Bed-Rotting: To Rot or Not?

It may seem harmless, but the indulgent practice of regular bed-rotting can have unintended consequences for your sleep.

By Joe Castignani

After a long and demanding day, sometimes all you crave is the simple pleasure of sinking into your bed, surrounded by cozy throws, your MVMI Pillow, and a box of Chinese takeout on the nightstand. You queue up your favorite binge-worthy series on Netflix and allow yourself to fully unwind in a horizontal position.

There’s a term for this indulgent practice, and it has gained popularity among enthusiasts on TikTok—it's called "bed-rotting." This trend has captured the attention of millions, with videos tagged under this term garnering over 303 million views on the platform among those seeking moments of relaxation and self-care. However, according to sleep experts, regular bed-rotting can have unintended consequences, particularly when it comes to your sleep.

Bed-Rotting Can Weaken the Connection Between Your Bed and Sleep

Dr. Angela Holliday-Bell, a board-certified sleep medicine specialist and certified sleep expert, explains that while it's perfectly fine to enjoy leisure activities in bed occasionally, consistent bed rotting can disrupt your sleep.

“[The idea] is that as soon as you get in the bed, your brain is trained to know that you’re going to sleep, and when you spend excessive amounts of time in bed watching television, talking on the phone, eating, and doing other activities, it dilutes that relationship,” says Dr. Holliday-Bell. "A huge part of setting ourselves up for good sleep is establishing a consistent connection between your bed and sleep.”

Bed-Rotting Can Affect Circadian Rhythms

In addition, spending prolonged hours in bed during bed-rotting sessions can make it challenging to adhere to a consistent wake time, a vital aspect of a healthy sleep routine. Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a board-certified pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist, explains that a consistent wake time helps regulate your body's production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for promoting sleep. By staying in bed for extended periods or constantly drifting between wakefulness and sleep, your circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycles may become disrupted, leading to difficulties in recognizing the appropriate time for wakefulness or sleep.

But it’s just so FUN.

Looking for an alternative to a day of bed-rotting? Engaging in recharging activities can help you recover from daily stressors, but it's important to choose activities that you personally find relaxing and enjoyable. Options include spending time with friends, exercising, practicing mindfulness, reading, taking up a new hobby like sewing, birdwatching, or crafting, and using journaling as an alternative to “rotting” in bed.

What we have learned

While it's tempting to indulge in bed-rotting, be mindful of its potential effects on your sleep. Strive for a healthy balance between rest and wakefulness by engaging in relaxing and enjoyable activities to recharge and refresh.

Try to limit the amount of time you spend in bed during the day, make sure you have a consistent wake time, and create a relaxing bedtime routine that will help you wind down before bed.

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Dream big, work hard, sleep ambitiously,

Joe Castignani