Haven’t we all experienced the pleasure of lying in bed for longer than intended and doing nothing on a lazy sunday morning? Turns out that there is a new, if not fancy name for the same – “bed rotting”.

Made viral on tiktok, proclaimed as the new method of self care and apparently made famous by the Gen Zs – bedrotting is the new internet trend. So is bed rotting an actual psychological phenomenon or some new fangled pop psychology? Lets find out…

We live in a fast and furious world where everything seems to be moving at breakneck speed (apart from the traffic:)). We work against impossible deadlines, at odd hours, bear everyday commutes which drain hours of productive time and pressurise ourselves and our children to be at our productive best.

This change has happened only over the past few decades. For most time in our evolutionary history, humans had a limit to the time that we worked, enjoyed, consumed entertainment or slept. Most people worked a decent eight hour workday, stayed close to their hometowns and socialized extensively for festivals, holidays, social service, pilgrimages etc.

With the advent of the internet and hand held devices, the balance between work and life has blurred enormously.There is now a set of busy people who need other people to be busy so that they can work seamlessly. If an IT professional is working unearthly hours, he/she would at least need a janitor, a cab driver and a zomato delivery person to work at the same hours to create a system. The IT personnel may be inspired by the work he does but the rest may be busy even if they do not want to be!

Expectations have increased our need to be always running two steps ahead of our competitors. If my friend puts in an hour of extra studies at night, I would need to best it to get a headway on my entrance marks and college admissions.

Unfortunately, our brains and body are not wired yet to this excessive productivity that we force them into. Hence, work, pressure and literally no space to let out steam leads to a chronic stress response and brain fatigue.That’s when weekends and holidays turn to bed rotting sessions. I knew of a friend, an intensivist by profession, working in a busy hospital, working extra shifts who would log off from work on friday evening and sleep till monday morning only to get up for food delivery and to relieve himself.It was the only way he could function the following week!

So, if it makes functioning better, is it a healthy habit? Turns out that there is a catch.

We can never objectively measure stress or relaxation in our daily life. So how do we know when to stop “rotting” in bed? Is it ok to lie down but browse, watch OTT or read in bed for long hours?

Basically, bed rotting in its general meaning constitutes to logging off from even the most basic chores in the pursuit of rest. But most people who do it spend it glued to their phones or computers, which is definitely not healthy as:

  1. It harms the sleep cycle.

Dozing in and out of sleep at short intervals throughout the day and increased exposure to the light from devices have been proved to destroy a restful night of sleep. This could give rise to the person not feeling active the next morning and hence continue the bed rot. This becomes a cycle unless actively curbed. 

     2. It can cause an addiction to social media and mindless browsing.

Tiredness and increased work pressure becomes an excuse to spend an increasing amount of time with our phones. As the internet provides a non stop feed via its multiple channels, dislodging from it becomes difficult. Once the dependence develops, it may, by itself cause the person to want to bed rot. It also comes with the additional negative effects of internet addiction like FOMO, increased frustration, comparison etc. 

     3. It adversely affects depression.

Bed rotting has a cause and effect relationship with depression. People suffering from depression will want to continue lounging and drowning deeper into their illness and healthy bed rotters can end up becoming depresseddue to the nature of bedrotting.


The healthier way to combat fatigue, pressure and stress would be to prevent it when possible by actively striving for a slower, more mindful lifestyle and a healthier work life balance. As this may not be possible for everyone, the next best option would be to use the time spent in bed to only sleep out the extra hours. Afterwards, it would be prudent to get out of it and cultivate a hobby, stay away from the virtual world and spend some time with friends and family.

So lets enjoy unwinding in bed and stop “rotting” in it!


About the Author

Preethi Shanbhag


My name is Preethi Shanbhag. I am a psychiatrist and a mother. In my free time I love to read, write, travel and cook.

View All Articles