Sleep in a Bra?
December 4, 2004 11:09 PM   Subscribe

If I don't wear a bra to sleep, does this mean my breasts will start sagging at an earlier age?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Google + wear bra sleep breasts sagging = "It is a good idea to take off your bra before you go to sleep for other reasons — like having good circulation and easy breathing. Here's something else to keep in mind — bras don't preserve the shape or perkiness of breasts. Sagging results from a number of factors unrelated to bra wearing, such as

* breast fat and tissue composition
* softening of breast ligaments and loss of breast tissue with age
* enlarged breasts during pregnancy, which causes the skin to stretch even after they return to pre-pregnancy size

Hope this information helps!

Take care,
posted by Jairus at 11:21 PM on December 4, 2004

What Jairus said. You are in danger if you don't wear a supportive sports bra during high impact exercise, which can cause your Coopers ligaments to stretch out. Other than that, the changes you'll see are due to weight fluctuations and pregnancy.
posted by hindmost at 11:35 PM on December 4, 2004

Mine are far saggier than they were pre-pregnancy, and if my memory serves me well, from my reading I gathered that this is due to the space given over to fat being reduced and milk-producing tissue taking its place, then that tissue involutes at the end of lactation.

Such is life. I wouldn't give back the child or the breastfeeding experience in order to have perky tits back again. They are a badge of maidens and those who are surgically enhanced, imho.
posted by beth at 12:15 AM on December 5, 2004

Oof, let them out of their cages, poor things! They have to be in there all day, after all. One of my greatest joys is removing my bra at the end of the day. Free at last, free at last! I say don't worry about it. If you're worried about saggy breasts, there are various exercises you can do with small free weights that can perk them up, as well as various topical creams. Fugghedaboutit and let them thar puppies roam freely.
posted by fricative at 3:57 AM on December 5, 2004 [1 favorite]

Fricative, I seem to be agreeing with you all over askme today, but I'm going to take it a step further here...ladies, give up your bras entirely, or at least make sure they fit right. One should never feel a sense of relief after taking off a bra--that means it dosen't fit. There are all sorts of studies out there about lack of circulation in the breasts leading to all kinds of problems, including breast cancer. Even though they may be a little sketchy, these studies make me worry enough that I don't wear a bra at all.

Since it'll probably be mostly ladies answering anony's question, I'd like to tack on a related question. Why do most women wear bras (other than those who are so large-chested that they are in pain without a bra)? Is it the visible nipple factor? Do you feel that your breasts look somehow better in one? I stopped wearing a bra in college and have never looked back, but I find that I'm very unusual among women of all age groups. I'm assuming that most women know that bras don't prevent sagging, so why do most women still wear them?
posted by gokart4xmas at 8:54 AM on December 5, 2004

Boob sagging is like any kind of aging: taking it gracefully is way hotter than freaking out over preventing it. Due to weight fluctations, mine sag more than they should at my age, yet I've never had someone seem disappointed to see them.

And gokart, I've wondered the same thing. Mine are too big for me to be totally comfy without support (though hardly huge), but I've always wondered about smaller girls. God, that seems like the ultimate glory in small tits. In the medium range, I suspect it's because they hold yor tits up as long as you're in them.
posted by dame at 9:25 AM on December 5, 2004

I can't imagine wearing a bra to bed - what fricative said. Saggage be damned. I hate having to wear one at any time, but yes, over a certain size, it just looks better. The nipple thing, and...ah - the lift & separate bit does look better under clothes.
posted by icetaco at 10:29 AM on December 5, 2004

gokart4xmas - I am a B/C and I haven't worn a bra since college either. hate the damn things. I don't like wearing wrist watches, bracelets, turtlenecks or anything else I can feel, so bras are my biggest enemy. I only wear them if I'm wearing a thinner blouse for work, or if my high beams are too much (hubbie's wish not mine).

mine are still pretty perky though, even at 31. from what the nurse practitioner in college said, it has something to do with my muscles. so I think some people just get "lucky" to not sag as quickly as others (this is without the having kids factor).
posted by evening at 10:39 AM on December 5, 2004

I would rather be saggy than wear a bra to bed. Blech.

Boob sagging is like any kind of aging: taking it gracefully is way hotter than freaking out over preventing it. Due to weight fluctations, mine sag more than they should at my age, yet I've never had someone seem disappointed to see them.

Ha! I'm in the same boat as dame. Medium sized and the dreaded weight-loss sag, so bras it must be. My boobs get sore otherwise, and so do my nipples if I do something more active than sitting around and don't wear a bra.
posted by jennyb at 11:37 AM on December 5, 2004

Back on topic: I'm sort of capricious about bra-wearing; I don't think it'll prevent sagging but even at a relatively small cup size I sometimes experience discomfort if I go all day without a bra, depending on (ahem) hormonal fluctuations.

I'd never wear a bra to bed though. They're not moving, they don't need support like that.
posted by SoftRain at 1:08 PM on December 5, 2004

Your breasts are going to sag and there's not much you can do about it. I think that bras are uncomfortable to sleep in, so I don't do it.

The better question is why this is an anon question?
posted by Juicylicious at 2:49 PM on December 5, 2004

Why do most women wear bras (other than those who are so large-chested that they are in pain without a bra)?

