Why ‘Bed Rotting’ Can Be A Very Legit Self-Care Practice

Why ‘Bed Rotting’ Can Be A Very Legit Self-Care Practice

Have you ever had one of those days (or weeks) when you just wanted to lay in bed, turn off your brain, turn on your favorite TV show, and do absolutely nothing? Besides the occasional run to the bathroom or to get up and replenish your snack rotation, your bed is the only place you want to be for hours on end. You might find yourself mindlessly scrolling between social media and then dozing off for a couple of hours, only to wake up and do it all again — but is there really any shame in that?

Our beds have a way of providing us with a sense of peace, protection, and rest away from the demands of our everyday life, and a new TikTok trend is highlighting the benefits of this counter-culture, yet pleasurable form of rest.

Bed rotting, a TikTok trend that has garnered over 204.1M views, is essentially taking long periods for hyper-focused rest and downtime. It’s the act of doing absolutely nothing at all except for being in your bed for an extended period of time, with limited mobility, productivity, or activity.

This “anti-productivity” take on self-care does have its benefits, as one sleep scientist, Vanessa Hill, claims in a TikTok video that as you “waste away underneath your blanket… nothingness is your best friend.”


In defence of #inbedrotting because it’s perfect 🛌💙 #lifehack #bedrot #bedrotting #bed #bedroomtok #sleepscientist #fyp

Since resting has, for a long time, been associated with “laziness' and the guilt that comes with that, bed rotting now offers the tired and restless a reason to recharge and recoup without feeling guilty for it.

The need for passive activities like bed rotting also points to the perpetual burnout that many millennials and Gen Zers are experiencing from the demands of work, family, school, and sustaining their livelihood despite the stress that it collectively produces. With so much pressure to be productive, even while we’re resting, these moments of self-care can be the reset button you need to feel reinvigorated enough to take on life’s responsibilities.

But just like with every wellness trend, it’s important to ask yourself why you’re bed rotting.


I learned about folks #coping by being #inbedrotting …here are some thoughts #mentalhealth #burnout #sleep #stress

When we’re anxious or stressed out about the pressure of our everyday lives, we can turn to sleep as a means to avoid the problem in hopes that it will go away. Because of this, Jessi Gold, MD, MS, assistant professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, shares in one TikTok that the lines between healthy bed rotting and depression can be blurred. “Are you sleeping because you don’t want to be awake because of stress and anxiety, or the things you have to do, or are you sleeping because you actually need it,” she states in the video.

Because bed rotting and depressive episodes can present themselves in similar ways, like oversleeping and fatigue, it’s advised to monitor your bed rotting to ensure that it doesn’t extend beyond a day or two, as any longer can be a sign of depression, and to seek professional support.

While there is no “perfect” or “right” way to give your body and mind the TLC and self-care that it may need, there are ways to make your bed rotting more restorative beyond media intake and sleep — unless you enjoy that, of course.

For instance, while in bed, take some time to get cozy with a book that doesn’t focus on self-help or “shadow work.” Get lost in the pages of a dramatic romance or even a coloring book where you can use your mind without actually using it. Or maybe even turn on some lo-fi or ambient music to meditate in bed for 45 minutes to an hour, where you’re truly unplugging with breathwork. Or, if you simply want to be on TikTok for a few hours, put a timer on so that you have a stop and start time that allows you to scroll in moderation.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with bed rotting if that’s the kind of rest you’re in need of. As we undo the society’s programming that tells us that rest is a reward for how productive we’ve been, remember that rest isn’t something you have to earn; it’s something you do because your body needs and deserves it.

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