Frequently Asked Questions

End PJ Paralysis

Q: What is End PJ Paralysis?

A: “End PJ Paralysis” is a global movement to help patients get up, dressed and moving. It aims to get patients out of bed, dressed in their own clothes and when possible, walking rather than lying in bed.

Along with the health benefits of getting up and moving while in hospital, End PJ Paralysis also helps patients maintain their dignity by wearing their own clothes and helps them feel more like themselves.

Q: Where does the term “PJ Paralysis” come from?

A: “PJ Paralysis” (or “pyjama” paralysis) was a term coined by Brian Dolan, RN, in the UK when they saw patients in their PJs (hospital gowns) lying in bed for too long. It has come to refer to the negative physical and psychological effects from spending long periods of time lying in bed in pyjamas or hospital gowns while in hospital.

Q: Who is End PJ Paralysis for?

A: PJ Paralysis can happen to anyone at any age if they spend long periods of time in bed. It can affect children through to the elderly. End PJ Paralysis is for everyone. It aims to help change the culture of lying in bed while recovering, and instead encourages patients to get up, dressed and moving as much as possible.

Q: What are the negative effects of PJ Paralysis?

A: PJ Paralysis can cause what’s called “deconditioning”. Deconditioning is a medical term that refers to physical deterioration such as muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass, and loss of ability to perform routine tasks such as getting dressed or going to the bathroom on one’s own. Deconditioning contributes to longer stays in hospital.

Patients who spend extended time in bed are at increased risk of:

  • Weakness and muscle loss
  • Loss of mobility
  • Infection
  • Incontinence (involuntary passage of urine)
  • Delirium (severe confusion)

The good news is these negative effects can be reduced or eliminated by staying active while in hospital – so getting up, getting dressed and getting moving is key to remaining as healthy as possible while in hospital!

Q: Does PJ Paralysis only happen while in hospital?

A: PJ Paralysis applies to anyone, anywhere, if they are immobile long enough. But it’s more common to see people lying in bed for long periods at hospitals which is why End PJ Paralysis is so important.

Q: Which patients should participate?

A: All patients who are interested in getting dressed or moving while in hospital can speak to their health care team about the best ways for them to participate. Patients are always given the choice whether they want to get dressed while in hospital.

Patient/Family Related Questions

Q: Am I allowed to wear my own clothes while I am a patient in hospital?

A: Yes! You don’t have to wear a hospital gown during your entire stay in hospital. You can wear your own comfortable clothing and shoes when you are in hospital. The exception to this is gowns must be worn for surgeries and diagnostic imaging, such as MRI, Xrays, etc.

Q: What can I do to end PJ Paralysis and speed my recovery?

A: Patients can:

  • Get dressed in your own clothes
  • Eat meals sitting in a chair or on the edge of your bed
  • Sit in a chair or go for a walk when family or friends spend time with you in hospital
  • Do simple exercises on your bed or chair. Ask staff how if you are unsure.
  • Get moving, if possible, out of your room. If you need assistance, ask staff for help.
  • If visible on your unit, try tracking your distances using the End PJ Paralysis footprints or distance markers

Q: How can my family or caregiver help while I’m in hospital?

A: Families and caregivers are key members of your health care team. Use the following list as a guide on what you can do help your loved one while in hospital:

  • Bring clean, loose-fitting clothes with zippers, elastic waist bands and wide leg and arm openings
  • Bring sturdy, comfortable shoes.
  • Bring mobility aids such as walkers or canes
  • Take soiled clothes home for cleaning
  • Talk with your loved one and/or their caregivers about getting the patient moving
  • Be patient and continue to encourage your loved on in their recovery

Q: What if I don’t feel well enough to get dressed, can I still wear a hospital gown?

A: Each person will recover at their own rate. If you feel sick and would prefer to wear a hospital gown that day, you don’t have to get dressed.

Q: When my clothes get dirty, will the staff wash patient clothing?

A: No. Families or caregivers are asked to launder their loved-one’s clothing through a normal wash and dry cycle and ensure that the patient has clean, comfortable clothes to wear while in hospital.

Q: How often should I get up, dressed and moving?

A: The aim is to get dressed and moving as soon as you are able to and as often as you feel comfortable doing so. The only exception to being dressed all day is if you have a diagnostic imaging appointment (MRI, X-ray etc), surgery, which requires wearing a gown, or if you are too sick to get dressed. Even small movements - like sitting in a chair instead of sitting up in bed, or taking just a few extra steps - are beneficial. Remember to speak with your health care providers on the best schedule for you.

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions about End PJ Paralysis?

A: Always feel free to speak with your care providers about your health care questions. For more information go to or