Teddy bears, blankies and cuddle pillows are common childhood comfort items, helping little ones relax and sleep. But can an adult benefit from them?

Anyone who has experienced sleep difficulties will tell you that they wish there was a magic fix for their problems. At The Australian Sleep Co, we like to think our sleep essential oils are one such magic fix (and so many of our customers tell us this too), but sometimes, achieving great sleep needs a multi-pronged approach.

The use of teddy bears in childhood is about emotional comfort, reassurance in the darkness of a bedroom, something to cling to, to project fears onto. A childhood teddy bear will take all a kid’s fears, absorb them into the plush, chubby belly and lock them away during those all-important sleep hours. It doesn’t have to be a bear, either. Teddies can be plush tigers, penguins, whales and puppies. And comfort items can be a favourite soft pillow or a special blanket.

While most adults wouldn’t be caught with a teddy bear – and we have no idea why not! – many will find they sleep better with their favourite pillow or a particularly cosy throw or blanket tucked in around their ears.

What’s important is that when you climb between your sheets at the end of a day, you have comfort and familiarity. Lots of people use familiar fragrances to help them drift off. If Mum used a particular fabric softener over the years, a son or daughter may find using the same fragrance on their sheets and pillowcases very snooze worthy. Others may cuddle a small, well-worn blanket to their chest.

If home is the ultimate in comfort and familiarity and no additional items are needed to sleep there, they can certainly come in handy on trips away from home. Taking a favourite pillow on holiday can be key to good sleep in hotels, motels, on planes and even at the airport on long delays.

The value of a precious comfort item should never be underestimated. Anyone who has experienced insomnia, even for a short period, will know how valuable it can be to hug close an item that helps to reduce their anxiety. Feeling anxious about falling asleep is one of the surest ways of not falling asleep.

Adopting your new ‘teddy’

If you relate, then maybe it’s time to shop for a lovely, soft pillow you can cuddle once you get into bed. (Yes, it can be a teddy bear if you want!) Go to a homewares store and look around for something that practically begs you to touch it. You’ll know it as soon as you see it. It might be just the right colour, size, squishiness and shape to attract your eye and once you give it a good squeeze, you’ll instantly feel comfort.

Take your new sleep companion home and put it straight on your bed. You might like to spritz it with your favourite calming perfume or with our Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. Give it another spritz while you’re getting ready for bed. Once you’ve settled in, hold it close to your heart and inhale. Do this every night and before long, it will be your very own sleep-time comfort item that will give you a sense of peace and calm when you close your eyes.