Did you know that in 2012 four 600-year-old bras were excavated in an Austrian castle by Beatrix Nutz, an archaeologist and researcher at the University of Innsbruck, Austria? Sutra, Beha, sindiria, or brassiere (short form of bra), however, you choose to call it, has over the years revolutionized both in design and the fabric used to make it. But one thing that has not changed is its primary function, which is to give support to a woman's breast.
So, whether you just started wearing a bra or you are planning to wear one, or you have been wearing it, and you can’t help but ask, ‘Are there any benefits of not wearing a bra to bed?’ Then read on as you have clicked on the right article.
I will walk you through some of the top 11 benefits of not wearing a bra to bed. And if you are also wondering whether there are any disadvantages of not wearing a bra, then make sure to read to the end of the article as I will also provide you with factual answers in regards to this question.
Top 11 benefits of not wearing a bra to bed
Below are some of the 11 proven benefits of not wearing a bra to bed;
#1. It reduces skin infections
Did you know there are at least 1000 species of bacteria present in a normal human skin? In the right environment that is full of warmth, moisture and dirt (something that bras seem to thrive at providing, especially when worn repeatedly or on hot days), these harmless superficial bacteria can multiply and cause one to get a skin infection. Thus, going to bed at night without a bra on helps reduce the risk of getting a skin infection around your breasts.
What are the signs that you may be having a skin infection in your breasts?
Below are some of the signs and symptoms that you may be having a skin infection on your breasts
• Persistent itchiness
• Reddening of the skin
• Discharge from the nipple
• Breast tenderness
• Nausea and vomiting
#2. It enhances your sleep
It's almost impossible to get a good night's sleep in a tight shirt or jeans, let alone a tight-fitting bra. So, if you are looking forward to enjoying quality sleep, then I strongly recommend that you don’t go to bed with your bra on.
#3. It improves your breathing
There are a number of things, both psychological and physiological, that cause many people to experience difficulty in breathing, especially at night. Dehydration (may be caused by excessive sweating) and mucus buildup in the airway (due to exposure to irritants or allergens) are some physiological changes that cause difficulty breathing at night.
Psychological issues such as stress, anxiety and fear are also common causes of difficulty in breathing in most adults. All these factors, coupled with going to bed with a bra, not only aggravate breathing difficulty but also leave you feeling drowsy and fatigued throughout the day due to inadequate supply of oxygen. Hence going to bed without a bra on is of immense benefit to your overall body health since your respiratory system function will not be restricted in any way.
#4. It enhances your circulation
Anoxia is the medical term coined to describe a medical condition in which a part of one’s body is not supplied with enough oxygen. When one wears a tight-fitting bra, the blood vessels around the chest and back get constricted. This, in turn, leads to anoxia. You are assured of adequate blood circulation by not wearing a bra to bed.
#5. It promotes breast perkiness
Scientific studies conducted and documented have proven that between 11:00 PM -12:00 midnight, the rate at which cells divide is at its peak. Maximal cell division results in the formation of healthy breast tissues. Thus, going to bed without a bra ensures maximal cell division due to uninterrupted blood supply, thus increasing one's breasts' perkiness.
#6. It prevents any risks of injury
At night, the risk of getting injured by a bra, especially one designed with extensive embroideries (made of metals or plastic), is far greater than during the day. Why? You may ask. At night we tend to let our guard down when we sleep.
This means that, even if you were conscious during the day that a certain part of your bra has potentially hazardous embroidery and knew how to position your hand or body to avoid getting hurt, this won’t be the case at night. Hence, to avoid getting a stitch or 2 due to a bra hook, or underwire accident, I recommend that you don't put your bra on when going to bed.
#7. It helps maintain and enhance your breasts’ shape
Your bra greatly influences the shape of your breast; that is, it gives your breasts an 'artificial' shape. Hence when you remove a bra, you let your breasts return to their natural shape. Thus, it is advisable that you don't go to bed with your bra on if you are to enhance and maintain your natural breasts shape.
#8. It’s beneficial for women with sensitive skin
If you have sensitive skin and you put on bras with an underwire, chances are that you have at least once, if not many times, experienced a nickel allergy rash, which was associated with itching. Polyester and latex, which are some of the main fabrics used in the making of the interiors of bras, are also significant reasons that cause skin itchiness or skin breakout in women with sensitive skin.
Going to bed without a bra helps alleviate these skin allergies. It's essential that you seek expert advice if you keep on having skin allergies after putting on your bra.
