No matter what kind of day you’ve had, there really is nothing better than climbing into bed at the end of it to
watch something relaxing on Netflix — preferably until you fall asleep. Fortunately, Netflix has a ton of different options to choose from when looking for TV shows to cheer you up, wind you down, and help you drift off.
Of course, the seemingly endless catalog available on Netflix can be intimidating, especially for a viewer looking to unwind with some low-key and low-stakes content. While the streaming platform has plenty to offer in terms of fast-paced dramas, true crime docs, and action-packed films, these might not be ideal bedtime watches. Instead, you’d be better off selecting from a number of aspirational home design shows like
Amazing Interiors, nature documentaries like Our Planet, and feel-good comedies like Schitt’s Creek. These shows will offer you just the right amount of background noise, soothing imagery, and chill content to send you to sleep.
Even though the picks below are calming, they are far from boring, thanks to their striking cinematography, lush instrumentation, and heartwarming content. So if it takes you a while to fall asleep, these series will be guaranteed to entertain until dreams take over. Here are a few of the most soothing choices that you may want to watch as
you fall asleep. 1 Chef's Table
Each episode of
Chef's Table tells the story of a top chef, where they came from, and what sets them apart in the culinary scene. The dishes they make are extravagant, and the series does each chef’s work justice through beautiful shots of the impeccable food styling and stunningly set tables. The show has a slow pace and is set to relaxing classical music, making it one of those perfect shows to snooze to. 2 The Great British Baking Show
While the cheeky commentary and tough challenges might keep you riveted by day, the relaxed pace — and soothing pastel colors — of the internet's favorite
British baking show make it the perfect thing to watch at night, too. This low-stakes competition is full of wholesome home bakers who kindly and selflessly support each other, even in the show's most stressful moments. 3 Jeopardy!
Falling asleep while watching a game show has big “home sick from school” vibes, and you can put that comforting nostalgia to good use by turning on
Jeopardy! before bed. Netflix has 45 episodes of the classic quiz series, and as long as you aren’t too competitive, it shouldn’t take much for the reassuring presence of Alex Trebek to lull you into slumberland. — Sadie Gennis 4 Our Planet
When the looming specter of climate change is keeping you up at night, turn on
Our Planet, which celebrates the majesty of nature while also offering thoughts on how to stop the environmental crisis. The eight episodes will take you to rainforests, inside caves, and down to the depths of the oceans, showing the interconnectivity of different habitats through the series’ spectacular footage. 5 The World's Most Extraordinary Homes
While always fun to snoop through other people's homes — especially ones this extravagant — what makes this show perfect for bedtime is the comforting commentary from hosts Caroline Quentin and Piers Taylor. Additionally, the show travels around the globe to find its grand homes, and these stunning looks at different locales can provide a welcome escape for viewers needing to shed the day’s experiences.
6 The Universe
there life outside of Earth? This Netflix series explores the secrets of the universe, touching on topics such as alien planets, cosmic holes, and the mysteries of the moon. These existential explorations will help you drift off into space, and then to sleep. 7 Gilmore Girls
While any TV show of this genre will do, there's something great about kicking back and watching reruns of
Gilmore Girls. Instead of letting your own worries run away with you, focus on those of Lorelai and Rory, and all the goings-on of their eccentric hometown. 8 Headspace Guide to Sleep
Netflix knows so many of us have begun using the streamer to help us sleep that they created their own seven-episode series to do just that. Made in collaboration with Vox Media and the mindfulness company Headspace, this animated series provides tips and facts, busts common myths, and leads users through guided wind-downs to help put your brain to bed.
— Sadie Gennis 9 Forensic Files
Falling asleep to true crime shows is definitely not for everyone, but for those of us who are embroiled in the genre, there is an odd sort of comfort to be found in watching
Forensic Files. The show’s reliable formula, methodical approach to casework, and the narrator’s even tone make it easy to drift off to, despite the grim subject matter. 10 Queer Eye
Queer Eye cast genuinely wants to help people improve themselves, inside and out. So let Jonathan, Tan, Bobby, Karamo, and Antoni take you to a more positive place at the end of the day. These five are the perfect soundtrack to slumber to, from Jonathan's upbeat outlook to Karamo's therapeutic one-on-one sessions to Antoni talking about avocados. 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 an accomplished engineer and craftsman to tour eight cabins transformed into pop-up hotels, and then has the duo team up to build a ninth themselves. The little homes each have their own unique theme, such as "dragon's lair" or "sea fort," and viewers can drift off learning about the craftsmanship behind them.
12 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet
To get your mind off the stresses of the day — and hopefully fall asleep quickly — throw on the revival of
Mystery Science Theater 3000 and laugh quietly to yourself as a man and his robot friends make fun of terrible movies. 13 Night on Earth
Setting itself apart from other nature docuseries,
Night on Earth focuses exclusively on wildlife after dark. As a result, it looks unlike any other nature series you’ve likely seen, filled with otherworldly shots of nocturnal creatures captured in stunning detail thanks to the show’s use of new technology. Samira Wiley provides the show’s narration, leading audiences through inspiring examinations of nature that will teach you some things before the sandman finally claims you. — Sadie Gennis 14 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 series,
Salt Fat Acid Heat. The beautifully directed travel and food series is worthy of your full attention during the day. But it also makes for the perfect background viewing at night, thanks to Nosrat’s warming charm and the series’ feel-good approach to the culinary world. 15 Schitt’s Creek
Schitt’s Creek already feels like being enveloped in a warm, loving embrace, so imagine how cozy it is to watch while cocooned under blankets and curled up in bed. This heartwarming and hilarious comedy will ensure you get a few last laughs in before bed, helping end your day on a high. — Sadie Gennis 16 Amazing Interiors Amazing Interiors shows off homes that look perfectly normal from the outside, only for you to open the doors and discover, well, amazing interiors. Like other home design shows, it has a slow pace and aspirational quality that's perfect for bedtime. 17 Moving Art
Check out the relaxing instrumentals and time-lapse photography in
Moving Art for an all-around meditative experience. This show will take you to a private island, a lush rainforest, a freezing tundra, or a hot-water spring before you finally get some sleep.
Of course, when it comes to picking the best pre-bedtime viewing, it's all about choosing something that makes you comfortable. Whether that be a soothing nature documentary, low-stakes sitcom, quaint baking show, or a timeless quiz show, there's more than enough on Netflix to watch — including a bunch of wonderful
movies to fall asleep to.
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This article was originally published on
Dec. 13, 2018