'To wear a bra while sleeping or not?' This is a question that has been prevalent among women for a long time. Bra necessarily is a form-fitting undergarment designed to cover, support and elevate a woman’s breasts. The opinion regarding the use of bras is divided. Some consider them a ludicrous invention, others as a tool for emancipation. Although there is nothing wrong with either wearing or not wearing a bra, there are many factors to consider before making a decision.

Breasts contain mainly fat, glands, connective tissue and fluids. These contents are supported against gravity by tissues and the skin that covers them. When you’re sitting or standing, there is much strain on these elements. As you walk or exercise, the tissues inside the breast may experience tiny injuries, causing pain and discomfort. The weight of a large bust may be too much for the chest to support comfortably. 

The whole point of wearing a bra is to apportion some or all of the weight of your bust onto the shoulders and waist area. When a bra is properly fitted, about 80% of this weight is carried by the band, and the remainder by the shoulders. It is, therefore, important to choose the right bra size to prevent pain in the shoulders and the neck region. 

Having said that, it is important to note that many myths have been associated with wearing a bra while sleeping. A majority of women find it uncomfortable to go to sleep with a bra on due to its restricting design. But is it really bad to wear a bra while sleeping? This article discusses the aspects of either wearing or not wearing a bra to sleep.

(Read more: Should I wear a bra or not)

  1. Are there any benefits of sleeping with your bra on
  2. What happens when you sleep with your bra on
  3. Can wearing a bra while sleeping cause breast cancer
  4. Takeaway

Some people are suggestive of the fact that sleeping with your bra on helps the breasts to achieve a strong firm shape. However, scientific research contradicts this belief as studies has demonstrated that wearing a bra during sleeping did not prevent breasts from sagging.

The findings are suggestive of the fact that breasts gain no benefit from wearing a bra either physiologically, medically, or anatomically. In a study, it was found that women who did not wear a bra had a better nipple upliftment as compared to regular users. Researchers claim that bras could hamper circulation and reduce breast tone over time.

(Read more: Health tips for breast care)

myUpchar doctors after many years of research have created myUpchar Ayurveda Urjas Capsule by using 100% original and pure herbs of Ayurveda. This ayurvedic medicine has been recommended by our doctors to lakhs of people for sex problems with good results.
Long Time Capsule
₹719  ₹799  10% OFF

As discussed earlier, sleeping while wearing a bra clearly does not yield any notable benefits. Having said that, let us look at what actually happens when you go to bed while keeping on your bra.

Reduced circulation due to wearing a bra while sleeping

Circulation is one of the primary things that suffer when you sleep in your bra, particularly if the bra is underwired. If the wire is too tight against your skin, your pectoral (breast) muscles will be constricted, affecting the circulation of nerves in your arms. In addition, a bra with tight compression like a sports bra can hurt breast tissue if worn too often because of constantly restricted circulation.

(Read more: Can tight bra cause chest pain)

Irritation of the skin due to wearing a bra while sleeping

Sleeping with a bra on can cause the hooks to protrude into your skin and the straps can actually cause lesions or even cysts if left for too long (particularly if the bra has an underwire). You may not even notice the slight pain during the night. Skin irritation can also prevent you from entering into a deep sleep and cause a feeling of restlessness.

Infection due to wearing a bra while sleeping

Wearing a bra while sleeping could lead to the development of a fungal infection. This is because a warm and moist environment is the perfect breeding ground for fungi. The infection could develop in the form of rashes and could worsen over time. It is, therefore, important to be on the safe side and let your skin breathe for part of the day.

(Read more: Ayurvedic treatment for fungal infections)

Hyperpigmentation due to wearing a bra while sleeping

Hyperpigmentation is characterised by darkened skin patches, discolouration of skin and uneven skin tone. It is a skin condition caused by increased levels of melanin, which is the pigment in the body that determines skin colour. A tight bra or wearing a bra while sleeping can cause hyperpigmentation due to constant rubbing against your skin, causing friction, irritation and skin damage.

(Read more: How to reduce pigmentation on face)

Wearing a bra at night may affect breast physiology

Wearing a constrictive bra to bed can negatively affect the lymphatic system. By impairing blood flow and lymphatic drainage, a 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.

(Read more: How to choose a bra that fits you perfectly)

Sleeping while wearing a bra has often been associated with breast cancer. But how true is this claim? While wearing a bra to bed can cause a number of conditions, that could cause discomfort or infections, there has been no research as of yet to establish a clear link between the two. Though it is true that the alteration of breast physiology due to the wearing of a bra at night may play a certain role in the development of breast cancer, further research and studies are required to support this claim.

(Read more: Breast lumps causes)

myUpchar doctors after many years of research have created myUpchar Ayurveda Kesh Art Hair Oil by using 100% original and pure herbs of Ayurveda. This Ayurvedic medicine has been recommended by our doctors to more than 1 lakh people for multiple hair problems (hair fall, gray hair, and dandruff) with good results.
Bhringraj Hair Oil
₹599  ₹850  29% OFF

The primary purpose of a bra is to be a form-fitting undergarment and provide support to the breasts. If worn at night, it could lead to certain after-effects. The case may, however, be not the same always and for everyone. So it depends on the user to keep track of their health and make their decisions accordingly regarding wearing or not to wearing a bra while sleeping.


  1. Mary L. Gavin. Is It OK to Wear a Bra While Sleeping? The Nemours Foundation [Internet]
  2. Humanitas University. The advantages and disadvantages of wearing a bra. [Internet]
  3. The Pennsylvania State University. Wearing a Bra to bed: Good or Bad for you?. [Internet]
  4. Health Harvard Publishing. Harvard Medical School [Internet]. Myth busted: bra wearing not linked to breast cancer. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  5. Johns Hopkins Medicine [Internet]. The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System; Is It OK to Wear a Bra While Sleeping?
  6. Chen L, Malone KE, Li CI. Bra wearing not associated with breast cancer risk: a population-based case-control study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Oct;23(10):2181-5. PMID: 25192706
Read on app