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20 Best Shows On Netflix To Fall Asleep To – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

20 Best Shows On Netflix To Fall Asleep To

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Looking for a relaxing way to wind down before bed? Look no further than Netflix. While many of the streaming platform’s most popular shows are high-intensity dramas, there are plenty of options for those who want something more soothing to watch before drifting off to sleep.

The best Netflix shows to fall asleep to come in all shapes and sizes, from insightful documentaries to classic sitcoms and reality shows. What they all have in common is their ability to serve as background noise while viewers try to catch some Z’s.

For fans of endurance sports, Tour de France: Unchained offers an in-depth look at the world-famous road bike race. Meanwhile, Arnold delves into the life and career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, with the actor himself providing soothing narration. Physical 100, a Korean reality show featuring 100 athletes competing in a series of challenges, is perfect for those who enjoy a bit of competition but don’t want anything too intense.

If you’re not a fan of sports, there are still plenty of options. Formula 1: Drive to Survive offers a behind-the-scenes look at the world of racing, while The Last Dance takes a nostalgic look back at Michael Jordan’s time with the Chicago Bulls. Roman Empire, a docudrama about Ancient Rome, combines historical events with talking heads for a relaxing yet informative viewing experience.

For those looking for something a bit more educational, How to Get Rich and Our Universe offer valuable insights into finance and the universe, respectively. And for fans of mind-altering substances, How to Change Your Mind explores the history and potential benefits of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline.

No matter what your interests, there’s a Netflix show out there that’s perfect for winding down before bed. So grab some popcorn, settle in, and let these soothing shows lull you to sleep.

The best Netflix shows to fall asleep is a roster that’s comprised of a mixed bag of documentaries, classic sitcoms and television shows, reality series, and similar other content. They’re not necessarily boring shows, and some are even highly compelling and insightful. Found among both the lowest and highest-rated Netflix series, what these shows have in common is that they’re all conducive to play in the background while audiences try to sleep, which has become an increasingly common way for subscribers to use the streaming platform.


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While many of the best TV shows on Netflix such as Narcos, The Witcher, or Beef typically offer high-intensity action and drama, this isn’t always what subscribers need. Sometimes, viewers just want to relax, and Netflix has several shows that can be as soothing and relaxing as ASMR or simple white noise videos. From docuseries like The Great Robbery Of Brazil’s Central Bank and Night on Earth, to beloved sitcoms like Seinfeld and Community, there’s no shortage of shows that can easily serve as background noise while audiences drift off to sleep. For those looking for the perfect series to stream as they lie sleepless in bed, here are 50 of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to.

Related: 10 ASMR-Friendly Shows That You Can Stream Now (And Finish When You Wake Up)



Tour De France: Unchained (2023-present)

medium close up of Tour de France biker

Tour de France: Unchained is a docuseries about the most famous and prestigious endurance road bike race in the world. It’s an in-depth look at the athletes and teams that compete in the Tour de France, revealing the preparation and sacrifice necessary to even be eligible for participation. All this makes it one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for viewers completely uninterested in endurance sports, or even those who prefer mountain bikes over road bikes. In addition, audiences who need to read the subtitles for when athletes and coaches speak in French may find Tour de France: Unchained especially sleep-inducing.

Arnold (2023)

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Arnold on Netflix

On one hand, Arnold tells the compelling story of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rise from bodybuilding champ to A-list Hollywood celebrity and politician – a deep dive into how the man became a household name. On the other hand, Arnold is one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for its overall relaxed tone and intimate feel. Even when combined with scenes from Arnold Schwarzenegger action movies or his most controversial moments, Schwarzenegger’s deep and monotonic voice as he tells stories and spouts motivational wisdom may prove to be the ultimate sleep aid for some viewers. This is especially true for those who don’t really find the lives of celebrities to be particularly interesting.

Physical 100 (2023)

Choo Sung-hoon from Physical 100. He is standing with his eyes closed in front of a few other competitors, wearing a gray tee shirt with a mic hanging around his neck.

