If you’ve been scrolling through your Netflix queue in the middle of the night, you’re not alone.
Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, and the war on reproductive rights, society can feel like a waking nightmare. No one would blame you for overlooking your best judgment and finding comfort wherever you can. Yes, falling asleep with the TV on isn’t “great” for us. (Blue light, we know.)
Still, it’s been a help during rough times. So, while we’re not recommending you pick up this habit, we are happy to help those of you who are already doing it. Better than counting sheep, by a wide margin, here are 10 of the best shows on Netflix to fall asleep to, ranked from least to most soothing.
10. Derry Girls
The Derry legends. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix
I cannot be the only person completely enchanted by the voices of the Derry Girls. Set in ’90s Northern Ireland, this heartwarming portrayal of teenage friendship is certainly the rowdiest selection on this list — so if you really need to sleep, the show shouldn’t be your first pick. But if you think you could do with a few laughs before drifting off, look no further than this bunch. They’re the best.
9. Queer Eye
Five cheers for the Fab Five. Credit: Ilana Panich-Linsman / Netflix
If you want to get the most out ofQueer Eye, you should definitely pay full attention to each and every minute of this delightful reality series. But if you’re rewatching the show like us, feel free to doze off mid-hero narrative. Journey with “The Fab 5” to see the series’ lucky participants master self-love through grooming, cooking, fashion, interior design, and whatever Karamo Brown has been up to lately. It’s just lovely.
8. Life in Color with David Attenborough
So. Much. Color. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix
There are few voices more soothing than David Attenborough’s, and there are few visuals more soothing than the beauty of nature. In Life in Color with David Attenborough, you get both! Attenborough guides us through the different uses the animal kingdom has for color in this three-part docuseries, which features truly glorious footage — and beautiful colors, of course. —Belen Edwards, Entertainment Reporter
Cuteness overload. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix
Few things are as spectacularly infectious as the joy of little kids. In Netflix’s Babies, documentarians observe a whole bunch of cuties during their first years of life— examining how these tiny humans learn, grow, and explore our world. If you find babies cute, you’ll love this show. But fair warning, you may struggle to sleep through the night if you don’t put your TV on a timer. You know, with the crying and all.
Oh to live in Hilda’s world. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix
You should definitely give Hildayour full attention, but once you’ve made your way through this charming animated show, it’s one you’ll want to come back to over and over for warm fuzzy comfort. Hilda (voiced by Bella Ramsey) is a young explorer whose neighbors just happen to be creatures from folklore — elves, trolls, rat kings, and more. From its adorable animation style to its all-around cozy vibe, Hilda is an excellent watch for when you’re awake or for when you want to be lulled off to dreams of gentle adventure. —B.E.
5. Night on Earth
The majestic scenery of a good nature documentary always pairs well with a nap. Night on Earth, narrated by Orange Is the New Black’s Samira Wiley, is an especially good TV choice as it documents what many other species are up to while we’re all in bed. It’s beautiful but a little touchy with volume, so keep this one on low lest you be surprised by a roar or growl.
4. The Mind, Explained
Generally speaking, all of the Explained docuseries are good picks for falling asleep. The episodes are evenly paced, engaging but not overly so, and easy to start over should you nod off and decide you want to catch it at a later time. In the order of this reporter’s personal experience, the Explained series from most to least easy to fall asleep to are: The Mind, Sex(opens in a new tab), the main Explained(opens in a new tab) series, and then…Coronavirus(opens in a new tab). (Yeah, I don’t recommend that one. Not for sleeping, anyway.)
3. Grace & Frankie
Lily Tomlin + Jane Fonda = perfection. Credit: Saeed Adyani / Netflix
Let these two fierce, fearless, fabulous females guide you into a relaxing slumber. Join Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as the titular Grace & Frankie, plus Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston, June Diane Raphael, Ethan Embry, Baron Vaughn, and Brooklyn Decker in the warmest, most loving sitcom available on Netflix. Nothing says comfort TV like a half hour with the Hanson-Bergsteins.
2. Get Organized with The Home Edit
Consider this closet organized. Credit: Rob Liggins / Netflix
Bask in the satisfaction of symmetry, order, and all things categorization with this home-makeover show, new to Netflix as of Sept. 9 and led by the ladies of The Home Edit. A cheery, less philosophical Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, Get Organized follows professional organizers Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin as they change lives (typically with stuff from The Container Store).
1. The Great British Baking Show
I would like to eat everything on that table. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Cooking shows are the best genre of television to fall asleep to, bar none. The mouth-watering visuals, inviting sounds, and typically cheery talent form a cocoon of comforting content, perfect for drifting off to Snoozeville. (Cooking shows are so ideally suited to falling asleep, we have a whole list dedicated to that specific streaming need.) If you’re looking for the best of the best, go with none other than The Great British Baking Show. Sweet dreams, bakers.