Sleep Like Tom Brady (or the Next Best Thing)

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Sleep Like Tom Brady (or the Next Best Thing)

“They arrived in an impressive, zippable package six weeks ago. Etched into the shell was a simple commandment: REST. WIN. REPEAT.”

I’m going to give you a little peek behind the curtain into my life as an Under Armour blogger. What you hear about the lifestyle … the fame, the fortune, the extravagant yacht parties. Yup, that stuff’s all true. But beyond that, there’s a lot of sacrifice. It’s not all glitz and glam and 600–800 words.

What it really means is a commitment to a rigorous, healthy lifestyle. It means pushing your body to its physical limit for the sake of your readers. And sometimes, it means testing Tom Brady’s athlete recovery sleepwear (Read: not pajamas).

As the most comparable person to Tom Brady that Under Armour could find on planet earth, it is my mission to provide a report on what the TB12 sleepwear experience is like at the highest level.

I took painstaking care to differentiate every place I might differ even just slightly from Tom, even though there aren’t many. Just think of it as two of the world’s greatest athletes at the peak of our powers. Who wear matching pajamas.

The garments arrived in an impressive, zippable package six weeks ago. Etched into the shell was a simple commandment: REST. WIN. REPEAT.

I’ve been wearing them nightly ever since.

THE BASICS

Here’s all you need to know to prove we are comparing substantially similar athletes.

  • Tom Brady is a 40-year-old quarterback who, in his 18th season in the NFL, threw 28 touchdowns and two interceptions.
  • I am a 27-year-old former high school quarterback who, in my first game action, threw three interceptions in my first five attempts.

End of comparison.

SLEEP HABITS

During the season, Tom Brady regularly goes to sleep at 9 p.m. (nerd alert). I push the limits until 11 p.m., even 11:30 p.m. when I’m feeling naughty.

SIZE AND STYLE

I typically sleep in my underwear because I hate being constricted in any way. Tom, on the other hand, claims that, “coverage is very important. I want to be covered from ankles, to wrists, to neck.”

Different strokes for (slightly) different folks, I guess. Fortunately, the sleepwear comes in shorts or pants and long or short-sleeved T-shirts. Unfortunately, both items were in such high demand that when I opened the package, I gasped upon finding pants and long sleeves. Surely there had been some mistake … or were they asking for a negative review?

Fig. 1: Even when dismayed, I am always diplomatic in my emails.

Fortunately, this never became an issue. Tom clocks in at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. I’m 6-2, roughly 175 pounds. I was sent the size L and the sleepwear fit perfectly. It hung slightly loose, which, for me, was essential. The legs and sleeves taper nicely. It felt surprisingly similar to wearing next to nothing.

“They’re made with a synthetic blend that breathes really well. And it’s not like tough guys like Tom and I  really care about this, but they’re soft and feel very comfortable on the skin. Whatever.”

TEMPERATURE

I sleep in an icebox (Tom, for what it’s worth, claims the ideal sleep temperature is 65 degrees). Air conditioning to the max, boxers only. Sometimes my comforter is too much heat for me.

This was my number 1 concern going into this evaluation. The sleepwear is lined with bioceramic materials, which “take heat and refract it back in the form of far infrared radiation.” When I read this, I gasped again. Were they asking me to sleep in a microwave? As horrifying as the thought was, I accepted my fate.

“If Tom can play in Gillette during February,” I thought, “I can strap on these PJs during May.”

The first morning, I woke up in utter shock. The sleepwear had kept me at my happy temperature all night.

Just like TB12 running the no huddle, I didn’t sweat. Night after night, I marched down the field on the game-winning drive, and I didn’t toss and turn or throw one leg over the covers.

The sleepwear is made with a synthetic blend that breathes really well. And it’s not like tough guys like Tom and I really care about this, but they’re soft and feel very comfortable on the skin. Whatever.

“Were they asking me to sleep in a microwave? As horrifying as the thought was to me, I accepted my fate.”

RECOVERY AND PERFORMANCE

Let’s lay out a little before and after.

BEFORE

  • Began a more rigorous training schedule, trying to learn boxing.
  • Have trouble waking up in the morning to work out.
  • Routinely feel soreness in my legs and tightness in my lower back that makes sitting down in a desk chair for long periods of time uncomfortable.
  • Has looked into regular massage therapy to mitigate this soreness/tightness.

“Just like TB12 running the no huddle, I didn’t sweat. Night after night, I marched down the field on the game-winning drive, and I didn’t toss and turn or throw one leg over the covers.”

AFTER

  • Wakes up at 6:15 a.m. for workouts with more energy than I’ve ever had.
  • Decreased soreness in legs and back (avoided having to get regular massages).
  • Am in best shape of my life since throwing three INTs in five attempts in 2006.

The underlying science on far infrared points to its benefits in healing and restoration, especially in reducing inflammation. Confirmed.

SIGNIFICANT OTHER’S REACTION

“I felt like Gisele sleeping next to such a man, ” says my girlfriend.

THE BOTTOM LINE

I’ll distill my experience into this: It’s worth it if you’re willing to invest in multiple areas.

The sleepwear itself is not cheap — ranging from $60–$100 for each piece (top or bottom). If you’re going to make that investment, invest in an exercise routine that really challenges you. These factors worked together to push me to answer the bell each morning for boxing, a routine that I’ve been able to continue well after the trial.

Commit yourself to the PJs and an exercise routine that really challenges you: a proverbial training camp. The style, the comfort, the fit — that’s all great — but they’re really intended to help you rest as effectively as you’ll work out.

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