Physical 100 is a reality show that takes 100 of South Korea’s most driven athletes and makes them face off against each other in a series of individual and team competitions, with each succeeding challenge more physically and mentally difficult than the last. The reason why Physical 100 is among the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to is because of its middle episodes, where the sheer number of participants results in montages of repeated challenges. Moreover, after one team already shows how a seemingly impossible task can be accomplished, viewers will be tempted to just fast-forward to the results for the other teams – if they can do it before falling asleep.

Related: 5 Best Physical 100 Episodes Ranked

Formula 1: Drive To Survive (2019-2023)

racing cars on a racetrack in Formula 1 Drive to Survive

Formula 1: Drive To Survive is all about the fastest cars in the world, the drivers and teams that race them, and their families. It’s actually a pretty exciting docuseries about the coolest motorsport on the planet. Documentaries like Formula 1: Drive To Survive are some of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for audiences with zero interest in car racing. Moreover, while the sights and sounds of car engines can be thrilling to some, others may find them to be the perfect bedtime ASMR. While it’s peppered with scenes showing the dangers of F1 racing, even this can have a similar effect as when viewers play true-crime documentaries to sleep.

The Last Dance (2020)

Michael Jordan in The Last Dance

The Last Dance is an inside look at how Michael Jordan ran the Chicago Bulls with an iron fist and cemented a legacy that remains unchallenged in the world of professional basketball. Hailed by many as the greatest sports documentary ever, it may seem counterintuitive to watch The Last Dance for falling asleep. However, it’s one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for those nostalgic about the NBA in the ’90s. Though intense at times, The Last Dance is also filled with heartfelt moments that look back at the era with fondness. To the right viewer, this documentary can be the perfect sleep companion.

Related: Last Dance: Everything The Michael Jordan Documentary Leaves Out

McGregor Forever (2023)

Conor McGregor in McGregor Forever

McGregor Forever is an inside look at how the controversial MMA star fell from grace, as well as his rise back to the top of the UFC’s roster. To those who love the sport, Conor McGregor’s narration of his journey and notable events in his career can be exhilarating, as McGregor is known for his engaging banter. However, McGregor Forever actually doesn’t include much of the man’s trademark trash talking and witty remarks. Rather, even amid the bright lights and wildest reveals in McGregor Forever, it’s actually a somewhat somber meditation on greatness and how McGregor navigates being the ultimate heel, which gives it a place alongside the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to.

Roman Empire (2016-2019)

roman empire

Each of the 3 seasons of the docudrama Roman Empire focuses on a different emperor: Commodus, Caesar, and Caligula. All seasons of the show are also filled with blood and political intrigue. At the same time, however, the combination of talking heads discussing Ancient Rome with dramatized historical events makes Roman Empire one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to. The sets are epic and impressive, but also dark, gloomy, and relaxing to the eyes. Moreover, with the respective futures of each infamous emperor known to history, there aren’t any real cliffhangers to keep viewers awake, despite most events in the series being hyper-dramatic.

How To Get Rich (2023)

Ramit Sethi on How To Get Rich 2023 Netflix

Finance expert Ramit Sethi spends time with real people in order to teach them the best strategies for saving, accumulating, and keeping wealth. How To Get Rich is an educational and entertaining series that’s all about financial management. It’s also one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to because of its main topics: credit card debt, real estate, retirement, multi-level marketing schemes, and everything in between. Though the start of each episode is always exciting, the predictably positive endings give How To Get Rich a decidedly sleep-friendly vibe throughout.

Our Universe (2022)

Our Universe promo still Netflix

Narrated by actor Morgan Freeman, Our Universe combines wildlife footage and CGI depictions of cosmic events to give viewers a stunning look at the planet’s natural history. This includes events like the birth of our sun, the rise of certain species on Earth, and how our planet was changed by meteors. Our Universe is definitely one of the most awesome and best space documentaries on Netflix. However, while the execution is unquestionably epic, Our Universe is also one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to, particularly for how it combines Freeman’s hypnotically deep voice with gorgeous and relaxing visuals of natural occurrences.

