Corsets and Sleep

This entry is a summary of the video “Corsets and Sleep”. If you would like more information and demonstrations of the sleeping positions, please watch the video on YouTube here:

Whether you wear a corset to bed is a personal decision. I personally don’t think you have to wear a corset while you sleep in order to effectively waist train, but for those of you who would like to try it, here are some tips and tricks to help you get a comfortable night’s sleep.


  1. You may be a hardcore waist trainer, wanting to train up to 23 hours/day.
  2. You may not be able to waist train during the day for activity or work reasons, and you may want to take advantage of the 6-8 hours in which you’re unconscious, to train your waist.
  3.  You may have completed your waist training (have achieved a new, smaller natural waist without the corset) and you just want to do a bit of maintenance corseting in order to keep your smaller waist. When my aunt was a teenager, she cinched her waist only at night and she had a defined waist into her 60’s, years after she stopped training. I’m not saying this was a typical situation, but it’s a possible situation.

Now, everyone’s going to experience sleeping in a corset differently, because some people are light sleepers, some are heavy sleepers. Some are dead still, some tend to roll around a lot. Some have firm mattresses or soft mattresses, fluffy pillows, flat pillows or no pillows, and some are tummy-sleepers, side sleepers or back sleepers. Therefore, not all of these tips will work for everyone.


Many corseters find it uncomfortable to sleep in a corset more than a few hours. I’ve heard descriptions along the line of “my abdomen feels bloated in the night” and this is partially true. When your body is at rest, the parasympathetic system is activated and this is responsible for the “Rest and Ruminate” reaction of the body. Much of the blood flow is directed away from the limbs and into the core and gut of the body to provide the necessary nutrients to allow for digestion of food and for maintenance of the organs in the body. This is why many people advise that if a person is wearing a corset to bed, they loosen the corset by a couple of inches, which will help the corseter comfortably “Ruminate” while they sleep.

It is under debate whether sleeping in a corset can actually ruin the corset or cause it to wear out faster. Some claim that the added friction and the oils of the body accumulated on the sheets can wear the fashion fabric, while others claim that the corset is designed to hold the body in a neutral standing position, and this position changes when reclining, causing the organs to shift, so causes uneven stress on different panels of the corset. If you are worried about ruining your good corset, you can have two corsets; a day one and a night one. Many people save their older, larger corsets for sleeping in.

Some people may find it more comfortable to have a lighter and shorter corset at night, such as a cincher or a ribbon corset. Some don’t even sleep in a corset but instead a wide leather belt – something with minimal boning to prevent skin abrasions.


You may find that the corset causes your pelvis to tuck under, especially if you don’t have a supportive mattress and it tends to dip in the middle. To maintain the natural curve in your lumbar area,  slip a small pillow or rolled up towel under the small of your back, and another small pillow or towel under your knees. This will take considerable pressure off of your back.

ACID REFLUX – some people may find that they get acid reflux when reclined and wearing a corset, . If you find that this is the case for you during the night, use several pillows or a wedge to elevate your torso slightly, so gravity can help prevent acid from leaking into your esophagus.


I find that sleeping on your side can be very odd when wearing a corset
1) because in my case, sleeping on my side requires a bit of balance to keep myself from rolling over, and part of that balance requires keeping my core muscles engaged. Of course, when you’re flexing your core muscles inside a corset, you’re providing resistance to the restriction, which can get uncomfortable.

2) Most of my restriction comes at the sides of my torso as opposed to my front, so when I lay on my side I have a huge gap between my corset and the bed. If the corset isn’t heavily boned, then my hips can shift and this causes the upper hip to jut out, creating more tension on that side of the waist than I’m used to and thus creating discomfort. To prevent this, use a small pillow or rolled up towel to fill the hollow between your waist and the bed, which will keep your spine straight and your hips aligned. One trick I learned from a pregnant woman is to have an additional pillow behind your back to prevent you from rolling over during the night, so you have that support to lean against instead of balancing on your side. You may also find it more comfortable on your hips to put a small pillow between your knees to keep your hips aligned.