#9. It helps slow down breast sagging
Like it or not, one's breast must sag as one ages. But the good thing is that you have the power to slow the rate at which your breasts sag as you age. By not sleeping with your bra on, your breast's muscles get �activated’ to provide the breasts with natural support against gravity. PS; This doesn’t mean that your breasts won't sag just because you don't go to bed with your bra on. Remember, the rate at which one's breast sags is determined by a number of factors. Some of these factors include;
• Lifestyle choices - smoking
• Constantly losing or gaining weight
#10. It ensures an unrestricted flow of the lymph fluid
Your body's lymph fluid functions to transport nutrients and oxygen and remove metabolic wastes and products that, when left to accumulate, may be harmful to your body. Restrictions caused by wearing bras, especially those that are tight-fitting, may lead to functional impairment of the breast’s lymphatic nodes, which help filter out substances before being channelled to the lymphatic vessels. For optimal functioning of your breast's lymph nodes, it is advisable that you don't go to bed with your bra on.
#11. Helps alleviate heartburns
Heartburn is a type of burning pain felt just behind the breastbone. Wearing bras, especially tight-fitting bras that extend up to the stomach or those with underwires, can cause pressure buildup in the stomach. This, in turn, may cause acid to flow back to the oesophagus (food pipe), thus causing one to experience heartburn.
At night when laying down, heartburns tend to be more severe due to reduced resistance of the stomach sphincter from allowing the stomach acid to flow back. This, coupled with wearing a bra at night, may increase the severity to 3-4 folds. Thus, it's vital that you go to bed braless.
Are there any disadvantages of not wearing a bra?
#1. It can cause one to experience breast pain when exercising
Pushups, weight lifting, running and jumping rope are some of the exercises that may cause one to experience breast pain after exercising without wearing a bra. Scientists state that this type of pain results from excessive stretching of the breast’s connective tissues and ligaments caused by unrestricted breast movement.
Thus, it’s always advisable that you put on a comfortable, breathable and well-fitting bra before you head out for your exercise session. Extra tip; If you are an under D cup, I recommend getting yourself a compression sports bra. And if you are above a D cup, then an encapsulated sports bra will be a good fit for you.
#2. It may cause chest, back and shoulder pain
Chest, back, and shoulder pains caused by not wearing a breast seem to be a common complaint among women with bigger and heavy breasts—those who at least wear C-cupped bras and above. By not wearing a bra, the muscles underneath one’s breasts are predisposed to excessive strain, which in turn causes one to experience chest, back and shoulder pain.
Chest pain caused by not wearing a bra is usually sharp or burning in character and predominantly localized on the chest area. Please note that other underlying medical conditions may also present with the same symptoms. So to be on the safer side, it's crucial that you have a certified doctor rule out that your chest pain is caused by going braless and not due to a developing or already developed medical condition.
#3. It may lead to a poor sitting or standing posture
Going braless for a long time may cause one to have a deviation in the thoracic spine region, which in turn may result in a poor sitting or standing posture. According to Orthopedist, women with a C or a D size cup tend to put excessive weight on their shoulders, causing their shoulders to assume a more rounded shape. It also leads to rib cage compression and excess arching or curving in the lumbar spine region.
#4. Premature breast sagging
There has been a lot of debate about whether wearing a bra promotes breast sagging. A study conducted in 2013 demonstrated that wearing a bra caused pectoral muscles to weaken, which in turn caused breasts to sag. And, according to Dr Paul Banwell (a renowned Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic surgeon) he seems to agree with the fact that not wearing a bra or wearing the wrong type of bra may cause one to have their breasts sag prematurely.
He argues that a woman’s breast volume, size, skin quality, and physiological changes (such as pregnancy) directly influence whether or not their breast prematurely sag if they decide to go braless. For instance, women with heavier breasts and reduced skin elasticity are at a more increased risk of having their breasts sag prematurely compared to women with small or light breasts and whose skin elasticity isn’t compromised.
Despite this being a grey area whether wearing or not wearing a bra causes breasts to sag, it seems that most medical scholars agree that not wearing a bra, especially the right size and type, promotes premature sagging.
Should you or should you not wear a bra to bed?
Whether or not you decide to wear a bra to bed solely depends on you. However, going braless to bed lets you enjoy a number of benefits which are; Improved sleep, enhanced breathing, uninterrupted blood circulation and reduced risks of injury at night. Reduced skin infections, promotion of breast perkiness, maintenance of breast shape, alleviation of heartburns and reduced rate of breast sagging are also some of the perks of going to bed without a bra.
Despite the numerous advantages one stands to gain from going to bed without a bra, one also risks experiencing chest, back and shoulder pain if one decides not to wear a bra. Premature breast sagging and excessive breast pain on exercising and having a poor sitting and standing posture are also some of the most common disadvantages of not wearing a bra.
Even though there is no medical evidence of whether or not it's advisable to sleep with or without a bra on, it's pretty evident that you get to benefit more when you go braless to bed. But if you decide to put on a bra to bed, please ensure that it's a bit lose, breathable, clean and extremely flexible.