'Bed rotting': Why everyone should jump on the latest wellness craze

Gen Z might've given it a new name, but bed rotting is a tried and tested method of self care.


When I first heard the term bed rotting, I thought it was having a really old mattress, potential bed bugs and possibly a bed with broken wooden base slats. But nope, it's a "movement" – and not just the kind your bed might make if it has started to rot.

The bed rotting movement of 2023 is the latest "wellness" trend and involves young people spending huge chunks of the day in bed, basically doing whatever they find most relaxing. And let me tell you, I'm a million per cent here for some bed rot. Sign me up. Take my money. I'm more than happy to play hibernating bear.

Teenage girl looking at phone while
There's nothing wrong with a good bed rot. Photo: Getty

It used to simply be called a spectacularly lazy day in bed or even taking a sick day when you weren't really sick (come on, we've all chucked a sickie), but now bed rotting is a part-time gig. It may not pay very handsomely but it does include a mega binge watch, scrolling social media, eating up a storm (often via home delivery) or even partaking in skincare routines.

Not just Gen Z

I'm here to say this bed rotting palaver is no passing fad, with nearly 305 million views of the trend on TikTok. While the word "rotting" kind of takes the romanticism out of it, lots of talk has centred around it being one of Gen Z's preferred methods of self-care. Just Gen Z? Please! I think we can quite happily throw in Gen X, Y and probably a number of boomers into the mix as well.


When you really dive into the reasons we're loving our time in bed, it might be as simple as loving cocooning at home. Maybe it's a preferable alternative to facing the outside world at times, where stepping out of your surrounds can cost you a fortune, make you anxious or take hours for you to get from A to B.

What rot!

Recently, American marketing professor Scott Galloway (who obviously hasn't discovered the joy of streaming a killer series) said people should "never be home" – except to sleep for seven hours. No more. No less. Galloway thinks we're all supposed to spend most of our time away from home to be successful, professionally and romantically, which is obviously the total opposite of bed rotting.

Person eating pizza and scrolling on her phone in bed
It's not just Gen Z who needs a day in bed from time to time. Photo: Getty Images

Sure, I get what he's saying, but surely a fruitful compromise can be reached – one that when you are out and about you're "on" and the other when you just take time to "be" and remove yourself from what has become that bloody hard slog called everyday life.

No shame in bed rotting

More power to anyone who can find fulfilment in the confines of their home and in this case be part of the bed rotting rise. There is absolutely no shame nor should there be any guilt attached to taking a day or two in bed.

Sure, if you're seriously slacking off in the work department (which your boss will notice soon enough) or you're spending inordinate days locked away in your bedroom, they could both be signs to check in with a professional about your mental health. But don't ever, ever feel guilty.

And this isn't just about Gen Z self care – that is just ludicrous, pompous and entitled – as I said, it is something we all need to do now and then. And not ever feel one milligram of guilt about it.

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