- A trio of experts spoke to The New York Times about staying awake in bed
- Shorter periods of rest in bed are known as ‘hurkle durkle’.
- Another form is ‘bed rot’, but it involves spending longer periods in bed.
Sleep and neurology experts have put forward recommendations for how long it is acceptable to stay lying in bed after waking up in the morning.
A trio of doctors spoke with The New York Times about the newly named phenomenon “bed rot”, when one spends too much time lying down, usually in front of the phone.
For shorter periods of rest in bed, the behavior is also known as ‘hurkle durkle’, a Scottish term that has gone viral on TikTok as a way to characterize the tendency to remain inactive between the sheets for varying periods of time after that the alarm sounds.
According to Dr. Eleanor McGlinchey, a sleep psychologist at Manhattan Therapy Collective and associate professor of psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University, staying in bed gives a sense 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 rot” (lying down for extended periods) and hurkle durkle rest after your alarm.
But there is a limit to what is truly relaxing.
“For some people, picking up the phone and checking email or watching the news while they’re in bed causes more stress,” Dr. McGlinchey told the Times.
“So now you’re lazing around in bed and feeling worse.”
He went on to emphasize that people must act through their actions, or lack thereof, with a “purpose.”
“I tell people to do what they want to do on purpose,” the doctor explained.
‘Don’t be at the mercy of notifications that arrive overnight. Be intentional with time.’
It’s also important for those struggling with insomnia to avoid training their body to stay awake in bed, according to Dr. Alcibiades J. Rodríguez, a neurologist and medical director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center-Sleep Center at NYU Langone Health.
Dr. Marjorie Soltis, a sleep medicine specialist and assistant professor of neurology at Duke University School of Medicine, also weighed in.
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,” he said, adding, “But I think 30 minutes is a good threshold.”
Additionally, he encouraged people to “listen to your body… If you feel better after getting some rest, you may get some benefit, even if it’s not the same as sleep.”
For bed rot in general, Dr. McGlinchey felt it was an acceptable way to deal with exhaustion, that is, in moderation.
“If you want to stay in bed during the day because you feel exhausted, do it and don’t feel bad about it,” he offered.
“But if it starts to make you feel depressed or anxious or causes you to quit work and become less functional, then you need to back off.”
Overall, Dr. Rodriguez emphasized, “enjoying the bed is a good thing.”
Last week, DailyMail.com delved into the ‘hurkle durkle’ trend, whose hashtag has racked up millions of views on TikTok.
As one commenter put it: “Add this to my list of hobbies.”
And, in May last year, DailyMail.com explored how “bed rot” is becoming the preferred “self-care” method on the internet.