Wearing a Bra to Bed: Boost or Bust?
What’s Halle Berry’s secret weapon against gravity? According to several interviews, she attributes the shape of her breasts to wearing a bra to bed. The actress has been quoted touting the benefits of keeping her bra on overnight to maintain her youthful figure. Apparently, she’s been doing it since she was 16 years old.
However, there’s no scientific proof that wearing a bra under your PJs will prevent gravity from taking its toll. It’s more likely a combination of genetics and strength training that offers the best support against sagging.
Can bras cause breast cancer?
The fear of breast cancer fuels several myths about bras: Wearing a bra to bed, wearing an underwire bra or wearing a bra that’s too tight can supposedly all contribute to breast cancer. However, the evidence simply isn’t there. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, there is no good scientific or clinical basis for any of these claims, and a 2014 study of more than 1,500 women found no association between wearing a bra and breast cancer risk.
A 2014 study of more than 1,500 women found no association between wearing a bra and breast cancer risk.
Some people believe that the compression caused by tight bras and underwires hinders the lymphatic system, preventing the free flow of toxins from clearing out of the body. Another theory is that wearing a bra to bed blocks pores in the skin, eventually leading to cancer. However, there is a general consensus among scientists that these theories are improbable. Cancer organizations do not condone these ideas, either.
When to wear a bra to bed
Wearing a bra to bed can be beneficial in a couple of situations. If you just gave birth and don’t plan on breastfeeding, wearing a bra around the clock can provide support and comfort while breast milk naturally dries up. The same goes for weaning as a baby outgrows the need to breastfeed: Breast binding or wearing excessively tight bras is an unnecessary practice, but a regular bra that fits can help.
Many surgeons advise patients to wear a bra to bed for up to six weeks after having a breast augmentation. However, it’s essential to follow your doctor’s specific recommendations, as you may need to wear bandages for the initial phase of recovery and switch to a bra as your convalescence progresses. Also, depending on where incisions were made for your breast augmentation, your doctor will recommend certain bras as being preferable to others.
What should you do?
Without clear, documented health risks, the decision of whether to wear a bra to bed comes down to personal preference. If you feel more comfortable with a bra on at night, there’s no reason to take it off over fears of getting cancer. Wearing a bra may not work miracles against the natural sagging that happens with weight fluctuations and aging, but, hey, it works for Halle Berry!
Instead, though, you might want to focus your efforts on evidence-based preventive care that can actually make a difference to your breast health, such as maintaining a healthy weight to help your skin stay intact and firm by protecting collagen and elastin, and conducting self-exams of your breasts between doctor’s appointments.
You might also look into various exercises, such as resistance-training moves like pushups and the bench press, that target the pec muscles underneath your breast tissue.