TikTok's 'Bed Rotting' Trend Has Some Unfortunate Health Consequences

A new TikTok trend is inspiring many people to try something we've all fantasized about doing on an especially stressful day — lying in bed for hours and taking it easy. With a whopping 104 million views and counting on Tiktok, the trend is becoming increasingly popular among those who use the app. One TikTok user embraced the trend with a witty comment, "making my bed to rot in it longer." 

Those who bed rot typically do so as a form of self-care, as explained by Insider. The trend allows them to ignore the responsibilities of the world for a few hours and catch up on some rest. Bed rotting isn't only about sleeping, as many individuals use their time to binge-watch their favorite television series or eat snacks. Supporters of the trend believe this well-deserved me-time can provide benefits for physical and mental health, as well as rejuvenate the body, according to the New York Post.

Lying in bed as a form of self-care sounds like a dream come true, but is it a healthy habit? Bed rotting may not actually be as harmless as it appears, since long periods of inactivity can increase the risk of developing health problems like heart disease and diabetes, as pointed out by Better Health Channel. Bed rotting can also be a symptom of mental health issues, and can contribute to declining mental health in some cases, Sleepopolis notes.

The consequences of staying in bed for too long

Although bed rotting can help you recuperate on days when you desperately need a pick-me-up, you may want to avoid making a habit of it, as rotting in bed too often may negatively impact your physical health. As explained by Better Health Channel, the cardiovascular system works best when the body is standing upright, not sitting or lying down. Physical activity keeps our bones healthy and increases our energy levels

2020 study published in BMJ Open suggested that young adults and middle-aged adults who stayed in bed for long periods of time had an increased risk of diabetes. In particular, the participants who stayed in bed for more than nine hours were 35% more likely to develop diabetes than those who remained in bed for eight or fewer hours. These results were observed in participants who were less physically active in general. 

In some cases, long-term bed rotting could also negatively affect your mental health. Dr. Katrina Ostmeyer, psychologist and CEO at Beyond the Individual LLC, told Sleepopolis that lying in bed all day robs us of opportunities to engage in purposeful activities that help us feel pleasure. One 2014 study published in the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders found that participants who spent more time in bed displayed higher levels of depression and anxiety. As noted by Sleepopolis, there appears to be a multidirectional relationship between excessive sleeping and mood disorders, which means that both factors impact one another. 

Finding the balance between bed rotting and staying active

Like most things in life, bed rotting can be helpful in moderation. However, it can be hard to tell whether you're taking a much-needed break or falling into a bad habit, which is why finding balance is key. 

If you're bed rotting to catch up on some Z's, you should avoid taking prolonged naps. As explained by Healthline, too much sleep during the day can make it more difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Healthy naps, which are usually 10 to 20 minutes long, have impressive health benefits. For example, they can make you more focused and productive when you go back to work. In addition, they can enhance your learning capacity and boost your mood. 

Some people use bed rotting as a form of self-care, but there are other ways of caring for yourself that are healthier for you. In fact, staying active when you're stressed might actually help you feel better. Harvard Health Publishing explains how exercise stimulates chemicals in the brain that reduce stress and improve mood. You may also want to consider spending more time in nature, as it can reduce depression, anxiety, and stress levels, according to the American Heart Association (AHA)

If your occasional bed rotting becomes an everyday coping skill in stressful situations, you might want to reach out to a mental health professional who can evaluate the root cause of your desire to stay in bed.