New York, US (BBN)-Cuddling up to a teddy bear is usual practise for small children and toddlers but increasing numbers of grown men are confessing to sleeping with a cuddly toy.
Half of men still have a teddy bear, compared with 39 per cent of women and a quarter take their much-loved stuffed toy to bed at night, according to research commissioned by Time4Sleep, reports The Daily Mail.
Here three grown men tell FEMAIL why they’re not ashamed to take their teddies to bed with them – and their girlfriends.
Wesley Greenhalgh, 31, admitted he has a cuddly toy lion called Liam which comes to bed with him – and his girlfriend Amy Kirman, 25.
The health support worker, from Warrington, said: ‘I know it’s a bit daft that I still sleep with a teddy bear but I find it really comforting.
‘He was actually given to me by my son, who is only five himself, to replace my bear that I lost from childhood so he is special to me.
‘I’ve named him after my idol Liam Gallagher.
‘My girlfriend was a bit surprised when she first found out she would be sharing a bed with not just me but also a cuddly lion, but she soon got used to it.’
He says the teddy keeps him company when he works unsociable hours.
He said: ‘I work night shifts sometimes so it’s nice to have a companion when I need to sleep during the day.’
His girlfriend of two years Amy said: ‘It was a bit of a shock to find my boyfriend still sleeps with a teddy bear but when I heard the story behind it, I thought it was actually really lovely and showed me what a softie he really is.
‘I do wind him up about it occasionally but he takes it very well.’
But she draws the line at having Liam in the middle of the bed and the bear is always cuddled by Wesley.
Wesley isn’t too vocal about his attachment to his teddy.
He said: ‘My friends and family don’t actually know that I still sleep with a teddy bear. It’s been kept a secret.’
Gary Logan, 29, still sleeps with his childhood teddy, called Brown Bear.
The senior recruitment consultant, from Leeds, said: ‘I have had Brown Bear for 27 years and he was bought by mum after my first bear, Snowy died a horrible death in the washing machine.
‘I still sleep with Brown Bear as I can’t bear to part with him and find having him next to me helps me to sleep.’
The teddy has always been a part of the furniture of his room and his friends are used to his habit.
He said: ‘My friends used to find it a bit strange when I was growing up but now they’re used to seeing him in my room.
‘I can’t see myself ever parting with Brown Bear and would be really upset if anything was to happen to him.
‘He’s never gone near a washing machine that’s for sure.’
But his mum likes that he still holds onto his childhood with the bear.
He said: ‘My mum loves that I still have Brown Bear but my friends think it’s funny and often try and hide him to wind me up.’
Ashley Kovacs, 21, has a stuffed mouse called Mr Fluffylamp which he’s had since childhood.
The physiotherapist, from Oldham said: ‘When I was younger I slept with him every night, and it’s turned in to a habit I can’t break.
‘When I’m away from home it’s fine, but I just sleep so much better with him by my side.’
Ashley’s girlfriend didn’t meet the cuddly toy for a year while he kept him a secret.
He said: ‘I kept it a secret from my girlfriend for the first year of our relationship, I think she thought it was a bit strange at first but she knows I’m a big softie so she wasn’t surprised.’
Of the 1,000 adults surveyed, 40 per cent said the main reason they kept their teddy bear was because they found it too hard to part with and 37 per cent said it reminded them of their childhood.
The survey, to launch Time4Sleep’s competition to find the most loved teddy bear, also found many adults got rid of their teddy with 29 per cent feeling they were too old to still own one and 30 per cent said they had never owned one.