Benefits Of Falling Asleep With A Fluffy Friend

Benefits of Falling Asleep With a Fluffy Friend

You’re an adult. You hold down a responsible job. You’re in a permanent relationship. And you still sleep with fluffy toys, perhaps even your childhood teddy bear. Isn’t this just a little weird? Apparently not. Keeping associations of comfort and safety from childhood through to adulthood is quite common.

Why Do Adults Sleep With Stuffed Animals?

If you’re a ‘teddy type’ sleeper who enjoys the feeling and association of stuffed animals, there are perfectly normal reasons for this. The company of a teddy bear, a bunny, or perhaps a furry penguin, begins in childhood. The psychological understanding is that, as we get used to sleeping on our own, a ‘teddy type’ association gives us a sense of security and calm.

English paediatrician and psychoanalyst, Donald Winnicott, developed the notion of the ‘transitional object’. A childhood Teddy bear becomes a make-believe friend. In fact, the child is essentially talking to herself, developing an ability to express herself and reason about her own thoughts and feelings. This development in self-awareness and emotional intelligence is taken through to adulthood.

3 Benefits of Sleeping With ‘Teddy’.

Snuggle up with a furry friend can be relaxing as well as therapeutic. 

1. Sleeping with a teddy bear can bring a sense of security.
Even though a ‘teddy type’ adult no longer has a make-believe association with their furry toy, the soothing, tactile object can still have an emotively calming effect. More importantly, it is associated with sleep. If ‘Teddy’ helps you to sleep soundly, all the better.

2. Sleeping with stuffed animals can promote emotional well-being.
An adult furry friend can be a physical representation of our inner well-being. It’s the playful, carefree child within that many of us tend to lose touch with in adulthood. There is no longer a childhood ‘teddy’ association, but rather a mature and lighthearted way to express healthy self-regard. 

3. Stuffed animals can ease a sense of loneliness.
At a time of sudden loss, it is not uncommon for close friends and family to lighten a loved one’s trauma with a furry gesture of love and support. Again, this is the psychological point of the ‘transitional object’. In this instance, a furry toy is a physical, tangible reminder of support. In times of crisis, sleep becomes even more important. Snuggling up with a furry friend can help with feeling a close association of love and support around you and, hopefully, give some respite to get much needed, therapeutic sleep. Can furry bed partners get in the way?

If you are in a permanent relationship and sleep with a partner, fluffy toys may create some unease. At least initially. A partner may interpret this as a display of insecurity, dependency, or even immaturity. And, yes, there can be instances where this is possibly the case. For the most part, however, adult 'teddy type' associations are more like fun accessories for sleeping. Sleep scientist, Dr. Dale Rae, shares her thoughts: "A bedroom environment should ideally be uncluttered." The less distractions there are in a room associated with relaxation, intimacy and sleep, the better. But, of course, it’s also okay to have objects of close personal association that help to reinforce a feeling of calm and relaxation. The physical environment, and any objects or reminders with an emotive association, should contribute to a calm, cocooning atmosphere that initiates proper, restorative sleep.”

Sleep Well With Your Furry Friends.

So there you have it. Still having your fluffy friends around as an adult is seen as an affirmation of your true self. It comes with all the associations of playfulness and creativity. Everyone has, to some degree, a sense of their own inner toy story. It’s one of the reasons that young families enjoy watching the movie Toy Story together. Children readily respond to a world of make-believe. Parents enjoy the emotional re-connection with their own childhood associations that are now amusingly reflected in adult reality. It’s what dreams are made of.

Find the Best Mattress for ‘Teddy’ at Dial•a•Bed.

Everyone should take care of a sense of self and well-being. Sleep is crucial to both your physical and mental health. At least every 8 years it is advisable to test a new mattress to ensure you still have the right level of comfort and support. Sleep needs can change as we get older. Find your nearest Dial-a-Bed store or browse our online selection 24/7 at www.dialabed.co.za. Come visit us for a sleep station test and feel free to bring your favorite teddy for company!