How To Change Your Mind (2022)

Netflix docuseries How to Change Your Mind title card

Michael Pollan, the New York Times best-selling author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “This Is Your Mind On Plants” is also the host of How To Change Your Mind. The docuseries’ four episodes are each centered on a mind-altering drug, namely LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, and mescaline. How To Change Your Mind explores not only the history of these substances, but also the huge potential of psychedelics in terms of improving mental health. Combining trippy visuals, archive footage, and traditional documentary storytelling techniques, How To Change Your Mind is one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to. Its optimistic outlook may be particularly helpful to those suffering from insomnia as a symptom of mental health problems.

Pepsi, Where’s My Jet? (2020)

scene from Pepsi Wheres My Jet on Netflix

In 1996, Pepsi’s ad campaign claimed that anyone who amassed 7,000,000 Pepsi points could claim one of the most advanced military jets of the time. After college student John Leonard somehow bought the millions of Pepsi cans necessary to secure the points, Pepsi claimed that the ad was obviously a joke. Leonard and his friend Todd Hoffman then engaged Pepsi in a legal battle that forever changed how products are advertised on television. Pepsi, Where’s My Jet? is a fun and thrilling ride into John Leonard’s story. Yet, it’s also among the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for essentially being a documentary about a long-drawn-out legal case.

Chimp Empire (2023)

scene from Netflix Chimp Empire documentary

Narrated by the calming voice of actor Mahershala Ali, Chimp Empire unravels the social structure of humanity’s closest relatives in the animal kingdom: chimpanzees. While the power struggles between the most ambitious chimps can be quite intense, Chimp Empire is actually a humanistic look at one of the most violent species on the planet. Moreover, Chimp Empire is also one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for its mesmerizing camerawork, from incredible emotional closeups of chimpanzees to the beautiful forests in which they dwell. Combined with Ali’s voice, Chimp Empire can be a great nature documentary to stream before bedtime.

Queen Cleopatra (2023)

queen-cleopatra-netflix-adele-james

As its title implies, Queen Cleopatra is a docudrama about the most famous African queen in the history of the world. From her ascension to the throne of Egypt and relationship with Julius Caesar, to Cleopatra’s reign and her eventual death, Queen Cleopatra examines her role in ancient history and why so much of it has been forgotten or revised by Hollywood. While the viewpoints of the experts interviewed are not only valid but highly compelling, Queen Cleopatra is one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to because of its largely traditional docudrama style. Despite the inherent drama of Cleopatra’s life, there’s also something deeply relaxing about her true story finally being told.

Related: Queen Cleopatra True Story: 5 Things Netflix’s Controversial Show Leaves Out

Dark Tourist (2018)

David Farrier in Dark Tourist Netflix

David Farrier, the titular Dark Tourist, risks his life and sanity to explore the curious phenomenon of dark tourism, which involves visiting places in the world typically avoided for often valid safety reasons. This includes Farrier visiting radioactive places in Japan, interviewing serial killer Charles Manson’s associates, and even going on a Pablo Escobar-inspired tour in the infamous drug lord’s Columbia hometown. In particular, Dark Tourist is one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for its true crime flavor and unique premise. Those new to the show but have dark sensibilities will find it to be familiar and comforting for bedtime watching.

Alien Worlds (2020)

Alien Worlds Netflix

Alien Worlds is a sci-fi inspired docufiction series that proposes a radical way of imagining alien life. Instead of science fiction, Alien Worlds uses evolutionary observations on Earth to glean how certain exoplanets – ones outside our solar system – could evolve their own forms of organic life. The CGI depictions of alien life and the exoplanets themselves are astounding and beautiful – but also cinematically calming. Likewise, the expert commentary from astronomers and biologists are deeply educational – but can also be highly sleep-inducing. For anyone who likes unusual documentaries, Alien Worlds is definitely one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to.

Abstract: The Art Of Design (2017-2019)

Ruth Carter in Abstract Art of Design Netflix

A documentary and love letter to the art of functional beauty, Abstract: The Art of Design showcases a different designer with each episode. From the illustrations of children’s book author Christoph Neumann and the colorful costumes designed by Ruth Carter, to the biology-inspired architecture of Neri Oxman, Abstract: The Art of Design is visual ASMR at its very best. Even though the works of each featured designer are consistently breathtaking, they are precisely what makes Abstract: The Art of Design one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to. For viewers in search of the perfect eye candy to stream at night, this may be the perfect documentary.