In this situation, a flat-fronted corset might be more comfortable than a Victorian corset. Many health professionals would not advise sleeping on your stomach at all (nevermind in a corset) but realistically speaking tummy sleepers exist. You may find there is more stress on your neck if you sleep on your tummy in a corset, because the corset somewhat prevents curvature of your spine. In this situation it may be more comfortable to sleep without a pillow, instead opting for a pillowtop over your mattress if you need the softness.

Lucy’s Little Life Lesson: When scheduling how much sleep to get in a night, try to sleep in increments of 90 minutes, so can complete a full REM cycle and wake up refreshed.


*Please note that this article is strictly my opinion and provided for information purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of a medical doctor. Please talk to your doctor if you’d like to start wearing a corset.*

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9 comments on “Corsets and Sleep

  1. I am a guy and I have a custom made corset that I got in 2002, I wear it on occasion only at home. I measure 40, 38, 40 and I usually lace to 34 inches and after sleeping in the corset all night I have laced to 32 inches for a few hours. For me the corset has always been a bondage device until recently.

    After a death in the family I was having a terrible time sleeping as I was thinking over and over about how I could have prevented it. It was a nonproductive thought process that would not and could not change anything but it was costing me many night of sleep. One night I wore the corset to bed laced to 34 inches. There is no discomfort for me when laced to 34 inches, just a very firm hug that is impossible to escape from. To my surprise I slept well that night with my mind thinking about the tight hug and I even got up twice during the night and immediately fell back to sleep. Since then I have worn it many nights and without question I sleep better in it than I do without it. When I sleep it it I sleep on my back or either side without any issues. In the morning sometimes I feel like I would just like to keep wearing it all day.

    As for waist training I really do not care one way or the other but if I loose a few pounds because I intentionally eat less in the evenings I would consider it a plus.

  2. Michelle on said:

    I just started waist training, Im in my third week already and generally, I experience no discomfort while using it except for when I sleep 🙁 I sleep for 6 hours at least but I always wake up with lower back pain. I do normally get backaches since I have a terrible posture and slouch a lot but I read corsets are supposed to improve that over time. I don’t know of the back pains I wake up to is just The corset doing it’s job of straightening my back or if it means I should stop using it to sleep. What do you recommend? Thanks a lot!

    • bishonenrancher on said:

      Hi Michelle, pain is never normal. It could be that your muscles are protesting after 6 hours and need to move around after that amount of time, or it could mean that your sleeping position is not properly supporting your back. Try putting pillows where needed (like under your knees and lumbar area) or try loosening your corset a little bit so you have a tiny bit of wiggle room when you sleep. But don’t ignore pain, because corset training should not hurt you!

  3. Tonei on said:

    So I think im ready to sleep in my trainer except when i lay on my back i get this huge gap between my trainer and my stomach. I swear its tight when im upright but my stomach completely caves in when i lay on my back. Any suggestions! ? Thanks.

    • bishonenrancher on said:

      Hi Tonei, many people find it comfortable to have the corset be a little loose when going to bed, since it’s normal for the abdomen to swell during the “Rest and Digest” parasympathetic response. But if you are more comfortable, you are free to tighten the corset before bed so it’s still snug when you’re lying down. There are no hard and fast rules, it’s all about what works best for you!

  4. nicole on said:

    Hey Lucy. so my question is can I purely only wear my corset to bed? I’m a stay at home mom and pretty active through the day so it’s not very easy for me to get.things done in my corset but I want to be able to train.

    • bishonenrancher on said:

      Hi Nicole, some of my friends also have busy schedules (or work in a place where wearing a corset would be hazardous, like by open fires) so they only wear the corset at night and it’s worked well for them. 🙂

  5. I purchased a ann chery waist cincher it do what it say it does but do the boning suppose to make your back hurt my second day wearing it

    • bishonenrancher on said:

      Hi Shanna, Ann Chery sells latex cinchers whereas my specialty lies more in the cotton and steel corsets. Rubber cinchers makes my skin react so I’m not an advocate of them – but any kind of pain or discomfort is definitely not normal. You might be able to open up one end of the cincher and remove the bones that are poking you; it might help make the garment more comfortable.

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