Psychologists reveal how long you can REALLY ‘rot’ in bed before it becomes bad for your health – as snoozy self-care trend sweeps social media

  • A trio of experts spoke to The New York Times about staying awake in bed
  • Shorter bursts of lounging in bed are known as ‘hurkle durkle’ 
  • Another form is ‘bed rotting’ but involves spending longer stretches in bed

Experts in sleep and neurology have come forward with recommendations for how long it’s acceptable to lay in bed after waking up in the morning.

A trio of doctors spoke to The New York Times about the newly christened phenomenon of ‘bed rotting’ – when one spends an excessive amount of time lying in, usually on one’s phone.

For shorter bursts of lounging in bed, the behavior is also known as ‘hurkle durkle’ – a Scottish term that’s gone viral on TikTok as a way to characterize the tendency of idling between the sheets for varying stretches of time after one’s alarm goes off.

According to Dr. Eleanor McGlinchey, a sleep psychologist at Manhattan Therapy Collective and associate professor of psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University, staying in bed lends a feeling of ‘agency’ in the face of a hectic schedule. 

A trio of experts spoke to The New York Times about the pros and cons of 'bed rotting' - lying in for extended periods - and indulging in 'hurkle durkle'-style lounging post-alarm

A trio of experts spoke to The New York Times about the pros and cons of ‘bed rotting’ – lying in for extended periods – and indulging in ‘hurkle durkle’-style lounging post-alarm

But there’s a limit to what actually feels relaxing.

‘For some people, picking up their phones and scrolling email or turning on the news while in bed makes them more stressed,’ Dr. McGlinchey told the Times.

‘So now you’ve lazed around in bed and feel worse.’

She went on to stress that people should move through their actions, or lack thereof, with ‘purpose.’

‘I tell people to do whatever they are going to do on purpose,’ the doctor elaborated.

‘Don’t be at the mercy of notifications that come in overnight. Be intentional with the time.’

It’s also important for those who struggle with insomnia to avoiding training their body to lie in bed awake, according to Dr. Alcibiades J. Rodriguez, a neurologist and medical director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center-Sleep Center at NYU Langone Health.

Dr. Marjorie Soltis, a sleep medicine specialist and an assistant professor of neurology at Duke University School of Medicine, also chimed in. 

Dr. Marjorie Soltis encourages readers to above all 'listen to your body'

Dr. Marjorie Soltis encourages readers to above all ‘listen to your body’

‘If you wake up and feel good and this is part of your routine, you don’t have to stop,’ she said, adding the disclaimed: ‘But I think 30 minutes is a good threshold.’ 

She further encouraged people to ‘listen to your body … If you feel better after resting a bit, you may be getting some benefit, even though it’s not the same as sleep.’ 

For bed rotting more generally, Dr. McGlinchey deemed it an acceptable way to cope with burnout – in moderation, that is. 

‘If you want to stay in bed for the day because you are feeling burnout, do it, and don’t feel bad about it,’ she offered.

‘But if it starts to make you feel depressed or anxious or leads you to call out of work and become less functional, then you need to pull back.’ 

Overall, Dr. Rodriguez emphasized, ‘enjoying your bed is a good thing.’

Last week, did a deep dive into the ‘hurkle durkle’ trend, the hashtag for which has racked up millions of views on TikTok. 

As one commenter put it, ‘Adding this to my list of hobbies.’

And, in May of last year, explored how ‘bed rotting’ is becoming the internet’s preferred method of ‘self care.’

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