Madoff: The Monster Of Wall Street (2023)

Madoff Netflix documentary

Madoff: The Monster Of Wall Street is the definitive true-crime docuseries about the man who’s become synonymous with the Ponzi scheme: Bernie Madoff. From how Bernie and Peter Madoff spearheaded the formation of NASDAQ, to how Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme eventually unraveled and led to his arrest, Madoff: The Monster Of Wall Street is an exciting ride into the life of one of history’s biggest con men. Executed in the style of a traditional docudrama, it’s one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to, especially for those who’ve already developed a habit of dozing off to true-crime documentaries. The financial jargon also certainly helps for this purpose.

High Score (2020)

High Score promo art featuring 16-bit-inspired art of the logo and an arcade cabinet.

High Score is a passionate deep dive into the history of how video games took over the world. It features animated pixel-art segments juxtaposed with stories and commentary from people like Space Invaders creator Tomohiro Nishikado, Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, Sonic the Hedgehog gameplay designer Hirokazu Yasuhara, and Wolfenstein and Doom series creator John Romero. High Score is one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for being a truly nostalgic documentary on the classic video games that raised a generation. Even those who didn’t grow up playing these games are bound to find comfort in this lighthearted look into global gaming history.

Related: High Score: Every Game Referenced In The Opening Credits Animation

Down To Earth With Zac Efron (2020-2022)

20 Best Shows On Netflix To Fall Asleep To

Actor Zac Efron and wellness expert Darin Olien travel around the world to gain new life experiences, investigate green energy, and promote sustainable living practices. From the renewable energy facilities at Iceland’s natural hot springs and the water systems in Paris, France, to an off-the-grid eco-village committed to sustainability, Down to Earth With Zac Efron is brimming with optimism and positivity. While Down to Earth With Zac Efron isn’t afraid to shy away from examining destructive reality, it’s also focused on the existing solutions to development aggression. This makes it one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for those in dire need of positivity amid the world’s dark realities.

Related: 10 Awesome Facts About Netflix’s Down To Earth With Zac Efron

MH370: The Plane That Disappeared (2023)

archive footage from MH370 The Plane That Disappeared on Netflix

MH370: The Plane That Disappeared is a documentary on the mysterious disappearance of the titular Malaysian plane and its over 200 passengers and crew. Examining all known evidence of the said incident, MH370: The Plane That Disappeared combines news footage, dramatizations of known events, and expert interviews to try and understand what really happened during one of this century’s biggest mysteries. Despite the intense story behind flight MH370, MH370: The Plane That Disappeared still counts among the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for its somber and measured approach to a modern mystery that has remained unresolved until today.

Full Swing (2023)

Full Swing Netflix

The high-pressure world of professional golf gets the spotlight in the sports documentary Full Swing. Looking into the lives of pro golfers such as Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Scottie Scheffler, and Ian Poulter, Full Swing reveals the necessary preparation, unavoidable risks, and unpredictability involved with joining the PGA Tour. Although Full Swing is an intense documentary that shows how a single swing can change a person’s entire career, it’s also one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for anyone with no interest in the sport. Even those who actually like golf may find the relaxing setting and mechanics of the game to be conducive for a slow night of streaming.

Train Wreck: Woodstock ’99 (2022)

a port-a-potty reading

In 1999, what began as a peaceful ode to the spirit of Woodstock eventually devolved into one of the worst-ever events for live music in the history of the U.S. Train Wreck: Woodstock ’99 tells the story of how this happened, combining archive footage of the event and interviews with musicians who were there, such as Jonathan Davis of Korn, Gavin Rossdale of Bush, and Jewel. While the poorly organized event resulted in massive chaos, some audiences are actually relaxed by the notion of watching train wrecks play out. This is definitely one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for audiences who find comfort in strange places.

