MENSTRUATION MATTERS

sleepless.jpgThe title of this blog entry comes straight from a media release about Goodnighties® Recovery Sleepwear. That’s right, now there is finally sleepwear made out of a fabric similar to the fabric worn by “Olympians, Astronauts and Even Racehorses” to wick away the moisture of hot flashes, night sweats, and chills accompanying some women’s perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Using the “power of negative ions,” Goodnighties® sleepwear purportedly offers that rest, relaxation, recovery (and, ultimately, sleep!) that most midlife women are lacking! Some users are quoted on the website as saying that Goodnighties® sleepwear “changed their lives.”

One one hand, this makes complete sense — why didn’t people think of this before? Athletic clothing would help someone deal with hot flashes and night sweats in the middle of the night, if only making it so that one doesn’t have to get up and change their clothes or sheets. And considering we’re currently in a “menoboom” (Barbre, 1998), with the aging and menopause of the Baby Boomers, what a great idea to market moisture-wicking clothing to menopausal women! Talk about a money-maker.

On the other hand, while I think on the whole this is probably a good product for many, I do take issue with some of the language on the site, because of the negative connotations about menopause in particular (e.g., the emphasis on “fixing” “broken thermostats,” “suffering,” and quotes about how 85 percent of women are “known to suffer”). But, this line of clothing is also marketed towards others — those undergoing infertility treatments, “athletes, regular exercisers and weekend warriors with sore muscles,” “people with aches and pains due to injury, surgery, chemotherapy, etc.,” and “[t]hose suffering from painful health issues like fibromyalgia, arthritis and diabetes” — so, it’s not exclusively marketed to menopausal women and not exclusively designed to define menopause as a bad thing.

On another issue, though, the emphasis on relief, recovery, and fixing does make me think that this product is being marketed as something that resolves (negative) symptoms, but I’m not sure how that could be the case? Does anyone have any experience with Goodnighties® sleepwear? Is it actually capable of alleviating the symptoms, or is it just making the public manifestation of the symptom disappear?

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