Sleeping in a Bra: Harmful or Helpful?

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  • There are many myths on whether or not sleeping in a bra can aid or harm your health. Many women feel that wearing a bra at night might perk up their chest. However, some research has linked wearing a supportive bra while sleeping to breast cancer. Either way, Dr. Amber Guth, an associate professor of surgery and director of the Breast Cancer Surgery Multidisciplinary Fellowship at NYC Langone Medical Center wants to demystify the effects.

    "There is certainly no evidence that sleeping in bras is either helpful or harmful," Guth said.

    "Sagging or changes in the breast are due to a number of factors: Pregnancy and breastfeeding being the most common causes, along with time and gravity."

    Linda Becker, a professional bra fitter at a New York boutique believes that there are some benefits to wearing a supportive bra at night.

    "Either your breasts are being supported for eight hours, or they're not being supported for eight hours. What do you think is better? It's just common sense,” Becker said. “If your breasts are being held up, they're going to stay up a lot longer. When you take your bra off at the end of the day, they're a lot higher than when you put it on in the morning."

    Becker even suggested that women of a certain cup should consider wearing a bra while sleeping.

    "It really depends on the size of your breast," Becker explained. "If you're an A-cup or B-cup, no. If your breasts are bigger than a D, Double-D and up, you should. Some people's breasts hurt them when they sleep, so they need to wear a bra. Some people need it for support."

    Her position raises another issue: How much support does a woman actually need?

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