By Annabelle Cottee
January 05, 2011
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Wearing a bra to bed is a simple act that's surrounded by huge myths. Women have used bras for centuries to lift and separate, provide support, or just make everything stay put. But wear one to bed, and suddenly rumors fly that the bust-boosting garment increases your risk of breast cancer and even flattens your chest. Here, we debunk four common myths about wearing a bra to bed so you can rest easy (and stay perky!).

Wearing a Bra to Bed Claim #1: It Causes Breast Cancer

The Truth: Not so, says Deborah Axelrod M.D. a breast surgeon and associate professor at the NYU Langone Medical Center. "Underwire bras do not cause or increase your risk of breast cancer." This rumor started in 1995 with a book called Dressed to Kill, in which the authors claimed that women who wore tight-fitting bras every day (particularly underwire) had a much higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who went au natural. The authors said that by constricting the lymphatic system-which eliminates toxins from your body-bras trap toxins in the breast tissue and cause breast cancer. The problem: There's no scientific evidence to support this theory, Axelrod says.

Wearing a Bra to Bed Claim #2: It Keeps Your Boobs Perky

The Truth: Unfortunately, there's no real proof that your breasts look better if you wear a bra at night, Axelrod says. The real secret for a perky chest is wearing the right size bra. "Many women wear bras that do not give them enough support, and that contributes to discomfort." Every woman should get a professional bra fitting once a year. Most department stores offer free bra fittings or you can schedule a free bra fit makeover at a specialty store like Intimacy.

Wearing a Bra to Bed Claim #3: It Flattens Your Chest

The Truth: This is a popular myth among teenage girls, but there's really no truth to it. "You'd have to be wearing a corset that doesn't let you breathe for that to happen!" Axelrod says. "Unless it's for a specific reason, like to decrease discomfort post-surgery, I generally don't advice women to wear a bra to bed."

Wearing a Bra to Bed Claim #4: It Causes Saggy Boobs

The truth: "Pregnancy, breast feeding, ageing-that all contributes to saggy boobs," Axelrod says. "Bras do not." The idea that wearing a bra for longer than eight to 12 hours per day will weaken breast tissue so much that they'll begin to sag simply isn't true. "Bras are our friends, not our enemies," Axelrod says. Her advice: "Don't burn your bras, ladies-wear them as long as you like!"