Home Health & Wellness Beware of the Dangers of Bed Rotting: Doctor Shares the Optimal Nap Time for Maintaining a Healthy Sleep Pattern

Beware of the Dangers of Bed Rotting: Doctor Shares the Optimal Nap Time for Maintaining a Healthy Sleep Pattern

Published: Last updated:
Reading Time: 3 minutes

There is no doubt that bed rotting is common, with over 32 million posts on TikTok about the trend and a year-on-year increase of over 23,000 Google searches per month. With more people working remotely and spending extended periods of time at home, the temptation to stay in bed for prolonged periods has grown.

However, this trend has sparked concerns among health professionals regarding its potential impact on sleep quality and overall well-being.

The term “bed rotting” refers to the habit of spending excessive time in bed beyond what is necessary for sleep. It often involves activities such as scrolling through social media or binge-watching TV shows while nestled under the covers.

As this trend gains traction with people turning to TikTok and search engines for bed rotting, Cult Beauty has teamed up with Dr Deborah Lee, Dr Fox Online Pharmacy to reveal the optimum nap time for better sleep health and to avoid the dangers of bed rotting.

Dr Deborah Lee emphasises the significance of establishing a regular sleep schedule and following it consistently. One crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy sleep routine is understanding the optimal duration of napping.

According to Dr Deborah Lee, the ideal nap duration ranges between 20 to 30 minutes.

Dr Deborah Lee explains, “The short duration allows individuals to reap the benefits of napping, such as enhanced alertness and productivity, without entering deep stages of sleep that can lead to sleep inertia – the feeling of grogginess upon waking from a nap.”

Furthermore, “It is essential to schedule naps strategically to avoid interfering with nighttime. Napping too late in the day or for extended periods can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and make it harder to fall asleep at night. I recommend limiting naps to the early afternoon and avoid napping after 2pm to minimise the risk of sleep disturbances”.

How to improve your sleep time to avoid overnapping?

For many, sleeping more in the day compensates for poor sleep at night. So, what can we do to ensure we are getting the hours we need to avoid overnapping? Dr Deborah Lee shares her advice below:

Get yourself into a good sleep routine 

“Your body responds best to a fixed sleep routine. Ideally, set a bedtime and a getting-up time and stick to these as much as possible. We all need seven hours of good-quality sleep per night, so make sure you set your going to sleep and getting up time accordingly. We need to sleep in tune with our circadian rhythms – the natural body clock. You should naturally feel sleepy later in the evening when it is dark and wake up early in the morning when the sun is up.”

Keep active during the day 

“Make sure you exercise every day but preferably early in the day – not close to bedtime. Don’t exercise vigorously within one hour of bedtime. Gentle exercises such as stretching and yoga are fine.”

Turn off screens at least two hours before you want to sleep 

“Melanopsin is the pigment at the back of the eye that detects light. It’s particularly sensitive to blue light which has a shorter wavelength than other types of light. When blue light is detected, this switches off the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Blue light is emitted by all types of electronic devices: TVs, computers, iPads, and smartphones. These devices should be turned off two hours before you try to sleep.”

Bathe before bed 

“Have a warm bath or shower. The warmth helps relax you, but the body cools after a bath or a shower, and it’s this lowering of body temperature that’s needed to trigger sleep.”

Lather in lavender  

“In a recent 2022 systematic review and meta-analysis of 20 studies, 14 showed positive outcomes on sleep from the use of lavender essential oil. Lavender stimulates the GABA system (the body’s main inhibitory system), causing pleasurable feelings of rest and relaxation. A few drops of lavender essential oil can be applied to the brow, added to an aromatherapy diffuser, or made into a pillow spray. It can also be added to bath water or to an eye mask too.”

Manage your magnesium levels 

“Magnesium has positive effects on sleep as it can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It too stimulates the GABA system, promoting feelings of relaxation. While magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, seeds, and nuts, it can also be taken as a sleep supplement. The maximum dose for adults is 350 mg per day.”

© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd