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Wellness > Mental Health

Is “Bed Rotting” Good For Your Mental Health? We Asked An Expert

If you’ve been on TikTok recently, then you’ve probably seen the term “bed rotting” and thought, umm, ew. However, despite its off-putting first impression, bed rotting is basically just laying in bed all day or just doing activities from your bed as a form of self-care

What would be considered “lazy” by Boomers is actually something really popular right now among the younger generations. Whether you’re dozing off in between scrolling through social media or actively doing something like painting your nails or eating, bed rotting is the newest self-care movement for us overworked millennials, Gen Xs, and Gen Zs.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been bed rotting since I can remember. Being in bed is therapeutic for some people instead of seeking out a stress reliever like hiking or swimming, but it’s not a cure-all. Bed rotting from time to time could be really good to lower your stress for a day (or weekend), but, if we’re getting real, it’s not the healthiest coping mechanism. And, while it is enjoyable, people who bed rot usually know it’s not in their best interest to just loaf all the time. 

So, what’s the tea? Is bed rotting good or bad? I spoke to mental health expert Ian Jackson, LPC-MHSP, LMHC to find out if bed rotting is really as bad as it sounds. Spoiler: it’s not.

Taking some time to relax (or rot) in bed can actually be beneficial, believe it or not.

Fellow lazy girls, rejoice. It’s not a new revelation, but taking some downtime to lay in your bed and chill out isn’t going to harm your mental health in the long-run. In fact, relaxing in bed can be a great form of self-care on busy, stressful days.

“Taking a break can help reset your thoughts and recharge both mentally and physically,” Jackson tells Her Campus. “It’s also a great way to practice mindfulness, helping to reduce stress and anxiety levels while boosting overall well-being.”

If you’re choosing to “rot in bed,” consider curling up at least an hour before you decide to go to sleep. Not only will this allow you to decompress after a mentally-exhausting day, but it can also help you maintain a healthy sleep schedule — which is proven to result in better mental health.

However, there are a few drawbacks to bed rotting.

I scrolled through a bunch of “bed rotting” TikToks and while the majority of the actual TikToks supported bed rotting, the comments were totally diverse in assessments. I saw comments on bed rotting videos that ranged from “Amen” to actual links that went against bed rotting. 

The expert’s analysis? While bed rotting is fine every once in a while, or as a pre-bed ritual, it’s not exactly the best form of self-care.

“It’s important to remember that a day off here and there is fine, but taking too many days off can lead to feelings of guilt, which can lead to depression in some cases,” Jackson tells Her Campus. “Spending too much time in bed may cause you to become unmotivated and unproductive which could ultimately lead to negative consequences.”

To me, a very proficient bed rotter that’s currently writing from my bed, bed rotting is not the best answer to stress or any other mental health issues that may come up. But, for me, it’s a moment to chill. I like to lie down with my dogs and watch TikTok till I’m ready to move on to the next part of my day. 

Instead of turning to bed rotting, Jackson suggests picking up another form self-care every so often. Going on a walk, journaling, meditation, yoga, or simply spending time with friends (if you’re an extrovert) can be a much better way to decompress and recharge after a long day.

“These are just some of the many ways one can practice self-care that don’t involve bed rotting,” Jackson says. “Taking care of yourself should be your number one priority, so make sure you take the time to do something for yourself every now and then.”

Bed rotting, in my opinion, isn’t the best way to live, but it is a great option to just take a breather. I think “bed rotting” could use a more aesthetic name, but there is something to it, nonetheless. Watch that TV show, scroll through those posts, paint your nails, whatever. Just make sure you’re not falling into bed as a coping mechanism for something going on in life. And if you are bed rotting for days, maybe it’s time to mix it up a little. 

Bridget Anderson is a HerCampus National contributor writing from Texas. She focuses on wellness coverage, primarily about mental health issues, but she also loves writing about personal experiences and life in general. Outside of her HerCampus work, Bridget writes poetry and creative short stories. Her poetry has been featured in several publications and she has won multiple awards for her narrative writing. She is currently a senior at Baylor University where she studies English and political science. As a part time job, Bridget tutors the Baylor athletes in all things writing. In her everyday life, outside of pleasure writing, Bridget spends her time watching Beat Bobby Flay and random Disney movies while snuggling with her two rescue dogs Gus and Genie. She’s an avid reader but always makes time for coffee dates with her best girlfriends.