Age Of Samurai: Battle For Japan (2021)

scene from Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan, episode 5. c. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021

A documentary series about the 16th-century Japan, Age Of Samurai: Battle For Japan is centered around one of the most romanticized eras in Japanese history. The series culminates in how the daimyo or feudal warlords of Japan were eventually unified and dominated by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the 250-year-long Tokugawa Shogunate. Despite the tumultuous politics of the era and the violent reenactments of crucial historical events, Age of Samurai: Battle For Japan is very much a traditional documentary that also utilizes interviews and voiceovers from experts on the era. For this reason, the docuseries can be incredibly relaxing, and is one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for history lovers.

Island Of The Sea Wolves (2022)

wolf in Island of the Sea Wolves

Island of the Sea Wolves is a nature documentary specifically about the animals and ecosystem of Vancouver Island. Centered around the titular wolves and bald eagles, Island of the Sea Wolves reveals how even the greatest predators in the animal kingdom must forage for food to survive the harshest months. Although the documentary doesn’t shy away from showing the brutality of life in the wild, the treatment is fairly lighthearted, and the many young animals featured in it also lend to Island of the Sea Wolves being one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to. It certainly also helps that the docuseries is narrated by the soothing voice of actor Will Arnett.

Tiger King (2021)

Joe Exotic on Tiger King

One of Netflix’s most notorious documentaries, Tiger King is a disturbing true-crime docuseries about America’s most prolific big cat facility owners and proprietors. The most infamous of these proprietors is of course Joe Exotic, whose dangerous exploits and sheer charisma have garnered a cult following despite Tiger King revealing proof of his crimes. That said, the overall slow and long-drawn-out pace of the docuseries makes it one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to. Moreover, though interviews with expert charmers like Joe Exotic and Doc Antle are compelling and not exactly conducive to sleep, much of the series which focuses on other big cat owners is actually mostly boring to watch.

Salt Fat Acid Heat (2018)

Salt Fat Acid Heat promo poster Netflix

Salt Fat Acid Heat is a cooking docuseries based on the book of the same name by author, chef, and podcaster Samin Nosrat, who also hosts the show. The show’s four episodes each examine a titular facet of culinary greatness – the refinement of fats and oils in Italy, how traditional Japanese cuisine uses salt, acid in cooking at the Yucatan Peninsula, and the importance of heat at Nosrat’s hometown in California. Apart from featuring some of the most well-produced cooking ASMR, Salt Fat Acid Heat is also a travelogue that can leave sleepy viewers with the best feelings to bring along in their dreams.

Seinfeld and Rogen on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

The title of this show pretty much describes the premise perfectly, with Jerry Seinfeld picking up a different comedian for a coffee date with each episode. Though it seems silly to count this show among the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee isn’t just about jokes. The jokes do consistently land, but so do the insights about life, career, and family. Moreover, those who love ASMR videos are bound to be relaxed by the gratuitous closeups of coffee being made in different ways. Though it’s technically a comedy show, it’s also kind of Jerry Seinfeld’s podcast, and the casual conversations may just be what some insomniacs need.

Abed Afraid of Daylight Savings in Community

Troy, Abed, Britta, Annie, Pierce, Shirley, and Jeff form a study group at the local community college of Greendale. This fairly normal premise later evolved into one of the most revolutionary comedies of the 21st century. Those looking for something to stream while trying to sleep but haven’t seen Community may want to avoid it altogether – it’s quite easy to binge-watch while losing track of the time. However, those viewing Community episodes for the second, third, or fourth times know that it’s one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to. Despite the cast’s thrilling antics, there’s just something very comfort-inducing about watching the familiar ensemble being up to their old tricks.

The Midnight Gospel (2020)

1687769808 492 20 Best Shows On Netflix To Fall Asleep To

Early interviews from The Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast are set to gorgeous psychedelic animation by Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward in The Midnight Hour. Comedian and podcaster Duncan Trussell voices Clancy Gilroy, a “spacecaster” from the Chromatic Ribbon dimension who uses an unlicensed bio-organic multiverse simulator to travel through different planets. Those that Clancy encounters on these strange worlds serve as the guests of his spacecast, with every episode directly derived from Trussell’s real interviews. The combination of Pendleton Ward’s strange but wholesome animation style and Trussell’s long-form reflections on life, time, and space result in one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to.

