The latest TikTok trend called “bed rot” is raising concerns among some doctors about the way the younger generation is dealing with mental health issues.
The trend often leaves users lying in bed all day with no motivation to do anything that could be a coping mechanism for more serious issues.
What is bed rot on TikTok?
At the end of July 2023, the bedrock trend started circulating on TikTok.
Often referred to as a form of self-care, the trend sees users lying in bed, sleeping, scrolling through social media, or watching TV shows all day.
“Bed rot is a trend where you just enjoy the time you spend in bed,” explained a TikTok user in a video.
“Younger generations are really embracing this concept of living gently and being able to live less stressful lives.”
“It’s time in bed with yourself and your loved ones and that’s by design. So we are definitely in favor of it.”
Where does bed rot come from?
While bed rot sounds like a new term, it’s essentially just a term for what millions refer to as a “lazy day in bed.”
dr Jessi Gold, an assistant professor at Washington University School of Medicine, told MedPage that the term arose from the younger generation’s desire to put a label on everything.
“These terms arise when people are trying to find an explanation for something they’re doing, and they like labels — labels help them feel less alone and more understood,” Gold said.
Most read in “Phones and Gadgets”.
“Particularly [on] On social media, they really like mental health terms, in layman’s terms, because it allows them to bond over bonds or relationships… in a way that makes them feel like they’re not alone.”
Videos of the trend first surfaced on TikTok in July 2023, and within weeks it went viral.
What do doctors say about this trend?
A day off can often be a good thing, but bed rot worries some doctors.
“Isolation, sleep, fatigue, oversleeping are symptoms of depression. Basically, when you’re super, super anxious, you’ve been running a marathon for a long time, so you’re tired and you might want to sleep,” Gold explained.
“And there’s also an avoidant component of sleep: When I’m sleeping, I don’t actually have to think about what stressors I’m dealing with or what feelings I’m having.”
While there’s no harm in lounging around once in a while, multiple “bed rot” days could be a sign of serious mental health problems.
“If you’re dealing with this all the time … you probably want to deal with it and ask yourself why you’re doing it,” Gold added.
Psychologist Simon A. Rego, chief of the psychology department and director of psychology education at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, had feelings similar to Gold’s, telling CNN that “bed rotters” should watch their behavior.
“Be observant and avoid overdoing it, no matter how good it feels at the moment,” he said.