- visible nipple factor
- my boobs are really uneven so i think it looks weird without a bra - it evens 'em out
- i think the braless look is too unprofessional for most jobs
posted by tristeza at 3:22 PM on December 5, 2004

I don't think it's a good idea to wear anything restrictive to bed. I once read about a study linking night time underwear use to certain forms of cancer. I just wear a loose short nightgown and that's it.
posted by orange swan at 3:56 PM on December 5, 2004

Tristeza, do you mind letting us know your general age range? As a relatively young, bra-less professional, I'd like to know if this is an opinion that is changing in the workplace. Also, I'm interested in knowing if it's a generational thing or a gender thing? Do men of any age care one way or the other (besides jonmc, I mean :)?
posted by gokart4xmas at 4:33 PM on December 5, 2004

I can't speak to the workforce question. However, as I tend to nail older men, I've found they care less about looks in general; that is, they are less invested in traditional notions of how women should look. I think that is just a function of maturity.
posted by dame at 4:40 PM on December 5, 2004

gokart4xmas, I am 34, and I would be taken aback by visible (ie jiggly, nipply) bra-lessness in any office-type workplace. I might even briefly goggle gracelessly before regaining my composure. I'm not proud of this answer, but there you are. Call me old-fashioned but my personal prediction is that in many workplaces this would earn you the enmity of your female peers and disrespect from your male ones.

My gf is an F cup, and is pretty concerned to avoid both the dreaded sagging and the pain of swinging free. Bralessness brings discomforts of its own for the large-breasted at anything above a slow walk. I intend to point Jairus' post out to her but I don't think she'll be convinced.

Getting back to the topic in hand, it seems to me that if you're lying down then gravity is no longer pulling on the ligaments and skin, so logically lack of a bra can't be causing sagging in your sleep.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:48 PM on December 5, 2004

DD cup, and the bra is more comfortable during the day. I wear a sports bra when I am at home alone in my Writer Garb of yoga pants and t-shirt, especially when typing.

I certainly feel like I would be too conspicuous without a bra in a work setting. I do envy women who don't have to wear them, though. I guess if I were one of the fortunately braless, I would wear a camisole or something similar in the office, just to avoid "headlights" while making presentations, etc.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:21 PM on December 5, 2004

That business about "sleeping in your bra" was invented by the Maidenform company (then the Maiden Form company) in the 1930s to sell more bras. It is nonsense.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:22 PM on December 5, 2004 [1 favorite]

Work and exercise are the only reasons I wear a bra these days. I'd love to go without at work, too, but visible nipples attract a bit too much attention of the non-professional variety. My job is pretty male dominated, and going braless would cost me credibility with a lot of my coworkers.
posted by rhiannon at 9:03 PM on December 5, 2004

I have small breasts and generally haven't worn bras since somewhere between high school/college, but at 31 I am starting to see some saggage, so I've begun wearing those "supported undershirts" that have been getting more popular. I do not wear them at night, though. As others have said, aging is aging, and trying to fight it is just going to make you unhappy. Would an extra year of perky boobs really be worth ten years of uncomfortable sleeping? They are eventually going to become a slightly different style of breast, just as your face is going to look a little more mature. You can still be gorgeous; you'll just be a gorgeous 35 year-old instead of a gorgeous 25-year-old, and the same will be true of the tits. Take care of yourself, yadda yadda, but don't try to fake being what you no longer are (ie, it's not a good idea to try to look 17 when you're really 40 - it's much hotter to be a fine 40 year old).
posted by mdn at 9:45 PM on December 5, 2004

I got used to wearing a sports bra to sleep when I was nursing my first baby. It holds nursing pads in place, which is a good thing, unless of course you want to wake up in a puddle of your own milk! I tend to put on my pajamas pretty early in the evening, and laze around in them on weekend mornings, so I just wear sports tanks with the little shelf-bra in them and a pair of pajama pants. Makes it easy to chase the kids around, plus I can carry stuff out to the trash or answer the door without feeling akward.
posted by whatnot at 7:33 AM on December 6, 2004

Tristeza, do you mind letting us know your general age range? As a relatively young, bra-less professional, I'd like to know if this is an opinion that is changing in the workplace.

I'm 34, FWIW. I don't think it's changing or has changed - my opinion is that it's been pretty standard for decades that a woman should probably not be showing highbeams at work unless she's a bartender or dancer or something. I just find that it's distracting and looks, well, sloppy and unprofessional. YMMV.
posted by tristeza at 11:41 AM on December 6, 2004

No. You do not have to wear a bra to sleep. If you do, it will change nothing.

Straight answer. I promise.
posted by erratic frog at 12:54 PM on December 6, 2004

dame--it is! the best part of having small breasts is not having to deal with underwire or any bra at all if i don't feel like it. there are some days in particular it's heaven, those mornings you wake up and just think "mm...not today!" also, when i do wear a bra it's always a super comfy one (bandeaus and similar simplehorizontalstraparoundthechestwithstraps are my favorite). as for gokart's question, yeah, the only thing that *makes* me wear a bra really is fear of nipple protrusion (i realize how socialized and stupid this is, but it's still very in place...the idea of people looking at my nipples in public freaks me out) or, if it's summer and i'm wearing a white top, actually seeing the nipples through the shirt (darker color).
posted by ifjuly at 1:56 PM on December 7, 2004

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