Millions of adults still sleep with a soft or stuffed toy overnight, according to a study.
About seven million people in the UK still cuddle up with a teddy bear at night, and another 14 million still own their childhood soft toy, a study by Pound toy found.
Psychologist Lee Chambers explained why stuffed animals are so calming even after childhood.
“As a society, we tend to imagine children sleeping with stuffed animals, blankets, and other comforting items, but seldom remember that many of us as adults still use comfort items as part of our sleeping rituals,” Lee said.
“These comfort objects can help us calm ourselves down when we feel anxious.
“They are a familiar item that has traveled with you many times and can make you feel less isolated.
“We are emotionally connected to these objects, and they can provide stability in challenging times. And in an increasingly fast-paced world and an increasingly disposable culture, this unique property feels safe and reliable after decelerating, something special and something special.
“When we become more independent, we usually lose our bond with these things, but as adults we can use them to increase our emotional and spiritual wellbeing, especially during times of transition or loneliness.
“It is often emphasized that using a comfort object is a healthier coping mechanism than alcohol or drugs when we need to calm ourselves down, but challenging when there is between you and seeking comfort in others when it is consuming, to hide it or to keep you from sleeping without sleeping.
“Our attachment to comfort objects can make us feel less anxious and isolated and thus create a sense of comfort.
“This security is strong at times when we feel threatened or when things change. They can also be physically calming, soft and pliable to be hugged and to feel gentle on our skin. “
Research also found that 18- to 24-year-olds (1.9 million adults) are the largest age group still sleeping with a teddy bear.
In comparison, there are almost 300,000 people over 65 years of age who sleep with a stuffed animal, that is 0.43% of the population.
Although young adults are most likely to sleep with a children’s toy, older generations are more likely to have one, but not theirs. Age groups 25-34 and 45-54 are the most common owners of their old teddy bears, both of which make up 4.54% (or more than three million) of the population.
Interestingly, women also sleep with or own a teddy bear from childhood more often than men – (Almost 13 million women still own or sleep with a stuffed animal, compared with just over 7.3 million men).
You can see the full research, including the ages most likely to sleep with a teddy bear, by visiting poundtoy.com/blogs/news/teddy-bear-club
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