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Is it OK to Sleep in a Sports Bra?

This is a question I get asked a lot and the answer and the simple answer is ‘yes’. There are many myths out there as to why you cannot sleep in a sports bra but there is no medical evidence that states you cannot (I checked John Hopkins Medicine!)

As with many things ‘sports bra’ whether sleeping in a sports bra is for you depends on the type of sports bra and what you are comfortable with.

We all know sports bras are designed to keep the girls under control during activity. They are usually a little tighter than our everyday bras and are made using technical fabrics.

These factors work together to help some women alleviate breast discomfort, makes their boobs feel secure and ultimately helps them sleep better.

What does this mean for you? Read on and discover if sleeping in a sports bra is suitable for you.

Don’t Listen to Old Wives

You’ve most likely heard the ‘old wives’ tales’ that wearing a bra to bed can prevent breasts from sagging, stunt breast growth or even cause breast cancer.

But contrary to those ‘old wives’ there is no medical evidence that states it is bad to sleep in a bra or sports bra. In fact, for some women, it can help limit breast movement leading to a better night’s sleep. Especially for the more well-endowed.

In my opinion anything that leads to a better night’s sleep has got to be a good thing.

Things to Consider

Ignoring chest size there are a few things to consider when deciding if it is OK to sleep in a sports bra.

It needs to be the Right Size and Fit.

Whether it’s at the gym, out running or sleeping your sports bra will perform the best if it is the right size and fit. A poor sized or fitting sports bra will not only under-perform but may be uncomfortable or worse lead to soreness or injury. Yikes!

Finding you correct size is as simple as a couple of measurements and a bra size calculator. Simply visit my Fitting Room to Determine Your Size.

Unfortunately, finding you size isn’t the end of the story. Your sleeping sports bra still needs to fit you correctly. Check out my article ’10 Common Fitting Problems and How to Solve Them’ to ensure the best possible fit for you.

Choose a Low to Medium Impact Style

Sports bras are designed to support your breasts during strenuous activity. Sleeping is hardly a strenuous activity. If you are going for a run a high support sports bra is a must to keep the girls under control.

When sleeping consider something low impact or medium impact (unless you move a lot in your sleep!). The lower support will be less restrictive around your ribcage leading to a more comfortable night’s sleep.

Find Something Comfortable

This goes without saying. To get good night’s sleep you will need a comfortable sports bra.

Look for something lightweight and soft. Luckily many modern sports bras fit these criteria. Technical fabrics and chafe free designs mean comfort plus.

Go Wirefree

As we already know the name of the game here is comfort. You are not going to sleep well if you are being poked in the side by rouge underwire.

Underwire has its place but that place is not in the bedroom. Choose a wirefree style to best guarantee a good night’s sleep.

Make Sure it is Made from Breathable Materials

Australia is a hot country and keeping cool and dry whilst sleeping is important to avoid potential rub and discomfort.

A fan or air-conditioning will help. So will a sports bra that is made from lightweight and breathable materials. Many designs tick this box as they are designed to wick moisture away from the skin whilst exercising.

Avoid Padded or Moulded Cups

If we need something lightweight and breathable it makes sense to avoid moulded or padded cups. The extra bulk is unnecessary when sleeping and may lead to undue heating and sweating of the breasts.

Stick to a non-padded style to optimise cooling and comfort.

Why a Sports Bra and Not a Regular Bra?

This is a valid question and often comes down to personal preference. If you find a comfortable and supportive everyday bra that feels wonderful to sleep in, then go for it. There is no right or wrong here it simply comes down to what is best for you.

That said you will find that if it is a good combination of comfort and support you are after then a sports bra is a good option. Especially if you have a bit more up top.

Everyday bras can be comfortable but lack in the support department. If you want to sleep feeling secure, then a sports bra is could be the better option for you.

The Best Way to Sleep with Your Sports Bra on

If you decide that sleeping in a sports bra is a good option for you. There are a few things that will ensure you have the best night sleep with the minimum discomfort.

Firstly, wear your sport bra looser than you normally would during the day. The best way to do this is to loosen the shoulder straps slightly. You don’t want to loosen them so much that your girls flop about in the night as that defeats the purpose. Just enough to take the pressure off your shoulders.

Same with the band. Loosen it to reduce the pressure on your rib cage. If you already wear it on the loosest setting, then consider a band extender. This will give you a greater range of adjustment to find the most comfortable setting for you.

Final Thoughts

These is no evidence that wearing a sports bra while you sleep is bad for you. Many women love the security and support sleeping in a sports bra can offer. Anything for a better night sleep, right?

As always it comes down to personal preference. Just make sure.

  • It’s the right size and fit.
  • It is a low or medium impact style.
  • It’s comfortable.
  • It is wirefree.
  • It’s made from soft, breathable materials.
  • It has no padded or moulded cups.

If you tick all these boxes, then adding a sports bra to your sleeping attire may be just what you need to sleep more comfortably and securely.

See below for a range of sports bras that are perfect for sleeping.

Good night.

Amy x

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Amy Jaffers

Amy is the face behind Sports Bras Direct, Australia’s largest sports bra website. She's a mother of two, outdoors lover and sports bra expert. Her life mission is to help active women get the support they need as well as assisting women in need through her charitable donations.

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