What really happens to your body when you sleep in a bra

It’s a bit of a shocker

It’s a bit of a shocker

Generally speaking, there are two types of women when it comes to bras. Those who can’t wait to take theirs off at the end of the day (that sigh of utter bliss!), and those who wear them non-stop, even to bed (Marilyn Monroe was one of them).

This brings me to the bra debate that’s been raging on for decades: should we, or shouldn’t we, sleep with ours bras one?

Well according to scientists, there’s not really a definitive answer, sorry.

Mia Talmor M.D., of the Division of Plastic Surgery at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, says there is no evidence it’ll help your boobs from sagging.

She told SELF, ‘Bras are designed to help with vertical positioning. But when you’re lying in bed, you need more horizontal support.’

On the other hand, Matthew Schulman M.D., a plastic surgeon, told the same publication that wearing a bra was better than nothing.

‘Wearing a bra will reduce the strain and stretch on the breast tissue’ he said.

With all this conflicting info, it’s pretty much down to personal preference I guess.

One important thing though, if you do sleep with your bra on, make sure you pick the right kind, as if it’s too tight it can actually cause damage.

Schulman says, ‘I recommend a supporting bra made of breathable fabric that does not have padding or underwire. A well-fitting sports bra works very well for sleeping.’

He added, ‘Wearing a bra that is too tight can inhibit flow of lymphatic fluid, this can cause lymphedema (swelling) of the breasts, which can lead to pain and some temporary skin discoloration.’

And let’s face it, no one wants that.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.