Half of Remote Workers Admit to “Bed Rotting”

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Bed Rotting Study. Remote worker "bed rotting."

Have you heard of “bed rotting?” Although it might sound a bit off-putting, the term just means long periods in bed while doing activities other than sleeping. That could mean spending leisure time scrolling on your phone or for some remote or hybrid workers, treating the bed like an office.  

Bed Rotting Study Results

Sleep wellness company Sleep Doctor recently surveyed 807 remote and hybrid workers about how often they bed rot during work hours. According to the results, 55% of remote and hybrid workers admitted they “bed rot during the work weekly.” And of the days those workers spend in bed, the survey found that four in 10 spend three or more hours of the workday in bed. According to an article on Sleep Doctor that reports the findings in more detail, “62% say they are generally working while bed rotting during work hours; however, 75% say they also or solely engage in non-work-related activities.” Of those who say they are working, the top three tasks are answering emails (78%), reviewing documents (71%) or working on a project (66%).  

Potential Impacts on Productivity

Among those who participate, half say the practice improves their performance at work, while 29% state it has “no effect” on their performance. However, some sleep experts say bed rotting could have poor outcomes. “Hanging out in bed for extended periods of time is not a great idea,” says Dr. Michael Breus, clinical psychologist and sleep medicine expert at Sleep Doctor. “When people are lying in bed for extended periods of time, their brain doesn’t know if it should be awake or sleeping. So, as a general guideline, and there’s plenty of data to back this up, you really want to only be in bed when you’re getting your seven to nine hours of sleep.” 

For those who are feeling sluggish — particularly in the early afternoon — certified sleep coach David Rubin suggests taking a short, 20- to 25-minute nap instead. “It could be that this restful behavior has a similar effect as taking a break and is helping people avoid feeling drained or burning out, meaning that they are more productive over time,” Rubin says. 

To read the full survey, visit sleepdoctor.com. 

Read more from our Consumer Corner – What Country Gets the Best Night’s Sleep? 2023 Worldwide Sleep Habits.