Its not just kids who need a bed time cuddle from their favourite teddy to send them to the land of nod. Over a third of British adults also rely on a bear hug, to send them to slumber; new research has revealed.
The survey conducted with 6,000 Britons by Travelodge revealed 35% of adults admitted they sleep with their teddy because they found cuddling their bear comforting. Also the calming feeling of a bear hug also helps them to de-stress after a hard day - which aids sleep.
The survey was conducted to investigate the nation's fascination with sleeping with a teddy bear. As in the last 12 months, the hotel chain has had to reunite over 75,000 forgotten cuddly bears that have been left in its 452 hotels with their owners.
Research findings also revealed 25% of male respondents reported they take their teddy bear away with them when going away on business. As it reminds them of home and a bear cuddle helps them to nod off as they miss a bedtime cuddle from their partner.
Corrine Sweet, Psychologist, said: "cuddling a teddy bear is an important part of our national psyche as it evokes a sense of peace, security and comfort. It's human nature to crave these feelings from childhood to adult life, which is why 35% of British adults sleep with their teddy bear. It's not surprising, then, that taking a cuddly bear on a business trip is so popular, even among men (25%). As a bedtime bear evokes the secure feelings of home and warmth which can aid sleep - just like in childhood.
Further findings from the research revealed that over half of British adults (51%) still have a teddy bear from their childhood and Britons average teddy bear is 27 years old.
One in ten single men surveyed admitted they hide their teddy bear when their girlfriend stays over. Fourteen per cent of married men reported they hide their teddy bear in the wardrobe or under bed when any family and friends come to visit.
Interestingly more men at 15% compared to 10% of women reported they treat their teddy as their best friend and will share their intimate secrets with their bear.
Also over a quarter (26%) of male respondents stated it is quite acceptable to have a bear regardless of your age.
'Dawn James, Arctophile and editor of Teddy Bear Times said: "Teddy Bears represent happiness and security in childhood. They are the best friend that always listens and never criticises. This is why so many adults hang on to their childhood bears, because they see them as a lifelong friend."
"The popularity of teddy bears is going from strength to strength. There are collectors across the UK who have thousands of bears in their houses."
The research also looked into which bear has the 'Zzz 'factor and is the nation's favourite bedtime bear. Topping the 'Zzz' factor bear poll was the traditional teddy bear - which has also appeared in cult TV programmes such as: Playschool (Big Little Ted), Andy Pandy (Teddy) and Brideshead Revisted (Aloysius.)
Listed below is the nations all time top ten favourite cuddly bears:
- The classic teddy bear
- Winnie the Pooh
- Paddington Bear
- Tatty Bear
- Care Bears
- Yogi Bear
- Fozzie Bear
- Rupert the Bear
- Super Ted Baloo
Dawn James, Arctophile and editor of Teddy Bear Times said: "Im not surprised that the traditional teddy is the nation's favourite bear. It's a design that has lasted for well over a hundred years and most people have had a traditional teddy bear as part of their toy collection whilst growing up. The movie industry has recognised the importance of teddy bears and has included a new character in Toy Story III a beautiful big pink teddy bear called Lotso."
Shakila Ahmed, Travelodge Spokeswoman said: "We are definitely a nation obsessed with teddy bears. We have never had as many as 75,000 cuddly bears left behind in Travelodge hotels before. Our hotel staff have worked extremely hard in reuniting the bears with their owners. Interestingly the owners have not just been children, we have had a large number of frantic businessmen and women call us regarding their forgotten teddy bear."
Other key findings from the research were:
- Over a quarter of adults 26% use a teddy bear hot water bottle so that they can have a warm bear hug to help them nod off.
- Fourteen per cent of parents surveyed said they had passed down their favourite teddy bear to their children as a keepsake.
- Eight out of ten parents reported the first toy they brought their child was a teddy bear
- 62% of parents said it is important for a child to grow up owning and loving a teddy bear as it helps them to develop a more caring nature.
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Notes to editor-
The research was conducted in July 2010 with 6,000 adults