If you’re a woman, chances are that you are familiar with the sigh of relief that accompanies the removal of the bra. It is a feeling that a lot of women, myself included, look forward to at the end of a long and tiring day. While the freedom feels amazing for a while, there is a slight point of contention: should you be sleeping in bra? There are women who are offended by the very idea, but there also others who believe the extra support-for such a long duration- will prevent your breasts from sagging and keep them perky for longer.
In addition to this, there are also certain questions regarding the health benefits and/or the risks of doing so. The myths and strongly-held assumptions do not help the situation either. These are not questions that girls are taught to have, especially in a country where the mere mention of undergarments is enough to set of a chain of embarrassment. So women pass on to each other the limited knowledge that they have gained and do the best they can!
Over the years, there have been several studies and reports that suggest wearing a bra to bed could possibly result in breast cancer. There are also others that claim the exact opposite and one cannot be sure of what to believe. Does wearing a bra to bed do you harm? Will we ever know? After a sufficient amount of research- in addition to expert opinions from a professor of breast cancer and the experience of a professional bra fitter- this is the wisdom that we have gained and after having a look through, you can decide what works for you.
One thing that everybody agrees on is that here is no conclusive evidence that sleeping in bras is either helpful or harmful. To address one of the main points of concern- sagging- could be a result of a number of factors; pregnancy and breastfeeding being the most common causes, along with time and gravity.
And gravity is one of the strongest arguments in favour of sleeping in a bra, because it can only be beneficial. And there is definitely some logic to that; either your breasts are being supported for eight hours, or they’re not being supported for eight hours. When one puts it in terms like that, it’s hard to ignore and moreover, some women assume that the decision to do so should be common sense. If your breasts are being held up, they’re going to stay up a lot longer. That being said, when one asks this question, take into consideration the size of your breasts. If you’re on the smaller size, say an A-cup or B-cup, you’re good to sleep without a bra. However, if your breasts are bigger than a D- Double-D and up- it is advisable to sleep with the additional support. Women with larger busts might need a bra, either to help with the pain when they sleep, or in the case of others, for some additional support.
This brings us to the next question- and another uncertain one- how much support do women actually need? There are women who have been wearing bras regularly since they were 10, and who wore them while sleeping as well. For a lot of women, this choice is also mostly a habit. My mum told me to sleep with my bra on and i just didn’t question it, for years even!
If you have been sleeping in comfortable, sports-style bra, you are likely to have less complaints about this. The only time that they start to get uncomfortable is when you wear ones with an underwire to bed. Bras with underwire are generally not advisable to wear while sleeping because it definitely impairs circulation in your chest and might lead to irritation in the chest. You should also check to make sure that the wires of your bra are not sticking out anywhere- especially in areas that could be easily hurt. It’s this discomfort that has alarmed many into thinking there are potential health risks attributed to wearing a bra at night and it is mostly unanimous amongst the experts; women should never sleep in a bra with a wire, and if you do, it should be a soft-cup bra. Sleeping in a bra with a wire can give you cysts or irritate your breasts.
Furthermore, if you do fall in the category of the women who wear bras to sleep, be careful of an ill fitting bra; they definitely shouldn’t be so tight that it constricts or blocks any form of circulation. That being said, there are other things to look out for in the event of a lymphatic blockage, besides the regular use of bras, so hold your, err… “You should be seeing other signs such as edema or fluid accumulation in the breasts, and earlier, non-cancerous changes in the shape/size of the axillary lymph node. These lymph nodes in the underarm area drain the breast, and are the body’s first defense against infection, foreign material, cancer cells. They act like a filter, cleaning out the lymph fluid.”
For years now, scientists have been trying to understand the way breast cancer functions and the reasons for which it occurs, but over time, most of the studies have ruled out the possibility of an external item such as a bra, as one of the primary causes. In most cases, the choice to sleep or not sleep in a bra is based on personal comfort and that’s ideally what everyone should be doing. That being said, if you’re planning on falling asleep with your bra on tonight, there are a few things that you have to vigilant about, not only to ensure that your breasts are being cared for, but that you have the best sleep possible!
Ensure a healthy circulation
If you’re wearing a bra to bed, make sure to wear a well-fitting bra made from a breathable fabric
The warm and confined environment can lead to development of breast fungus, so ideally wear a fresh bra to sleep, especially during the summers!
Life is complicated, your bra should not be!
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