Blog Post

Is There Such a Thing as Miraculous Pajamas?

SMB writes: "Dr. Oz is promoting pajamas known as "Goodnighties" that are made from a kind of "smart-fabric" that emits negative ions that allegedly soothe tired muscles and help us sleep well through the night. Is this for real or would I be wasting my money if I wanted to try it?"

Actually, Dr. Oz' Goodnighties aren't bad looking so if you want to sleep in style, you might want to pick up a pair. But if you're hoping these pj's will help you sleep better, my advice is to  keep your money in your wallet.

According to Dr. Oz's website, Goodnighties are a new high performance sleepwear that he claims could help maximize sleep benefits.

"These jammies are made with a smart-fabric uniquely created to neutralize the stress our bodies produce. Goodnighties neutralize the stress that our bodies produce by stimulating blood flow with negative ions to tired strained muscles. Plus, the fabric wicks away moisture, keeping you cool so can sleep all through the night. claims that the benefits of their jammies are the result of nature meeting science in a process called ionization. "Ionization under the patented brand name ‘Ionx’ is the process that saturates the fabric with negative ions – more than 20 times found in nature. Wearing Goodnighties with Ionx close to the body has been proven to increase blood flow thus reducing inflammation, improving muscle function, speeding recovery and reducing muscle aches & pains. For years ionized fabric has been used by the medical community, professional athletes, Olympic teams, the military and astronauts because of these amazing benefits. Even race horses have enjoyed the restorative properties of negative ions in fabric used for blankets and leg wraps."

As impressive as these claims sound, I wasn't able to find much to back them up, and neither could Medgadget, an independent weblog written, edited and published by a group of MDs and biomed engineers who reviewed the product and found it lacking (to put it nicely).

"We hope this is a joke," the reviewers write. "Saturating the fabric with 'more than 20 times found in nature' amount of negative ions would give the fabric a negative charge, probably more likely to cause cling than increase the amount of blood flow to a specific region. However, it can’t be that strong of an effect, as they point out that the material is 'anti-static.' The website also mentions several studies, but doesn’t identify or link to them, so we can’t address applicability to the product being advertised. We’ll be on the lookout for any studies of Goodnighties as they come out in the literature, and we’ll be sure to report on the findings."

They followed up this report with another one, giving a much more detailed analysis of their study of Goodnighties' claims, and reached the same conclusion. In a nutshell, they're still not impressed.

Medgadget isn't the only reviewer who had a less than sterling impression of this product. Stephen Barrett, M.D. of Quackwatch also concluded that Goodnighties' claims should be dismissed.

"Do you think that 'the stress our bodies produce' can be measured—or even defined?" Barrett asks.  "If not, no study could be done to see whether wearing the pajamas can change the amount. Whether 'negative ions' can stimulate blood flow can be measured, but I doubt that this has been studied enough to conclude that they can. Even if they can affect blood flow, I know no logical reason to conclude that any such blood flow would be directed to 'tired, strained muscles' or that increasing blood flow in that way could 'neutralize stress.' Thus, in my opinion, Oz's claim combines meaningless concepts with improbable claims. It's possible that by absorbing sweat, the pajamas could help some people who sweat a lot to sleep better, but whether they are better for this purpose than other pajamas is not something I can determine."

Barrett was so unimpressed, in fact, that he reported the manufacturer to the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau for further investigation.

I guess it's safe to say the advent of miraculous pajamas has not yet dawned on mankind.