Sleeping With Stuffed Animals Isn’t Weird For Adults

Teddy bears and toy bunnies were once thought to be kids who love to cuddle at night. But it turns out stuffed animals are popular among adults.

Several social media posts and op-eds have been posted about people who have slept with stuffies.

Our latest sleep and psychology segment asks experts whether adults should be concerned or embrace sleeping with stuffed animals.

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Is Stuffed Animals A Comfort For Adults?

Jennifer Martin, a sleep researcher, says that to understand why some adults prefer sleeping with stuffed animals, they need to know why kids do it.

She says, “Often, children sleep with a special stuffed animal or blanket because it’s part of the environment cues get their brain ready for sleep.”

According to Martin, stuffed animals are also soft and warm, feelings that make people feel relaxed.

Stuffed Animals Can Serve As Companions

The time when you’re lying down, half-conscious, in the dark during sleep is a vulnerable moment from an evolutionary standpoint. We rely on our connections to others as protection during difficult times.

People who engage in such behaviors as sleeping with stuffed animals may feel connected to the world, which can be comforting if they feel isolated.

Is It Wrong To Sleep With Stuffed Animals?

According to Wachholtz, adults sleeping with stuffed animals isn’t weird or wrong, although researchers haven’t evaluated how stuffed animals affect sleep quality.

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She says, “If someone feels more comfortable and relaxed by sleeping with a stuffed animal, it’s likely helping them sleep better, adding that she’s seen adult patients bring stuffed animals for overnight stays in the hospital.”

Sleeping with a stuffed animal might not help you. A teddy bear might not work for people with chronic insomnia, believes Martin, so they should see a doctor and get a referral to a sleep therapist.

She says, “I’m a big proponent of telling people to do what works for them in terms of being comfortable at night.”