13 Soothing Netflix Shows That Will Put You Right To Sleep

Courtesy of Netflix
We're all tethered to insane schedules. Come nighttime, though, we're supposed to automatically detach from the pace of these wild lives and enjoy the reprieve of eight (or, more realistically, six) hours of sleep. Sleep is wonderful —if you can get there, that is.
For most of us, traveling to sleep-land isn't as easy as shutting our eyes and having our brains shut off, too. It takes a deliberate unwinding. Everyone has his or her own trick for falling asleep. Some listen to talk radio or podcasts; others read books until they can't keep their eyes open. Those of us who walk on the wild side, though, brave the bright light of a laptop and watch shows until we eventually doze off.
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The key to most pre-sleep effective shows is a kind of friendly, kind-hearted blandness. That means no jump scares, no sinister undertones, no gripping plot to keep you awake. These are the most soothing shows on Netflix. Cue them up and drift off.
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The Twilight Zone (1959-1954)

You are now entering the Twilight Zone. Rod Serling's famous words, spoken in his baritone, are like an introduction to a dream-state, an alternate reality. The classic TV show is a series of "what ifs" and thought experiments. What if dolls could talk and get jealous? What if aliens landed on earth? The episodes are occasionally creepy, but are also adjacent to dreams — they're an on-ramp to sleep.
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72 Cutest Animals (2016)

Not one. Not two. Not three. But 72 cutest animals. Not to say that the Animal Kingdom should be a beauty pageant, but watching a baby lemur crawl around is an unparalleled experience.
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Bob Ross: Beauty is Everywhere (1984-1994)

Let's hold a little experiment with the following hypothesis: If you watch enough Bob Ross painting tutorials before bed, you will dream you're traipsing around color-saturated, oil-painted landscapes. Keep us updated with your progress. What we can guarantee is that if you watch Ross paint long enough, you will eventually doze off.
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Slow TV: Train Ride Bergen to Oslo (2009)

So much TV today proceeds at approximately the following pace: action scandal revelation, fast fast fast. This Norwegian TV phenomenon, called "slow TV," is the antidote. Slow TV features unedited clips of things happening in real time. This particular show is a seven-hour train voyage through the Norwegian countryside.
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Slow TV: The Telemark Canal (2012)

The Telemark Canal is the 105 kilometer-long waterway that connects the town of Skien to the town of Dalen in Southern Norway. It's considered one of the most beautiful boat rides in the world. After the 11 hours and 20 minutes of this Slow TV experience, you'll be acquainted with every facet of the journey.
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Ocean Wonders (2013)

In this relaxing special, the ocean is as friendly as it is in The Little Mermaid. Essentially, there are no sharks in sight. Fish swim around coral. Long reefs sway along with the currents. Seahorses horse around. All of this is set to music right out of a new age spa. You'll be as happy as a clam.
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The Great British Bake Off: Masterclass (2016-present)

In The Great British Bake Off, the kindest people in Britain compete to bake desserts in a tent, but since everyone is so darn nice, it hardly feels like competition. Still, since each episode has an elimination at the end, the show has a degree of suspense — and that's not an ideal ingredient in a show that's supposed to put you to sleep. For a more soothing alternative, watch the show's original hosts, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, casually chat while baking elaborate desserts with ease.
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Baby Animals in the Wild (2015)

This is a given. There is nothing more comforting than watching big-eyed baby animals go about their daily lives. This 10-episode series features a lovely range of baby animals, from baby deer to baby polar bears to baby porcupines. Try to resist swooning!
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Planet Earth II (2016)

Sir David Attenborough has made a career of bringing the most extraordinary facets of the natural world right to your living room. By showcasing the majesty of natural selection and all of nature's quirks, Planet Earth II will make you feel awe-struck and appreciative to be on the planet. Attenborough's soothing voice will help put you to sleep.
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Chef's Table: France (2016)

The Netflix original series Chef's Table ventures into the kitchens — and mindsets — of some of the world's most renowned chefs. Chef's Table: France is particularly relaxing if you like French accents.
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Moving Art (2017-present)

Moving Art is like one long, beautiful screen-saver. Each episode of the show is devoted to highlighting the beauty of a different realm of the natural world, from forests to oceans. The camera soars above seascapes and zooms in on flowers with classical music in the background. It is the quintessential Netflix lullaby.
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Kim's Convenience (2017-present)

Maybe you need to laugh a little before dozing off. In that case, Kim's Convenience is as low-key and heart-warming a sitcom as they come. The Canadian show follows the four members of the Kim family's day-to-day lives. The parents own a convenience store; their daughter is pursuing a photography degree; and their estranged son works at a car rental company.
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The World's Most Extraordinary Homes (2017-present)

The most important ingredient for a good night's sleep: coziness. While exploring the world's most fascinating homes, the hosts of this show — architect Piers Taylor and actress Caroline Quentin — evoke coziness in their casual banter and sheer enthusiasm about the spaces we call home. You'll get some serious real estate envy while watching.
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