For the last 15 or so years, I have been sleeping with a teddy bear I got from a family friend one Christmas. I had it with me the first time I traveled solo (no, it wasn't stuffed in my suitcase; I held on to it the entire flight). I insisted on taking it with me when I moved to the States for college. It's seen me through a couple of breakups. And while I don't *need* to hug it when I go to bed, I do find myself reaching for it in the middle of the night—just to make sure it's still there.
While I don't consider this a weird thing—I know a couple of people who have their own comforts when it comes to getting a good night's rest—I do wonder how "normal" it is for an adult to sleep with a stuffed toy.
I'm happy to report that it's actually pretty common. A study done by researchers from VU University Amsterdam found that "touch," even from a teddy bear or stuffed toy, can be soothing. Lead researcher Sander Koole explained, "Interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that simulate touch by another person may help to instill in people a sense of existential significance."
Of course, attachment also comes into play. Professor Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol told The Guardian, "My hunch is that it’s to do with sleeping practices...These become part of the sleep ritual." As children, if we were separated from our parents before it was time to sleep, reaching for stuffed toys (or pillows and blankets) was a sign of self-soothing.
We asked people from our Cosmo Mixers for the objects that help them sleep:
- "My body pillow na around three feet long! Sa super gamit na gamit na siya, may dent na kung saan usually nakapatong yung thighs ko." -Karla
- "Fleece blanket. Mainit o malamig, I really can't live without it. Kahit walang unan, 'wag lang mawala 'to." -JM
- "I've had this bolster pillow since I was in the first grade (which was around 16 years ago). I got it in our class' Kris Kringle and I always have it next to me when I sleep at night." -Alexis
- "My stuffed toys: Bubbles (The Powerpuff Girls) and Rabbit (from Miniso)" -Hannah
- "My We Bare Bears blanket!!! It's fluffy and I use it kahit mainit (I hug it). And then any We Bare Bears stuffed animal to hug, too." -Ira
- "My teddy bear that's half my size. I can't sleep without hugging it tight at night." -Than
- "My Pan Pan Bear that my sister got me, and like three other panda plushies, lol." -Bianca
TL;DR: It's not a problem unless it gets in the way of your everyday life, so keep hugging those teddies.
Answers have been edited for clarity.
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