Can high tech pajamas give Tom Brady an advantage?

Tom Brady, the quarterback of the heavily favoured New England Patriots, will prepare for this weekend’s NFL Divisional Round playoff game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., by wearing Under Armour’s first of its kind Athlete Recovery Sleepwear.

The new high tech pajamas are a brand new product for the Baltimore-based apparel manufacturer that features sleep and recovery technology powered by what the company is calling “TB12” (Tom Brady’s initials and his jersey number) and a new UA Record app.

According to Under Armour, both the app and the sleepwear are designed to improve sleep and overall athlete performance. This year Brady has had an outstanding season for a 39-year signal caller. Brady tossed 28 touchdowns with only two interceptions and he completed 67.4 per cent of his passes in the 12 games he played this season. The Patriots won 11 of the 12 games he started.

So how much help can the UA Athlete Recovery Sleepwear actually provide a potential MVP of the NFL?

The answer comes from Brady himself. Brady is partially responsible for the first of a kind product. He collaborated with Under Armour in the development of the product. Brady credits sleep as one of the most important components to his training regimen.

Brady is not the only athlete that banks on a good night’s rest. Tech in Sports interviewed Jack Swarbrick Jr., the vice-president and director of athletics for the University of Notre Dame, in 2016 about the advantages of sleep. Swarbrick is responsible for 26 different sports teams at Notre Dame and his team tracks player sleep patterns.

Swarbrick told Tech in Sports that sleep is an important predictor of performance and possible injury. With this knowledge, the University began to prepare hotel rooms with customized pillows for the players to provide them with better sleep.

Kevin Haley, President of Innovation and Category Management for Under Armour, said the company has a goal to constantly innovate and uncover new solutions that can take performance to the next level. The company is providing athletes with more insights and guidance into the importance of sleep and recovery.

Under Armour has invested in data capture and analytics to bolster its line of products not just for the high-performance athlete, but to non-athletes as well who want to be healthy and fit. UA spent $710 million acquiring MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, and Endomondo three digital app vendors to spruce up its focus on big data and the Internet of Things.

Key to Brady’s involvement with the UA Athlete Recovery Sleepwear product was the off-field support system. Under Armour has incorporated the bio-ceramics technology-used and validated by TB12-into a pattern lining the garments, which are designed to maximize comfort and fit. The pattern includes special bio-ceramic particles that absorb infrared wavelengths emitted by the body and reflect back Far Infrared, helping the body recover faster while promoting better sleep.

Brady said, in a prepared statement, that he firmly believes sleep and recovery are critical aspects of an effective and holistic training program.

“Proper sleep has helped me get to where I am today as an athlete and it is something that I continue to rely on every day,” he said

Brady even created a six step guide to better sleep for athletes. You can get a copy of it here.

To support the UA Athlete Recovery Sleepwear, the company launched an update to the UA Record mobile app: A Sleep Recovery System. New features of the app include a deep understanding into an athlete’s sleep schedule along with the ability for users set smart guardrails and goals that put them on a path towards sleep optimization.

The Sleep Recovery System tracks the zzz with a UA Band, a smartphone or supported third party sleep-tracking device that will monitor sleep each night.

From there, a proprietary 14-day Sleep Score assesses the quality of sleep as the UA Body Clock feature establishes consistent bed/wake times.

The UA Record app comes with customized coaching that reminds the user to sleep. It also provides big data insights, and guidance on how to improve sleep habits and maximize recovery and performance.

Brady and Under Armour also worked with the Johns Hopkins Medicine Center to better understanding and analyze sleep patterns for this product.

Priced between $80 to $100, this new high tech sleepwear is available at Under Armour’s Web site and at its retail locations.

Think that’s too pricey for pajamas? Well, Prada sells silk-twill pajamas for $1,665 and it doesn’t come with an app.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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