Can You Sleep With a Waist Trainer On?
If you follow many fitness bloggers or social-media models, chances are that you’ve seen waist trainers being used and promoted online. Although corsetry has been around for hundreds of years and has its own long and rich history, waist trainers are a more modern take on the tradition. They are mainly advertised to be worn while exercising in order to help “train” and reshape your waistline.
Like with any new fitness trend, it’s essential to research any potential health risks before taking part in it, especially with something as serious as attempting to reshape your body. If you intend to wear a waist trainer, you might be tempted to wear the garment while you sleep at night to get quicker results. This article will help inform your decision on if sleeping with a waist trainer at night is the right choice for you.
What Is a Waist Trainer?
A waist trainer is a small garment that looks similar to Spanx or other standard shapewear you’re probably familiar with. They’re meant to be worn around your midsection under your regular clothes.
Waist trainers can be made from many different types of fabric, such as nylon, latex, and spandex, and use plastic or metal boning to maintain the desired shape while the garment is kept closed using velcro straps, metal clasps, or zippers.
Waist trainers look similar to a traditional corset but with an updated design that is geared more towards fitness than aesthetics. On average, a waist trainer can cost between thirty to sixty dollars when purchased online, and that low price point could be another contributor to their rise in popularity, along with the many endorsements from celebrities and models on social media.
Do Waist Trainers Work?
If you’ve used a waist trainer already, you may have noticed some positive results during your use of the garment. Weight loss can indeed occur while wearing a waist trainer, but unfortunately, this will mostly be water weight shed from the perspiration that is increased by wearing the garment.
The extremely tight fabric of the waist trainer will make you sweat more, but the weight lost because of that will be regained once your body is rehydrated.
The reshaping effects advertised by waist trainers will also be temporary, as there isn’t any garment that can actually change the shape of one’s waistline or ribcage permanently.
You might also eat less due to the compression on your stomach, causing you to have a smaller appetite. This could also contribute to weight loss, but wearing a waist trainer alone is not a sustainable fitness plan.
A healthy diet, exercise, or cosmetic surgery are the only methods that can actually provide long-lasting results, and using a waist cincher as a replacement for those methods could lead to permanent damage to your internal organs and digestive system over time.
It’s also not suggested to wear your waist trainer while you exercise. The tight compression on your lungs can inhibit breathing and make working out much more difficult and potentially dangerous if you don’t get enough air while putting your body through the physical strain of a workout. The American Board Of Cosmetic Surgery listed some possible consequences of lowered oxygen levels when wearing a waist trainer, such as passing out, inflammation, and fluid buildup in the lungs.
Other Possible Risks When Wearing a Waist Trainer
Another benefit that is advertised with waist trainers is that they provide back support and can remedy bad posture. It’s true that the boning inside the garment can correct posture while being worn, but prolonged use can actually lead to the core muscles in your abdomen weakening over time and make your posture worsen gradually due to the fact that the boning in the waist trainer provides false support to the spine and the muscles in your abdomen. This will cause the body to weaken as it uses the waist trainer as a crutch rather than strengthening on its own.
The tight compression around your stomach can also lead to organ displacement and even rib fractures if worn for long periods of time without giving your body a break to recover from the strain. With all of this in mind, it’s best to take the decision to start wearing a waist trainer very seriously due to the potential health risk and lack of permanent results.
Possible Mental Health Side Effects
It’s not just the physical health that could be damaged when deciding to use a waist trainer. Putting your body through physical pain in order to achieve a goal could have serious negative effects on your own mental health.
Advertisements for waist trainers often use dramatic before and after photos and include false promises claiming that their product is the answer to weight loss and reshaping without all of the efforts in order to gain sales. The reality is that a waist trainer cannot deliver permanent results, and the disappointment this causes could be just as harmful mentally as it is physically.
Anytime you are tempted to try out a new diet or fitness trend, the best thing you can do is consult a doctor or other medical professional before making the decision so as to make sure it’s the healthiest choice for you.
Can You Wear a Waist Trainer While Sleeping?
If you are making the decision to utilize a waist trainer, it’s very important to pay attention to how long you’re wearing the garment and when it’s best to take breaks. Most waist trainers advise that beginner wearers start with two hours of usage a day and work up to something between six to eight hours a day over the course of the first three weeks in order to see the best results.
The simple answer is that it is not medically advised at all to wear a waist trainer at any time, including during sleep. Sites like UCI Health further explain the risk involved when using waist cinchers and strongly advise against it.
The ideal breathing rate for an adult while they sleep is between twelve to twenty breaths per minute. When the midsection and lungs are compressed while sleeping, your lung’s capacity for holding in and exhaling air can lower from anywhere between thirty to sixty percent.
Not only will this further encourage the previously-listed negative side effects, but this will also damage the quality of your sleep and cause increased drowsiness during the day as your body has had to work harder and strain itself to provide oxygen to you while you sleep.
Alternative Methods to Wearing a Waist Trainer
If you’re looking for more long-lasting results than what a waist trainer can provide, there are some much healthier alternatives that you could try in order to reach your fitness goals.
Hot yoga is an excellent alternative to wearing a waist trainer and will provide very similar results. The raised temperatures in the room will make you sweat more which will shed the water weight that wearing a cincher would also do.
Pilates is also an excellent exercise method if your goal is muscle-toning and reshaping. Pilates emphasizes work on core strength and toning, and over time your waistline will show results without the health risks of wearing a cincher.
It’s also important to remember that a healthy diet is the best aid for reaching your fitness goals. Waist trainers and other fitness fads promise quick results with little effort, but nothing will do as good a job as eating well, exercising, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Benefits Of Waist Training
When doing any research, it’s essential to get all of the pros as well as the cons. Although a waist trainer cannot be recommended for exercise or posture support, they can be used as basic shapewear for short amounts of time.
The risks discussed previously are still at play when using a waist trainer as shapewear, but so long as the use is infrequent and contained to a few hours at a time at most, you shouldn’t see any long-term damage from the garment.
There are also some medical conditions that could benefit from the use of a waist trainer, such as an aid for postpartum support. If a medical professional or physical therapist suggests their use, there are instances in which wearing a waist trainer could be beneficial.
It is simply not advisable to sleep with a waist trainer on. In general, it’s best to avoid the use of waist trainers altogether and to seek out healthier and safer methods to reach your weight-loss goal.
Fitness trends come and go, and unfortunately, financial profit and popularity are often treated with more importance than the safety and well-being of the people that the companies that make waist trainers are advertising to. It’s best to remember that the bodies and beauty standards that are used in marketing aren’t realistic and that whenever you are working to achieve a fitness goal, your own health should always come first rather than using short-term solutions that will provide short-term results and long-lasting damage.
With a good diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle, you will be able to achieve the same physical results as you would from a waist trainer without the unnecessary physical risks.