Disjointed (2017-2018)

Image from Disjointed

Cannabis advocate, user, and entrepreneur Ruth Feldman (Kathy Bates) and her son Travis (Aaron Moten) run a Los Angeles cannabis dispensary in the sitcom Disjointed. The show actually touches on serious issues such as the medical benefits of marijuana and even addresses misconceptions about stoners, making it unusually compelling for a sitcom. At the same time, most of these issues are tackled through lighthearted scenes, and further balanced by a laugh track and other sitcom staples. It’s definitely one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to, especially for those who partake in the bud and may find comfort in marijuana activists finally getting fair representation in the sitcom genre.

Absurd Planet (2020)

close up of a frog on Absurd Planet Netflix

Narrated by Mother Nature herself – played by Afi Ekulona – Absurd Planet is a nature documentary with an immense dose of quirk and sheer natural absurdity. While Absurd Planet is arguably as educational as any docuseries focused on nature, it sets itself apart with hilarious voice-overs for animals describing their respective absurd plights in the circle of life. Though this results in some laugh-out-loud moments, Absurd Planet remains one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for its lighthearted approach to brutal natural patterns. Those who love science but are also looking to watch something funny will find this docuseries extremely relaxing.

Unsolved Mysteries (2020-Present)

Robert Stack in the foreground and the title of the show in the background in Unsolved Mysteries.

Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries is a reboot of the docuseries of the same name which ran from 1987 to 2010 on network and cable television. It’s one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for viewers who’ve developed the increasingly common habit of watching true-crime or mystery shows to relax. Among the mysteries tackled include the still-disputed circumstances of the disappearance and death of Rey Rivera, terrifying UFO encounters from 1969, and even the accounts of those who encountered spirits in the wake of the 2011 tsunami in Tokyo.

Our Planet (2019-2023)

A tiger walking on Snow in the middle of a forest in Our Planet.

Our Planet is one of the more soothing shows to watch on Netflix. Not only that, but this program is actually educational, as well, in addition to being beautiful to watch. Narrated by everybody’s favorite historian, David Attenborough, Our Planet teaches viewers about conservation issues while showing animals in their natural environments. Audiences are also shown the impact of climate change and the other actions of humans on the planet in a calm, informative way. Though some viewers may find it to be too compelling to be conducive to slumber, Attenborough’s relaxing narration and the overall storytelling style makes Our Planet one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to.

The Great British Baking Show (2010–Present)

Two people baking together in front of a counter in The Great British Baking Show.

When it comes to calm, Netflix can’t do much better than The Great British Baking Show. Fans of most American cooking shows are usually greeted with aggressive and thrilling scenes — sabotages, challenges, and cutthroat competitors. These are all good to wake up to, but not so much for lulling viewers to sleep. The opposite is true of The Great British Baking Show, one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for those who like competitive reality series. The chefs are practiced and even-keeled, the little game show “tricks” played are minor, and the challenges are really just about the baking and the ensuing playful banter between those featured.

Night On Earth (2020)

The title screen for Night on Earth showing a glowing frog on a leaf.

While humans are sleeping, creatures all over the earth are up to all sorts of nighttime nonsense. While some animals sleep through the night like people do, plenty of animals are nocturnal and get up to their best shenanigans at night. The calming nature documentary series Night on Earth and its narrator, Samira Wiley, take viewers from the “Moonlit Plains” (episode one) to “Jungle Nights” (episode three) and even to “Sleepless Cities” (episode five). There isn’t much more soothing to fall asleep to than nocturnal animals being adorable in low light. This is why, for some audiences, Night on Earth ranks highly among the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to.

Queer Eye (2018–Present)

The cast of Queer Eye toast on the couch.

Of all the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to, Queer Eye is where things begin to deviate a bit. While some may argue that Queer Eye can be a high-energy show, as well as an emotional one and that that keeps some people awake, there are many elements to Queer Eye that are just as relaxing as ASMR. For one, the Fab Five are always gentle and kind to one another and with their guests on the show. For another, it can be incredibly soothing to listen to five men calmly and gently helping people course-correct and live their best lives.

