Is It Bad to Sleep With a Sports Bra On?

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As a young girl approaching adolescence, you may recall hearing from your grandmother or other elderly ladies that sleeping with a bra on can cause breast cancer, cause them to stop growing, or cause them to sag or perk.

Is It Bad to Sleep With a Sports Bra On?

No, sleeping with a sports bra on is not bad because there is no conclusive scientific evidence that sleeping with a bra on is harmful to you. A sports bra is a much safer choice than an underwire or push-up bra.

An image of woman lying

Sports bras provide a more comfortable, snug fit without the risk of restricted blood circulation brought about by the elastic or underwire pressed against your chest.

Factors Why Some Prefer to Sleep With a Bra On

Some women are more comfortable resting with a bra on because it helps alleviate breast pain due to:

  • Breast size: Sleeping in a bra may be advantageous for women with larger breasts who may be bothered by nighttime breast movement.
  • Breastfeeding: Wearing a bra while sleeping may ease the pain brought about by tenderness. Nursing pads in place can also hold leaky breast milk.
  • Sensitive skin: Some people would want to wear a soft bra in case loose clothing leads to chafing.

Advantages of Using Sports Bras

Sports bras are designed for high-impact sports; they will most likely have a wider surface area to cover the breast area. Bras should provide you with an ideal fit and support.

Graphic image of a blue bra that describes that sport bras should be snug and be made from moisture wicking material

A regular bra provides comfort, shape, and visual appeal, whereas a sports bra is designed to relieve breast discomfort caused by movement during vigorous exercise. The perks of wearing one include:

  • Maximum comfort: Muscle ligaments in a woman’s breasts move up, down, and sideways whenever she moves. Great quality sports bras are made to ensure they provide maximum support and keep your breasts firmly in place, leaving little to no pain at all after workouts.
  • Have a boost on self-confidence: Don’t you hate those eyes that look at your bust moving while exercising? Because of the compact fit sports bra offer, you can focus on yourself without feeling bothered.
  • Keeps sweat out: Most fabrics used for sports bras quickly shift sweat out of the fabric’s outer surface. It also dries sweat faster, so it won’t stick to the fabric, thus leaving you with that non-sticky feeling.
  • A fashion item: Major sportswear companies such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Puma, and apparel companies have released trendy bra designs. They can be worn as a top which makes them fashionable.
  • Sports bra for everyday use: Wearing sports bras is no longer limited to workouts. Celebrities and regular women have been seen wearing them in public places such as gyms and supermarkets, as well as around the house. They provide excellent support and are so comfortable that you will forget you are wearing one.

If you don’t want to wear a sports bra to bed, you can opt for one of the best sleeping bras available. And, if you have larger breasts, you will need a special sleep bra so that you’re comfortable.

An image of woman wearing sports bra

Downsides of Wearing Sports Bra at Night

In contrast to all the persuasive list of goodness it presents, wearing a sports bra for long-term use is not recommended. The bra you wear to bed should not be too tight or have any parts that dig in. An uncomfortably tight bra may make it difficult to sleep or irritate your breasts.

  • Uneven skin tone: Skin discoloration is caused by elevated melanin levels in specific areas of your body. Constantly wearing a sports bra at night causes friction, which stimulates melanocyte production, and results in dark spots and uneven skin tone.
  • Ideal for fungal growth: Fungus thrives in the warm, moist environment of a form-fitting bra. That’s why it’s best to avoid wearing one to bed, especially if you live in a hot or humid climate.
  • Causes acne: Acne causing bacteria from clogged pores due to a combination of sweat and dead skin cells is ideal for this organism.
  • Disrupts a good night’s sleep: Sleeping with skin-tight clothes can be cramping and difficult. Even the tiniest constriction can affect the quality of sleep.

Is It True You Can Get Cancer From Sleeping With a Bra On?

However, contrary to those beliefs, there are no proven medical studies that show sleeping with a bra on is harmful. In some cases, sleeping with a bra on, depending on your breast size, can help ease the pain and provide a good night’s sleep.

It has been claimed that underwire bras cause breast cancer by obstructing lymph flow. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this theory. Wearing a bra to bed is an individual choice, and you can choose to do so without worrying about an increased risk of cancer.

Does Sleeping With a Bra on Hinder Breast Growth?

Another common misconception about sleeping in a bra is that some people think sleeping with a bra limits blood flow and hence restricts the growth of your breast tissue, but you shouldn’t be wearing bras that are too tight anyway.

A decent bra designed with soft fabrics won’t hinder your blood circulation or breast tissue growth. Again, there is no scientific proof that wearing a bra to sleep will prevent your breasts from growing.

An image of woman wearing a black sports bra

Are Your Breasts Less Likely to Droop if You Sleep With a Bra?

Sagging breasts are a natural process that happens over time as gravity draws the entire bust downward. The breast tissues loosen and become less likely to support the weight of the ligaments underneath the skin. Wearing a bra to bed does not help prevent this.

Factors such as pregnancy, hormone fluctuation, and weight changes can all have an impact on the breasts’ internal structures. Exercising without a bra that provides an ideal fit can cause the ligaments to weaken and hasten the drooping process gradually.

Alternatives to Sports Bras That You Can Wear at Night

A lightweight bra without an underwire is your best choice. Some camisole-style pajama tops even include a bra. Some excellent bra alternatives that can forego bras without completely sacrificing support and shape include:

  1. Camisoles
  2. Bandeaus
  3. Pasties/Nipple covers
  4. Bodysuits
  5. Bralettes
What Is a Sports Bra? (And How To Pick One For Various Activities)


In the end, there are no sufficient studies to claim that sleeping with a sports bra on is bad for your boobs. If you do want to sleep with a bra on, you may consider bralettes or sleep bras for a more comfortable fit.


Allena is the Founder and Editor of The Better Fit, a platform dedicated to empowering women with practical advice on bras and fitness, inspired by her own revelation of the widespread issue of incorrect bra sizing. Her expertise and tips have been recognized by major publications such as Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Insider, and NBC, making her a trusted voice in women's wellness and lifestyle.