Gen Z-ers Are 'Bed Rotting'—Here's What Experts Have to Say About It

a woman lying in bed on her phone
Hirurg/getty images

We’ve learned a lot from Gen Z, from the importance of embracing body positivity to how to love non-skinny jeans. But for every game-changing idea, there’s another, more questionable trend backed by our younger counterparts. Bed rotting, or staying in bed all day by choice, thereby “rotting” there, is one such trend. We caught up with two experts, neuropsychologist Dr. Sanam Hafeez and internist Dr. Jared Braunstein, for the scoop on whether spending all day in bed is self-care or detrimental to our mental health.  

Meet the Experts

  • Dr. Sanam Hafeez, Psy.D, is an NYC-based neuropsychologist and school psychologist.  She is also the founder and director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. Hafeez graduated from Queens College, CUNY, with a BA in psychology, and then went on to earn her Master of Science in Psychology at Hofstra University. Hafeez provides neuropsychological educational and developmental evaluations in her practice and also works with children and adults who suffer from PTSD, learning disabilities, autism, attention and memory problems, trauma and brain injury, abuse, childhood development and psychopathology.
  • Dr. Jared Braunstein is a board-certified internist with Medical Offices of Manhattan and contributor to, a platform that has connected more than 1 million patients to thousands of labs and radiology centers across the country. He graduated from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYCOM) and did his internal medicine residency at Lenox Hill Hospital, and has been in practice for 14 years.

Proponents of bed rotting say it’s related to slow living, or the philosophy that rather than succumbing to societal pressure to take part in a fast-paced way of life, you slow down and focus on appreciating the little things in your day you might otherwise overlook. As one TikTok with nearly 300,000 likes explains, “It’s the end of optimization, it’s anti-productivity, because you are wasting away under a blanket and the nothingness is your best life.”

But what do mental and physical health experts say? Hafeez says that bed rotting “refers to people using their phones excessively throughout the day while lying in bed, usually with snacks and TV on in the background.” It sounds kind of relaxing (we all need a lazy day every now and then, right?), but she notes that too much lying in bed can severely impact both physical and mental health. “This differs from taking time to relax and unplug in bed, as bed rotting is often used as a coping mechanism for dealing with stress and anxiety. This is extremely prevalent in Gen-Z culture today, as people in this generation are more prone to mental health struggles.”

Dr. Braunstein adds that, when used as a coping mechanism for mental health issues like anxiety or depression, bed rotting isn’t an effective fix. “Lying in bed to deal with anxiety does not release endorphins to help combat the stress,” he says. “I, therefore, do not recommend lying in bed all day as a way to cope with anxiety or depression.”

According to Hafeez, bed rotting can actually worsen anxiety, since you become more accustomed to a lack of exercise and excessive screen time, and can also hinder your sleep, as your bed should be reserved for sleep and shorter bouts of rest only. Dr. Braunstein agrees, telling us, “In my opinion, staying in bed all day to deal with depression or anxiety can make things worse, because the person can continue to think about the problems that are already stressful, which could lead to more stress. Being active is a much healthier way, both physically and mentally, to cope with these issues.”

So, the point is this: If you need to rest and relax, go for it, you absolutely deserve it. Just maybe don’t rest and relax so hard that it feels accurate to say that you’re “rotting” in bed.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...