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What you need to know about ‘bed rotting’—the latest self-care trend among Gen Z

By Paulina Icban Published Jul 16, 2023 4:51 pm

Lounging in bed all day is no longer considered an act of laziness or procrastination—it is now a form of self-care.

Bed rotting is the practice of spending long hours just cuddled up, wrapped in layers of blankets in the comfort of your own bed with food, gadgets, stuffed toys, and more.   

It does not have a set routine on what you can do while on bed rot—you can just stare blankly at the ceiling, binge-watch on Netflix, endlessly scroll through social media, talk on the phone, or just munch on some snacks.  

This Gen Z self-care trend started on TikTok. According to Forbes, bed rotting is a “by choice” activity, meaning, you decide to spend practically the rest of your day in bed according to your own will. For example, when emotions get too overwhelming, wallowing in the blues of it all is a perfect choice to just feel and try to get over it. 

What are the benefits of bed rotting? 

The New York Post reported that Gen Zs think of bed rotting as a form of listening to one’s body and mind. They claim that rotting in bed is a great way to recover, rest, recharge, and just exist without feeling the guilt of doing nothing. 

Bed rotting is known to be the opposite of toxic productivity, where resting comes with the guilt of not exerting enough effort to achieve your goals. For Gen Zs, rotting in bed is a form of escape from the harsh reality of the world outside. The desire to hide under the covers can be your approach to taking in everything happening now and existing in the present rather than trying to always catch up with the unknown. 

The concept could also be a form of mitigating several stressors that, when accumulated, can lead to burnout. In some way, it is a form of support for one’s mental bandwidth—that conscious realization and recognition that rest is just as important as the need to deliver and consistently perform at your best. It's a chance to gather yourself and regroup before returning to life in a better state of mind. 

What are the cons of bed rotting? 

As much as bed rotting is beneficial, experts shared warnings about this latest self-care trend. 

As reported by Fox News, psychiatrist Dr. Ryan Sultan said that it could be a "sign of depression" if it "becomes a habit."

Sultan added that it could also mess with your sleep schedule, throw you out of your groove, and cause pain in your body such as backaches.

Dr. Marc Siegel, professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, told the media outlet that while it can be a good way of resting, prolonged practice is unhealthy as the brain is fine-tuned to rest when it's dark and stays alert with light. 

Taking a step back from problems that keep you up all night may be helpful, but when practiced long-term, it can be an avoidance technique to justify the recurrence of bed rotting as an attempt to avoid unpleasant emotions, stress, or pain. 

It’s totally fine to have off days from time to time, but make it a point to do so in moderation. Bed rotting can be an empowering activity when done right, but like a double-edged sword, it can also be a hindrance to achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

As with how it is to several aspects of life, it's all about finding the right balance. Get some rest, enjoy the comfort of the covers, but learn to get off of it when needed and reconnect with the world outside.