Bed Rotting Is A Viral TikTok Trend For Self-Care, But Is It Legit? A Neuropsychologist Fills Us In

"Bed rotting" is the latest big self-care trend to take off on TikTok, and it describes a phenomenon where — you guessed it — people lie in bed for extended periods of time doing, well, nothing. #Bedrotting has amassed over 97 million views on the platform, and its videos depict users sharing the various ways in which they lie in bed while enjoying passive activities in the name of self-care. For instance, TikTokers might binge-watch TV shows, listen to music, or simply scroll through social media — anything counts, really, as long as you're in bed and mentally unplugging.

Is this a healthy practice, though? To understand the trend better, we exclusively asked Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a New York-based neuropsychologist and the director of Comprehend the Mind, to weigh in on bed rotting to determine if it's a legitimate form of self-care. "[Bed rotting] has gained popularity among Generation Z, who may feel burnt out from work, school, family demands, or social pressures," Dr. Hafeez explains to Glam. Furthermore, she adds that the development of this trend is rooted in rebellion against hustle culture, which "...promotes constant productivity and overwork." Instead, the bed rotting trend emphasizes rest and relaxation. But does spending hours under the covers truly benefit your mental health and well-being? Here's what Dr. Hafeez has to say about it.

How does bed rotting qualify as self-care?

According to Dr. Sanam Hafeez, certain aspects of the bed rotting trend qualify it to be a legitimate form of self-care, as it allows people to take a moment for themselves and decompress after a long day — or for a full day every now and then. In this sense, the bed-rotting self-care technique allows mental health days to feel more accessible, as the TikTok community has normalized staying in bed while enjoying passive activities. "It can provide a sense of comfort, relaxation, and escape from the demands and pressures of daily life," Dr. Hafeez exclusively tells Glam. 

However, she also warns folks of bed rotting's downsides, as spending excessive time in bed can contribute to "...potential health issues such as muscle atrophy, decreased cardiovascular fitness, and weight gain." In addition to the physical side effects, spending too much time lying in bed can also negatively affect one's mental health. "While taking breaks and allowing oneself to rest is important, spending excessive time in bed can potentially contribute to feelings of isolation, lethargy, and even depression," Dr. Hafeez adds. Therefore, people who experience depression should be wary of this trend, as it's easy to fall into a habit of avoiding everyday activities in the name of bed rotting.

The healthy way to go about this trend

How can you avoid crossing the line into dangerous territory while enjoying some time tucked under your blankets? Dr. Sanam Hafeez exclusively explains to Glam that the key is to "...strike a balance between rest and activity, ensuring that self-care practices are diverse and promote overall health and well-being." In other words, if you want to lounge in bed for significant periods of time, it's important to address your mental and physical health by maintaining your personal responsibilities. Staying in your room to indulge in hobbies or binge-watch a series is normal every once in a while, as long as it doesn't negatively affect other aspects of your life.

"It is crucial to engage in a variety of activities that promote mental and emotional well-being, such as socializing, pursuing hobbies, and engaging in self-care practices beyond bed rotting," Dr. Hafeez recommends to Glam. She also suggests consulting with a counselor or health professional for support, as they can provide further resources to help you build a self-care routine that works for your lifestyle and individual needs.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.