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman (2008-Present)

Letterman and Billie Eilish in My Next Guest Needs No Introduction

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman is the calm, laid back cousin of Letterman’s Late Night shows. Whether Dave is interviewing someone onstage or inside the guest’s own home, the setting itself is always conducive for relaxation. Dave’s clever quips always come at the right moments, and he retains his uncanny ability to make guests feel comfortable. In My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Dave has shared stories with the likes of Billie Eilish, Barack Obama, Jerry Seinfeld, Robert Downey Jr., Kim Kardashian West, and Lizzo. However big the guest, David Letterman always maintains a chill vibe that makes this one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to.

Chef’s Table (2015–Present)

A man fixing food on a chopping board in Chef's Table.

For foodies who aren’t interested in a competition show to fall asleep to — even one as mild as The Great British Baking Show — there’s Chef’s Table. This show was Netflix’s self-proclaimed very first documentary series. There are six “volumes,” rather than seasons, and each focuses on one specific chef. Each chef tells the audience their cooking philosophies and their strategies while the documentary’s heavily cinematographic visuals show beautiful shots of their food being prepared and served. It’s one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for viewers interested in the culinary process, but not in the high-pressure situations seen in most cooking shows.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (2017-2018)

Jonah Ray as Jonah Heston in Mystery Science Theater 3000 2017 reboot

The official crowd-funded revival of the original late ’80s show led by series creator Joel Hodgson, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a film review series with a huge helping of comedy and sci-fi. Starring comedians Jonah Rey, Felicia Day, and Patton Oswalt, the reboot/revival basically picks up where the original 1989 series left off. Jonah Rey plays Jonah Heston, a man trapped by two mad scientists who force him to watch B-movies alongside sentient robot companions in order to study Heston’s reactions. It’s hilarious and entertaining, but relaxing enough to deserve a place among the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to.

The Hidden Lives of Pets (2022)

Choco lab in The Hidden Lives Of Pets

The Hidden Lives of Pets is the ultimate feel-good docuseries, one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for animal lovers. From dogs exploring the world with their thrill-seeking owners, to the way parrots around the world have been found dancing to music, The Hidden Lives of Pets celebrates the intelligence, communication skills, super senses, and athletics of some of the most endearing animals. For viewers in search of a relaxing show that will give them warm, lighthearted feelings just before bedtime, there’s nothing like The Hidden Lives of Pets.

Headspace Guide Collection (2021)

A cartoon blob holding its blanket on the bed and smiling in Headspace Guide to Sleep.

The Headspace Guide Collection consists of three mini-series that are designed to help audiences relax and learn more about the different aspects of unwinding. Viewers can choose from Headspace Guide to Meditation, the interactive short Headspace Unwind Your Mind, and, of course, Headspace Guide to Sleep. Decidedly one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to, each Headspace short is voiced by a calm and soothing narrator who explains crucial concepts around the specific topics, like how phones can negatively impact sleep patterns. At the end of each episode, the narrator actually guides viewers through a meditative experience that’s meant to help them meditate or fall asleep. It’s informational ASMR at its best.

Life In Colour (2021)

Someone holding a gadget as he looks at a smiling David Attenborough in Life in Colour.

Nature lovers looking for a show to binge on Netflix may want to check out Life in Colour, a British-Australian miniseries that highlights how plants and animals use colors in the wild. It’s narrated by David Attenborough, which alone makes Life in Colour one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to, as Attenborough has become known for his authoritative yet extremely calming voice. Viewers who stay awake long enough to see parts of the show will be stunned by the incredible cinematography that doesn’t shy away from extreme closeups of flora and fauna. The grand but comforting background music will lull anyone to sleep faster than they might expect.

Explained (2018–Present)

A cartoon woman holding up a credit card in Netflix's Explained.

Explained is a show that started out as a web series on YouTube that delves into a variety of topics and gives audiences a better understanding of different concepts. These topics can range from music to political correctness, with each episode giving concrete examples and entertaining visuals. Every episode of the show has a guest narrator, but their voices are somewhat similar since they all speak with a friendly yet informative tone. The sound effects can also often be as satisfying as a typical ASMR video and aren’t too harsh that they would distract viewers who are trying to fall asleep.

