“Bed rotting has emerged as a prevalent trend on TikTok where users partake in prolonged periods of bed rest, often lasting an entire day or even multiple days, while binge-watching and scrolling social media content,” says Dr. Sanam Hafeez, an NYC neuropsychologist and the director of Comprehend the Mind. The term likely emerged when individuals sought an explanation for their behavior and found comfort in labeling it.”
The term may be new but laying in bed all day is not.
Many people who participate in bed rotting often refer to it as a form of self-care, but health experts say it’s not a healthy practice.
According to Catherine Del Toro, a Florida-licensed mental health counselor with Grow Therapy, “Self-care is about taking care of your general health and wellness, and bed rotting does not promote this,” she says. “The tendency to stay in bed and do nothing all day but scroll, watch TV, eat, and nap are typical traits of a person who is depressed.”
Del Toro adds that it’s okay to take a day to yourself to rest as needed, but more than this can signal something more serious like, “depression is getting the best of us.”
“Spending too much time in bed without proper care and movement can have several negative effects on physical and mental health,” says Dr. Hafeez. According to Hafeez, these include mental and physical health risks like:
– Depression and anxiety: Social isolation and reduced exposure to natural light can contribute to feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety.
– Sleep disorders: Spending too much time in bed can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia and other sleep disorders.
– Muscle weakness: Lack of physical activity can lead to muscle atrophy and weakness, making it more challenging to perform daily tasks.
– Blood circulation issues: Staying in bed for extended periods can hinder blood circulation, leading to swelling and an increased risk of blood clots.
“Seeking support from friends, family or a therapist can be helpful in addressing any underlying issues and finding healthier ways to cope with stress and emotional challenges,” says Peña.
“Oftentimes professionals will promote ‘Opposite Action,’ where they encourage clients who are feeling this way to do the exact opposite,” says Del Toro.
Del Toro provides the following tips for coping with bed rotting:
– Try to get out of bed
– Move your body
– Stay away from scrolling
– Connect with others