Cuddle toys for adults? If you’re thinking wtf, I’m a grown adult—why would I want a stuffed animal in my bed? Well, hear us out. Similar to a weighted blanket, cuddle toys have anti-anxiety and calming benefits, which we know can lead to a better night’s rest, which leads to a healthier start to your day, which then leads to being more productive and positive, which ultimately leads to improved overall wellness.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Galvan knows the thought of a fully grown human snuggling with a cutesy bear or bunny might sound unconventional, but she confirms the soothing perks. “Most of us immediately associate the word toy with children. However, research now shows the immense benefits of weighted toys for adults as well. Weighted toys provide a deep pressure touch stimulation on the skin that releases both serotonin and dopamine, substances that can help improve mood and sleep, reduce anxiety and stress, and promote a feeling of calmness. The weight in the toys creates a heavy sensation that allows individuals to feel as though they are being hugged or cuddled, leading to a sense of security and therefore minimizing anxiety. In short, deep touch therapy releases the ‘good’ chemicals and decreases the ‘bad’ chemicals in the brain, leading to many mental health benefits.”
Weighted cuddle toys are also a great alternative to using a weighted blanket during hot summer months. Or if the thought of a heavy blanket sounds too suffocating to you, a cuddle option might be just what your nightly routine is missing.
Our editor, Michelle Scanga, has been sleeping with one for a couple of years now. “My mom bought them for my niece and nephews one year for Christmas, and my oldest nephew (who was at an age ‘too cool’ for stuffed animals) kindly gave me his. I immediately became hooked on it. Whenever I’m feeling super anxious, I’ll rest it on my chest and the pressure calms down my racing heart. At this point, it’s seen better days, but I cuddle with it every night. I accidentally became addicted to it. 10/10 would (and have) recommend using a cuddle toy as a tool to ease anxiety.”
Interested in adding the toy to your bedtime ritual? Below we’re sharing five options great for you or your children to help cope with stress and anxiety.