The Toys That Made Us (2017–2019)

The title screen for The Toys That Made Us.

The Toys That Made Us is among the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to for audiences who want to feel a bit nostalgic before bedtime. The documentary presents a deep dive into the most popular kids’ toys from the 70s to the 90s, detailing the rise and fall of iconic products like Barbie and G.I. Joe. The episodes have whimsical music that’s reminiscent of a slow day at the fair. Aside from the soothing interviews with various creators, there are also ASMR-worthy sound bites from factories. Viewers can listen to their favorite toys from their childhood being made in the background as they succumb to slumber.

We Are The Champions (2020)

People running down a hill chasing a wheel of cheese in We Are The Champions.

From chili eating to dog dancing, We Are The Champions features quirky and bizarre competitions from all over the world. Each episode walks viewers through the rigorous process of setting up the contests and shows how the motivated participants hone their skills to prepare for them. There’s an atmosphere of happiness and focus throughout the show, as contestants talk about how much they enjoy the competitions. Even with its interesting premise, We Are the Champions is still one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to. It’s a feel-good docuseries with a predictable format, which makes it easy to tune it out and use it as background noise.

History 101 (2020-2022)

Santa and McDonald's in History 101.

Viewers who can fall asleep to series like Explained will likely find that History 101 can have the same effect. The educational documentary series features ten episodes covering an array of subjects, which include everything from the fast-food trend to the technology being used to study genetics. Each episode features archival footage, interviews, and colorful graphics, all weaved together by the narrator’s relaxing, if not slightly monotonous voice. It’s interesting enough to pay attention when one is awake, but it’s just as easy to relegate as background noise in the evening, which is why it’s one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to.

Worst Roommate Ever (2022)

A man looking back angrily in Worst Roommate Ever

Worst Roommate Ever is a five-part show covering four different stories about murderous roommates. It explores the life stories and experiences of the violent criminals and their unsuspecting victims, while also recreating crucial moments from their crimes through animated segments. However, despite being a show that covers crime, there are no jarring sounds or distracting fast-paced scenes. This is consistent throughout Worst Roommate Ever, making it one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to. Plus, audiences can rest easy knowing they (hopefully) don’t have to deal with roommates like the ones featured on the show.

Seinfeld (1989–1998)

George laughs at Jerry's new haircut at his apartment in Seinfeld

Known for being “a show about nothing,” Seinfeld is a beloved classic that revolves around the titular character’s life in his Upper West Side apartment in New York. Those who are long-time fans of the sitcom likely still rewatch Seinfeld episodes that never get old for fun or just for a blast from the past. The show’s rewatchability is what makes it one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to, as viewers who have seen the series before will have no problem tuning it out. There’s also something about its iconic characters and outdated laugh track that can transport fans back to their childhood and evoke those sleep-inducing feelings of nostalgia and coziness.

The Great Robbery Of Brazil’s Central Bank (2022)

A hole with money in The Great Robbery Of Brazil's Central Bank.

The Great Robbery of Brazil’s Central Bank is a recently released Netflix docuseries about a legendary heist in Northeastern Brazil. The thieves took millions in cash after digging a tunnel that extended for hundreds of meters, from their fake store to the bank’s vault. Viewers may find the heist fascinating at first, but it’s only the first episode that’s truly exciting. The rest of the show details how the police manage to track down the robbers one by one, mostly shown through talking heads and silent reenactments. Combined with how some viewers easily get tired reading subtitles, this is one of the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to.

Moving Art (2014)

A poster for Moving art featuring the title and director.

Moving Art is a spectacular nature documentary that seems as if it was made specifically for people trying to relax by escaping into the great outdoors. With three seasons currently available on Netflix, the series takes audiences everywhere from the warm beaches of Tahiti to the calming hot springs of Japan. There’s no narrator and no distractions, as each 30-minute episode is mostly composed of wide-angle shots of stunning locations high up in the mountains or below the seas. Alongside the meditative music, it is one of the most calming documentaries on the platform today, and definitely among the best Netflix shows to fall asleep to.

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