The Danger Of Staying In Bed Too Long

Staying in bed forever may sound like a dream, but it can seriously damage your health. Why is it so bad?

Back in 2014, Drew Iwanicki joined a NASA-funded study excitingly titled Countermeasure and Functional Testing in Head-Down Tilt Bed Rest Study (abbreviated to CFT70). Iwanicki was famously paid $18,000 to lay in bed for 70 days. He was constantly monitored, and was only allowed to sit up onto elbows for 30 minutes while eating. No napping, no sitting up, no getting out of bed for any reason, plus, constant monitoring; for two and a half months.

The study tried to simulate the effects of long-term inactivity in space. NASA researchers figured that if participants lie in bed with their feet slightly elevated their face will get puffy and their blood will move differently--not unlike in space travel. Doing that for 70 days should simulate how the body would react to long-term space, like, say, in a trip to Mars.

And while lying in bed all day might seem like fun, too much bed rest can seriously damage the human body and in extreme cases can kill. 60,000 Americans die each year from it. Trace explains why.

Learn More:

NASA Paid This Guy $18,000 To Lie In Bed For 70 Days (iflscience.com)
"'I was on a regimented sleep schedule,' [Iwanicki] told NextShark. 'Lights out at 10 p.m., lights on at 6 a.m. No napping allowed during the day, which is one of the cruelest jokes about being stuck in bed all day, not being able to nap."

Brain rest helps kids heal faster from concussions (Boston.com)
"A majority of those who got the most cognitive rest were symptom-free 40 days after their head injury, but it took 100 days for symptoms to resolve in the majority of those who got the least amount of rest, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics."