TikTok’s latest wellness trend ‘Bed Rotting’ is actually more bad than good

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But firstly, what is ‘bed rotting? 

The concept of ‘rotting in bed’ was originally related to depressive episodes, with one of the key symptoms of depression being oversleeping and not leaving your bed. However, this trend refers to cuddling up in bed with your dressing gown and doing your comfort things, such as spending the whole day watching true crime videos on YouTube. It’s essentially a hygienic mental health day where you can pretend you have zero responsibilities and let your brain and body reset.

How can ‘bed rotting’ negatively impact a person’s sleep?

In terms of the negative effects it can have on your sleep, Martin warns that “If you do nap throughout your bed rot day, keep in mind that this will mess with your circadian rhythm.

“Our circadian rhythm (our internal body clock) works by responding to light changes in our environment. If you’re spending the day in bed – a place your brain associates with sleep – while daylight peaks through the curtains, your body clock will be muddled.

Equally, if you nap during your day in bed, you’ll not only end up feeling more tired than you did before, but you’ll struggle to sleep come nighttime, disrupting your sleeping pattern.

“Your body releases the sleep hormone, melatonin, during the night when it detects there’s no more sunlight. If you try to sleep during the day, your body won’t be releasing melatonin, making it difficult to fall into a deep sleep. Instead, you’ll enter a light sleep phase and eventually be woken out of it, so your body won’t have gained anything from the nap. Come the evening, however, your body clock will be disordered, and you’ll struggle to fall into a deep sleep then, too.”

Sleep expert urges that ‘bed rotting’ shouldn’t become a hobby as many TikTok users have expressed 

“Whilst spending a day in bed can help ease immediate symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s important that ‘bed rotting’ doesn’t turn into avoidant behaviour, where you end up becoming reclusive from society or calling in sick to work to stay in bed instead. 

“Everyone needs a ‘mental health day’ every now and then, but if you think your mental health is deteriorating, don’t fall into a rut of staying in bed all the time, and contact your GP for medical advice.

Martin Seeley

“You also shouldn’t think of bed rotting as a ‘hobby’ like a lot of TikTok users have suggested it is. It should instead be seen as a positive self-care tactic that’s used minimally and only when necessary as a means of recuperation and rest. Failing to understand the concept of bed rot will, unfortunately, lead to a worsening of mental health.”

Four alternatives to ‘bed rotting’ that are more beneficial 

Have a bath

Do you need to exert any energy to lie in a bath? No! It’s essentially the same as laying in bed, except you’re cleansing your body and relaxing in a healthier way at the same time. You’ll also feel better about yourself if you’re physically clean, plus adding some drops of lavender oil will help to calm your entire body – this is especially helpful if you’re feeling anxious.

Go downstairs

This might seem simple, but even walking to the kitchen to grab a drink or a snack is going to make you feel better than staying wrapped up in your duvet all day. Sitting on the sofa instead is a great first step for overcoming bed rot, as you’ll be in a different environment.

You might also bump into a family member or housemate, and while that might initially seem annoying when you’re feeling avoidant, interacting with others is a surefire way to ease stress levels and feel less alone, which would worsen feelings of depression.

Sit in the garden

Spending time in nature has been proven to improve feelings of depression and low mood. While sitting in your garden isn’t the same as a long country walk, it is a brilliant first step to combatting the urge to stay in bed all day.

Exposure to sunlight increases the brain’s production of serotonin, boosting your mood and helping you feel calm. Even if you continue to scroll on your phone while in the garden, you’ll still feel better than you would if you stayed in your bedroom.

If you must ‘rot’, do it with your friends

Take your pyjamas to your best friend’s house and jump into bed – watch a film together, send each other TikToks or do some traditional self-care, like face masks.

You’ll both feel the benefits of bed rotting with no social pressure from outside, but you’ll have still interacted with each other.

The post TikTok’s latest wellness trend ‘Bed Rotting’ is actually more bad than good appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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