Let's face it - the times are stressful. Sometimes, at the end of a long day, the best thing to do is climb into bed and
watch something relaxing on Netflix — preferably until you fall asleep. These days it can be hard to quell worries, and if Netflix subscription numbers over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic indicator, many viewers are turning to the streaming platform for a much-needed distraction. these low-key, low-stakes shows can be an instant mood booster and positive distraction.
The endless catalog available on Netflix might be intimidating, especially for a viewer looking to unwind. However, the streaming platform has offerings beyond fast-paced dramas, true-crime, and action-packed films. Instead, choose from a number of artistically striking food shows such as
Chef's Table, nature documentaries like Chef's Planet, and friendly cooking competitions like the much-beloved Great British Bake Off.
Once you've decided to wind down for the night, for example, it may be a good idea to skip the
true crime and loud, fast-paced shows, and instead search for ones with just the right amount of background noise, soothing imagery, and chill content.
Relaxing shows are far from boring, and when you watch them during the day they can be all sorts of riveting, both for their cinematography, instrumentation, and content. But these very same things can be what makes them a soothing choice for the evening hours, too. Here are a few of the most relaxing choices that you may want to put on in the background as
you fall asleep. 1 'Chef's Table'
What could be better than falling asleep whilst looking at beautifully set tables and delicious food?
Each episode of
Chef's Table tells the story of a top chef, where they came from, and what sets them apart in the food scene today. The dishes these cooking stars make are extravagant, and the documentary filmmakers do them justice with an epic final montage in each episode. The show has a slow pace and is set to relaxing music, making it perfect for bedtime. 2 'The Great British Baking Show'
While the cheeky commentary and nail-biting competition might keep you riveted by day, the relaxed pace — and pretty pastel colors — of the Internet's favorite
British baking show makes it the perfect thing to watch at night, too. This low-stakes competition is full of wholesome home bakers, and even in the show's most stressful moments, the stars and comedic hosts support each other in the most wholesome ways. 3 'Jeopardy!'
Netflix has put up Season 33 and Season 34 of
Jeopardy, which will be exactly what quiz-loving viewers need to unwind. The two available seasons feature late-host Alex Trebek, whose calming and reliable presence was a television mainstay for years. Many people have positive associations with the show from childhood, and the trivia questions are the perfect thing to get your mind off a long day. 4 'Our Planet'
When the looming specter of climate change is keeping you up at night, turn on
Our Planet, which both lets the beauty and majesty of nature and offers thoughts on how to stop the crisis. The 8 episodes will take you to jungles, caves, to mountains, showing the interconnectivity of different habitats with spectacular nature footage. 5 'Nadiya's Time to Eat'
In a time where cooking can feel like a chore, Nadiya's 'Time to Eat' is a feel-good exploration of family meals, from comforting trips across England's food world to easy home-cooked dishes.
6 'The World's Most Extraordinary Homes'
While always fun to snoop through other people's homes — especially extraordinary ones — what makes this show perfect for bedtime is the comforting commentary from hosts Caroline Quentin and Piers Taylor. Additionally, the show travels around the world to find its grand homes, and viewers can get a glimpse of world travel that just feels different amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
7 'The Universe' Is there life outside of Earth? This Netflix series explores the secrets of the universe, touching on topics such as "Alien Planets" or "Cosmic Holes" or "Mysteries of the Moon." These existential explorations are the perfect way to drift first off into space, and then to sleep. 8 'Terrace House: Aloha State' Terrace House is similar to many American reality TV shows, in that it crams strangers into a house and lets us watch as the drama unfolds. However, this show, from Japan, has much more relaxed vibes than shows with similar premises like Big Brother or Love Island. This season takes place in Hawaii, and is chock full of chill moods and tropical views, and the cast surprisingly all get along. 9 'Salt Fat Acid Heat'
If you want to feel like you're hanging out with a really good friend, watch author and chef Samin Nosrat on her new show,
Salt Acid Fat Heat.
The beautifully directed travel and food series, which is loosely based off Nosrat's cookbook of the same title - is something you'll want to watch all the way through during the day. However, any viewer having it on in the background for a third or fourth time in bed will find
the most comforting way to fall asleep. 10 'Queer Eye'
Let Jonathan, Tan, Bobby, Karamo, and Antoni take you to a more positive place at the end of the day. The
Queer Eye cast really wants to help people improve themselves, inside and out. These four are the perfect soundtrack to slumber, from Jonathan's upbeat outlook to Karamo's therapeutic one-on-one sessions to Antoni's avocadoes, there's nothing here that will stress watchers out before bed. 11 'Cabins In the Wild'
This cheery TV show out of the UK brings together accomplished architects to create unique "pop-up hotel" cabins. The cabins will have unique themes, such as "dragon's lair" or "sea fort," and viewers can fall into a slumber as these builders studiously go about their craftsmanship.
12 'Fireplace For Your Home: Birchwood Edition'
Following the highly relaxing
Fireplace For Your Home, is its sequel, Fireplace For Your Home: Birchwood Edition.
Watch in 4K Ultra-HD quality as birchwood burns and crackles on your screen for an entire, riveting hour.
Or, not so riveting. If you want to feel cozy, or need a little white noise, this is the "show" for you.
13 'Blue Planet II'
Watch as the camera dips below the ocean's surface, follows dolphins, and glides through the bluest lagoons in
Blue Planet II. And then wake up refreshed in the morning. 14 'Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet'
To get your mind off the stresses of the day — and hopefully fall asleep quickly — throw on the new season of
Mystery Science Theater 3000 and laugh quietly to yourself as a man and his robot friends make fun of terrible movies. 15 'Gilmore Girls'
While any TV show of this genre will do, there's something great about kicking back and watching reruns of
Instead of letting your own worries run away with you, focus on those of Lorelai and Rory — and all the goings on of their small town.
16 'The Great British Bake Off: Master Class'
To chill out fast, watch the hosts of
The Great British Baking Show, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, as they show you how to make perfect bakes from the show — while avoiding soggy bottoms.
These two have great chemistry. And as always, the set is perfectly appointed and adorable. With that combo, you're sure to be peacefully asleep in no time.
17 'Escape To The Country' Escape To The Country is a house-hunting show that follows folks who want to leave their busy city life behind and start anew in the gorgeous English countryside.
With charming hosts and plenty of thatched cottages to behold, this is a great one to pop on at night.
If you feel like your life is out of control, and need to be reminded that it
is possible to rein it all back in, then watch Minimalism, a documentary about "the important things in life."
The hosts are experts in shedding life's excesses, and can teach you a thing or two about letting go. But for the sake of getting to sleep, the soothing aesthetics of the film are where it's at.
19 'Slow TV: Train Ride Bergen To Oslo'
For the ultimate in soothing experiences, watch as train-mounted cameras in
Slow TV show off the passing landscape from Bergen to Oslo, two cities in Norway. It's seven hours and 14 minutes of passing trees and the subtle click clack of the rails, which can realistically get you through an entire night. 20 'Amazing Interiors' Amazing Interiors shows off homes that look perfectly normal from the outside, only to open up to, well, amazing interiors.
Like other home design shows, it has a slow pace that's perfect for bedtime.
21 'Moving Art'
With relaxing instrumentals, surreal nature scenes, and time-lapse photography,
Moving Art is a show that quickly turns into a meditative experience. So if you can't sleep, it may be worth a try.
Of course, it's all about choosing something that makes you comfortable, whether that be a soothing nature documentary, old TV series, quaint baking show, or slow-paced painting tutorial. There's more than enough on Netflix to
help you drift off to sleep.