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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

Do you still sleep with a plush toy? Maybe it’s a stuffed animal, or a teddy bear, or even a soft blanket.  If you answered yes, you’re not alone!  Last year, Best Mattress Brand surveyed over 2,000 Americans about their sleeping habits. Survey results showed that sixteen percent of millennials sleep with a sentimental nighttime item, compared to just 8 percent of Gen Xers and only 2 percent of baby boomers. For millennials and Gen Xers, their most common nighttime item is a stuffed animal.

It’s one thing to sleep with a plush friend to provide comfort when nobody else is around, but what about when you’re in a relationship?  Do you tell your significant other or just let them figure it out on their own?  Are you embarrassed or ashamed? Are you frightened that you may have to hide your fluffy friend for the evening when a human pal comes over?

Chances are, if you have a non-creepy reason for sleeping with a stuffed animal, your significant other shouldn't mind.  The Best Mattress Brand survey indicated that 14 percent of millennials admitted their significant other sleeps with a favorite night time companion (most commonly a stuffed animal)! According to Stuart Brown, MD, the habit of sleeping with a stuffed animal as an adult is well within the range of normal.  It’s comforting and sometimes helps the snuggler sleep better when they hold onto a cuddly childhood pal that reminds them of a simpler time.

A married friend of mine living in Brooklyn told me that when she asked her husband whether he cared that she slept with a plush Simba from Disney’s The Lion King, he responded, “Why would I give a shit if you slept with Simba?!” She said that Simba eventually moved to the nightstand because the bed got too crowded. And even though she sometimes misses Simba, she doesn’t think she will ever start sleeping with him regularly again. Another married friend that sleeps with her stuffed animal after a few years of marriage said, “It’s not a factor…just something that I always did and continue to do.”

When I asked a third friend living in Brooklyn, now in his early thirties about whether he has ever been ashamed about the worn teddy bear that he still sleeps with, he explained, “I’m very open about it, I’m not embarrassed, I never hide him and I don’t care what girls think.” He continued to say, “I’ve had him my whole life. His use has changed over time.  He’s actually very good for my neck now…but if a girl said, it’s either me or the stuffed animal, then my teddy is going in a box…but that would be a really mean girl."

According to Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D., a Columbia University-educated clinical psychologist, if you don’t have a stuffed animal already, it’s not too late. Even with a new one, the soothing benefits remain. So, if embarrassment is holding you back from sleeping with your cuddly toy as an adult (or getting a new one), just tell your date all the benefits that sleeping with a stuffed animal brings to adults. Dr. Shefali says that stuffed animals are “symbolic of childhood, a time where we felt special and secure.”


Stories for the soul in search here.