 

Benefits of Not wearing a bra to bed

When you come home after a long tiring day and finally take off your bra, it feels free, doesn’t it? So, let’s examine some reasons why sleeping without a bra can be beneficial. 

Improved respiration

Wearing a bra that’s too tight can make you feel constrained. So, when you go braless, it can enhance blood circulation and also helps you breathe easily. It is because compression is lifted when you go braless.  

Better hygiene

Wearing a bra traps sweat and dirt against your skin. It can also lead to clogged pores, itchiness, and irritation, especially under the breasts. It is more common in women with larger breasts. 

Injury prevention

Tight bras or bras with wires can lead you toward breast cysts. Also, the bra straps can get twisted, which can lead to pain or dig into your shoulders. So, one of the benefits of sleeping without a bra is that you will prevent injuries such as these.

Hyperpigmentation and scar prevention

Why should you take your bra off at night? Going braless at night keeps melanocyte production stable. It prevents any hyperpigmentation or scars. 

How to sleep with your bra on

How to sleep with a bra on? Well, if you find it comfortable to sleep with a bra on, then opt for something looser and softer without any underwire or padding. It gives your breasts room to breathe and ensures you enjoy a deep and peaceful slumber. 

How to Choose Comfortable Bras

Some of the tips to help you choose comfortable bras to help you sleep comfortably are;

  • Make sure you choose the right bra size 
  • Opt for something soft and comfortable 
  • Avoid bras with padding or underwire
  • Make sure your bra is not digging into your shoulders
  • Choose the right style of bra that keeps you comfortable and does not dig into your sides or feels too snug.

Does sleeping in a bra prevent your breasts from sagging?

One of the myths that are popular even today is that a bra prevents sagging. But that’s not the case. You can go braless if you want to because sleeping in a bra won’t prevent the breasts from sagging or make them perkier. 

Common reasons breasts may sag

Why do breasts sag? Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons. 


Genetics plays an important role in the sagging of the breasts. For proper support, you need elastin and collagen fibres, and the DNA stimulates their production. 


Gravity is real, and so is the sagging! Years of gravitational pull can take a toll on the breasts, especially in women with larger chests. 

Weight Gain

Weight fluctuations lead to stretching of the breasts, which can later lead to sagging. 

Hormonal changes during menopause

As the ageing process begins, the tissue and structure of the breasts change. It is due to the changes in the reproductive hormones. 

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Breasts get heavier during pregnancy, and breastfeeding tends to stretch the ligament, which can contribute to breast sagging. 


When you smoke cigarettes, it releases carcinogens. This leads to the breakdown of elastin in the body and can cause sagging. 

Exercise without support

Exercise without support may not sag your breasts immediately, but it can contribute to it. That’s why a sports bra is always recommended. 


Finally, is sleeping with a bra on bad? No, it’s not. Sleeping with a bra is your personal choice. But rest assured, sleeping without one will not lead to sagging or any other complications. However, if you wish to sleep with a bra on, make sure it is something loose and comfortable. 


What happens if you wear your bra 24X7?

There is nothing wrong with wearing a bra all the time, even when you sleep. But it is necessary to avoid wearing a snug bra as it can hamper blood circulation.

Is it better to sleep without a bra? 

Both sleeping with a bra and going braless come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. So, you can choose what’s right for you.

How many days can you wear a bra without washing it?

If the bra is directly in contact with the body, you must wash it after every wear. 

Does sleeping with a sports bra on prevent sagging?

You can sleep with a loose and comfortable sports bra. But sleeping with or without a bra doesn’t contribute to sagging. 


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Written by

Manya Mishra
Content Writer
Bachelor's Degree in English Literature 7 years of experience as a content writer Has experience writing for various industries, including health and wellness, travel, and technology

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