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Bed rotting: TikTok's latest trend that doctors say has its drawbacks

Aug 20, 2023Aug 20, 2023

By Stephanie Stahl

August 5, 2023 / 4:57 PM / CBS Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Have you heard about the social media trend called bed rotting? Despite its harsh name, it's about self care and stress reduction. This craze has gone viral on TikTok where people spend all day in bed.

The benefits? Some claim it can help cope with stress and anxiety, but now doctors say it can make matters worse.

The new TikTok trend embraces spending hours scrolling social media, bingeing TV, reading, and eating snacks all from the comfort of your comforter.

It's called bed rotting, a term popularized by Gen Z'ers on TikTok that means choosing to stay in bed all day as a form of self care.

"It's kind of like a rejection of productivity culture by doing nothing and taking the time to rest," Vanessa Hill said.

Sleep scientist, Hill, weighed in on the trend in a TikTok video that now has more than 2.6 million views.

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Hill says there's a lot of shame associated with rest and the trend where people post videos of themselves lying in bed helps normalize it.

"So many of us are tired, I'm sure people watching feel that, because we feel pressured to do it all, and trends like bed rotting aren't really about just wasting away your days in your bed," Hill explained. "They're about allowing yourself to do less and telling ourselves that doing less is okay."

The trend has faced criticism from the wellness community as well as doctors, especially for people dealing with depression or anxiety.

"It can worsen overall health by increasing risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease," Psychiatrist Dr. Rishi Guatam said.

Doctors say bed rotting can disrupt healthy sleep patterns. Adding it's okay to slow down for a day once in a while if you're really exhausted. But if bed rotting becomes a barrier to living a full life or taking care of daily responsibilities, it might be a sign to seek help.

"If I'm finding myself needing more and more of this," Dr. Guatam said. "It is a good reliable sign that there might be some other problems going on."

Doctors say burnout is real and can impact mental and physical well-being.

Time to rest and recharge is important within limits.

Stephanie Stahl is an Emmy Award-winning health reporter. She can be seen daily on CBS3 Eyewitness News and The CW Philly.

First published on August 5, 2023 / 4:57 PM

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