How To Have The Perfect Bed Rot Day

By Rebecca Cox

6 months ago

Bed rotting is making a winter comeback.


‘Bed rotting’ has been one of the biggest TikTok lifestyle trends of the year – with new research declaring it the most prominent wellness trend of 2023, having amassed over 52 million views on the platform. The timing couldn’t be better, says Rebecca Cox

What Is Bed Rotting?

First thing’s first, what exactly is bed rotting? In case you’ve been under a rock (or hiding under a duvet), bed rotting is a so-called self-care trend that’s been doing the rounds on TikTok this year, and involves spending a day or an entire weekend in bed. While in bed you can be napping, watching TV, snacking or doom-scrolling social media. The idea is that a good bed rot session can help you to revive yourself if you’re suffering from burnout or you need to recharge your social batteries. 

Is It Bad For You?

A whole day in bed – sounds like heaven, right? Some people think not. While taking some time out to rest and recharge might seem like a no-brainer, as Dr. Jen Caudle told Today.com: ‘I think it can be a problem, if we are doing that to avoid things,’ and this is particularly true if you’re suffering with additional mental health problems. She says: ‘So if you find yourself… bed rotting to avoid situations, to avoid feelings… that’s a problem, as well.’ 

All makes sense so far: purposeful and occasional bed rotting = good, excessive and avoidant bed rotting = bad. So, if you’re feeling a bit tired, burnt out, or even just a tad lazy, is now the perfect time to give this trend a go? In a word, yes. 

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How To Have The Perfect Bed Rot Day

I am a summer person. When TikTokers started bed rotting in the early summer months I was out in the world. Spending money I hadn’t yet made on travelling, out late seeing friends, doing things that very much involved being out of bed and out in the world. (That said, I’m usually about six months late to trends anyway, so that could be it, too.) Fast forward to now, sky so dark it’s hard to tell if it’s night or day, daylight (or grey-light) hours shortening, weather hideous and ‘party season’ relentlessly presenting reasons I should be out and having fun while the rest of the natural world contemplates hibernation: the time has come to bed rot. Bed rotting in the run up to Christmas is difficult. If you’re a single mum like I am, it can feel impossible. Who has a 24-hour window to simply lay and vegetate? You do, and more importantly, I do. 

First up: find the perfect window for a bed rot day. This nods to the importance of bed rotting through choice not necessity as the wise doctor I referenced earlier recommends. A pre-scheduled bed rot day feels somehow less rotten. Ideally, pick a day that you’re not planning on being hungover (again, this may count as passive rotting). Prepare for your day by stocking up on snacks. Of course, you could order food in from the comfort of your bed, but best to have some additional sustenance to eat your way through while you wallow. (Why not have a festive bed rot and make cheese footballs and Quality Street your snacks of choice?)

Next: bed rot activities. No schedule required here, you can watch films, scroll socials, read, nap, eat, drink, repeat. For my next festive session I will be watching The Holiday, Love Actually and the Peep Show Christmas Dinner episode, purple Quality Street wrappers strewn around me, phone on flight mode, all the unread magazines I’ve bought over the last few months littered around for when I need a screen break. 

But What About Sleep?

The only thing I’ll be avoiding while bed rotting, is napping. Because while I’m not a napper anyway, I would imagine that nothing would mess up my sleep schedule faster than sleeping all day, as tempting as it sounds. Indeed, disrupted sleep is one of the only potential downsides of indulging in the trend. Psychologist Robert Common told the Independent: ‘An important factor of good sleep hygiene is reserving your bed for sleeping only. Watching Netflix, scrolling on your phone and eating are some of the most obvious activities that go hand-in-hand with bed rotting, but it can make it harder to follow a good sleep schedule.’ A valid point, but I’m still sold on the idea of a winter littered with bed rot days. One last question, though… 

How Is It Different To A ‘Duvet Day’?

Duvet days have long been a recognised unplanned day of rest offered by companies in addition or as an alternative to a sick day, for when rest and relaxation is needed. So how is bed rotting different from taking a duvet day? As far as I can tell, it isn’t. But if you can’t rely on the TikTok generation to make a common activity sound new and slightly grimier or cooler then what can you rely on? While you’re rotting in bed you can consider partaking in one of the social media platform’s other self-care trends of the year, including shadow work (also pretty well-established for personal development) or the four-hour everything shower. Those two sound like decidedly hard work, though – so this festive season I’ll be using this slightly icky-sounding activity to excuse myself from any and all invitations that don’t appeal. ‘I’m sorry, I can’t: I have bed rot.’  

Featured image: Luisa Brimble, Unsplash