At birth, babies are given snuggle bunnies. Toddlers are told to squeeze their bear if they feel scared. Kids take their Barbies and Transformers with them on camp- just in case they get lonely at bedtime.
Research has shown that this is a great thing for kids as it reduces anxiety and stress. Clinical psychologist, Dr. Shefali Tsabary explained that “as children develop independence from their parents, they still yearn for a secure bond with something. In many cases, children turned to stuffed animals, including teddy bears, to help them through this transition.”
What is becoming clearer from research is that adults too reap the same benefits of having a special bedtime companion and it is rather common indeed.
US-based stuffed animal toy-maker Build-A-Bear surveyed 2000 adults and found that 40 percent have their favorite stuffed animal by their side when they go to bed.
Another survey showed similar results:
- 38% of adults surveyed slept with a special stuffed animal from childhood.
- 29% of adults slept with a teddy bear.
- 28% preferred sleeping with a sentimental blanket.
- The average age to ‘give-up’ a soft toy was 11 years old.
- 26% of those who gave up their soft toy went on as adults to sleep with a real-life pet.
- Of those who slept with a pet as a child, 56% went on to sleep with a pet as an adult.
- Women were more likely than men to sleep with either a stuffed animal or a pet.
Besides needing your Sealy mattress to fall asleep, what is your sleep crutch? Have you grown up and replaced your childhood sleep crutch with a more appropriate adult one, like a well-worn pair of pyjamas or a sentimental quilt?
Or is teddy still to be found in your bed each night?