Many proponents of waist training suggest wearing a waist trainer for 8 or more hours a day. Some even recommend sleeping in one. Their justification for wearing one overnight is that the additional hours in the waist trainer maximize waist training benefits.

The medical community, such as the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, doesn’t generally support the use of waist trainers for any amount of time, much less at night.

Reasons not to wear one while sleeping include:

  • potential impact on acid reflux, hindering proper digestion
  • potential reduction in lung capacity, depriving your body of oxygen
  • potential physical discomfort, interrupting sleep

Keep reading to learn more about the purported benefits and the actual side effects of waist trainers.

A waist trainer is the modern day corset. It’s worn around your midsection to create the illusion that you have an hourglass figure.

There are three primary types of waist trainers:

  • Everyday trainers. Designed to be worn under clothing, these waist trainers typically provide compression with a latex core and hook-and-eye closures.
  • Workout trainers. Sturdier than an everyday waist trainer, workout waist trainers usually have a latex core. Many are designed to be worn outside clothing.
  • Steel-boned trainers. More traditional in design, these waist trainers are reinforced with flexible steel boning and typically include tightening laces in the back.

Most waist trainers claim to shape your waist into a sculpted silhouette or help with weight loss.

Although not supported by the medical community, proponents of waist training claim that waist training garments can result in:

An hourglass figure

When the waist trainer is put on and tightened, many people feel that it gives them a more attractive figure with an impressively slim waist, accentuated bust, and curvy hips.

The concept is that if you wear the waist trainer for long enough periods, your body will be trained to maintain that shape.

This claim has been widely disputed by doctors and medical organizations. They suggest that waist trainers don’t provide long-term shaping benefits.

Better posture

While you’re wearing a waist trainer, it’s likely that you’ll maintain good posture. There’s a concern, however, that wearing a waist trainer too much may weaken your core muscles which could lead to poor posture and back discomfort.

Decreased appetite

The claim for a decreased appetite is based on the waist trainer putting pressure on your stomach. If your stomach is compressed, it’s likely that you’ll reach a feeling of fullness faster than if your stomach was not being squeezed.

Weight loss

Although there’s anecdotal evidence of weight loss during waist training, it is most likely due to fluid loss from perspiration.

The concern about the side effects of waist training is the potential for physical damage. Compressing your midsection can:

  • force organs like your kidneys and liver into unnatural positions
  • impair internal organ function by crowding
  • reduce core muscle strength
  • cause rib fracture
  • deprive you of oxygen, possibly by reducing lung capacity by 30 to 60 percent
  • restrict lymphatic system
  • create digestive tract blockages
  • promote acid reflux

Sleeping in a waist trainer can result in poor sleep due to:

  • oxygen deprivation
  • acid reflux
  • physical discomfort

Sleeping in a waist trainer can also have the same negative effects as wearing a waist trainer at any time of the day. Those side effects include:

  • impairment of your internal organ function due to crowding
  • blockage of your digestive tract
  • restriction of your lymphatic system

If you’re considering waist training, talk to a doctor. They can recommend more effective methods for trimming your waistline.