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Being Brady, Vol. II: Tom Brady’s Pajamas

This is the second in John McDermott’s three-part “Being Tom Brady” series. In his previous first installment, McDermott wrote about life on Brady’s infamously strict vegan diet.

To call me a skeptic would a gross understatement. Whenever I catch word of some hot new pseudoscientific diet, fitness, dating, workplace or mindfulness trend, my knee-jerk reaction is to think it’s utter bullshit, and that anyone who buys into it, either intellectually or financially, is either a shameless corporate shill or one of the weak-minded rubes they prey upon. I’m a walking eyeroll emoji. 

So it’s with a healthy dose of shame that I admit I’m a sucker for Tom Brady’s performance-enhancing pajama line. I wore the pajamas for a week, and by virtue of either the placebo effect or the latest in sleepwear technology, they worked. They gave me some of the most restful, re-energizing sleep I’ve ever had.

I am a Tom Brady pajama believer.

The Garments

Tom Brady’s entry into the lucrative men’s nightwear market came this January when he announced a partnership with Under Armour to sell his own line of branded pajamas.

Brand cheerleaders like ESPN’s Darren Rovell and Sports Illustrated’s Tim Newcomb lavished praise on the products (even though they weren’t even publicly available yet), while others insinuated it was all a sham.

Indeed, the pajamas were just the latest in Brady’s ongoing effort to parlay his on-the-field success into a holistic wellness brand called TB12 — a multifaceted operation that includes apparel, a vegan diet plan and a specialized exercise routine that’s only taught at Brady’s personal gym in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

A set of full-length tops and bottoms costs a ridiculous $200 (supermodel cuddle-buddy not included).

But these are no ordinary pajamas, according to Brady and Under Armour. Oh, no. These are the same pajamas that help Brady defy Father Time, and continue playing at a Hall of Fame-level even though he’s damn near 40.

Woven into the the fabric are “bioceramics” that “[absorb] the body’s natural heat” while you’re sleeping and reflect it back at you in the form of “Far Infrared” energy, helping your muscles recover faster and better.

Excuse me, Tom, but you’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Your special jam-jams are going to magically heal all my aches and pains?

I just broke my forearm doing the jerk-off motion so hard.

The Science

Under Armour cites a 2012 National Institutes of Health paper that says far infrared technology has been linked to everything from improved sleep to weight loss to helping nursing mothers lactate. And infrared-emitting fabrics have “delayed the onset of fatigue, induced by muscle contractions” in some test subjects.

So maybe Brady’s Athlete Recovery Sleepwear isn’t bullshit after all.

Then again, the authors of that study were from Harvard, so we can’t rule out that their results are in service of some larger pro-Boston agenda.

(Seriously, though, why does Boston have such an outsize influence on our culture? You know how many people live in Boston? Just 650,000! Not even a million! I never again want to see another movie about Tommy From Quinzee and his hardscrabble drinking buddies Sully and Mac. Good Will Hunting is enough.)

My Experience

I usually wear only boxer-briefs to bed, if that, so I expected full-length pajamas to feel like a straitjacket. All that fabric rubbing against my linen sheets? Too much friction!

But I was amazed to find that the Brady jammies were comfortable. Like, unbelievably so. They were simultaneously gentle and cozy—almost like silk pajamas, but with less of a “I’m a horny old man” vibe to them. I found myself putting them on long before I even slipped into bed. I wish I were wearing them right now.

My first night’s sleep was wondrous and uninterrupted. Normally, I wake up at least once in the middle of the night, but I slept straight on until morning that first night and woke up with an energy and optimism that usually doesn’t come until my second cup of coffee.

I did, however, wake up in a pool of my own sweat. This isn’t uncommon for me. I’m a heavy sweater, sometimes even when I sleep, and especially when I have a particularly intense dream. (This is my cross to bear in life, and I’ve accepted it.) My body was also covered by a thin layer of material specifically designed to redirect heat back toward my body. But a little sweat is a small price to pay to sleep as well as I did.

The rest of my nights in Brady jammies were much the same. I spent my nights drifting in a state of blissful, REM-filled wonder. The most remarkable part was that I never woke up with sore muscles or joints despite all the CrossFit I did over that span.

After a few days, my pajamas were in desperate need of a wash, so I threw them in the hamper and reverted to standard, underwear-only nighttime attire. And it was pure agony. I spent the night tossing and turning, futilely searching for a comfortable ass groove in the mattress, and walked into work the next morning bleary-eyed and disheveled.

Does this prove anything?

Absolutely not.

But it doesn’t disprove anything either. And that’s the kind of logic that passes for intellectual rigor these days.