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8 comforting and relaxing Netflix shows perfect for falling asleep to

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If you’ve been scrolling through your Netflix queue in the middle of the night lately, you’re not alone. 

2020 has been unbelievably stressful, what with the global pandemic, the raging fires, the presidential election, and every other nightmare our society is contending with. For many of us, that’s meant overlooking our best judgment and finding comfort wherever we can. Yes, falling asleep with the TV on isn’t “great” for us. (Blue light, we know.

Still, it’s been a comfort in a year with relatively few to offer. 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 8 of the best shows on Netflix to fall asleep to, ranked from least to most soothing. 

Sleep tight, buddy.

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.

How to watch: Derry Girls is now streaming on Netflix.

If you want to get the most out of Queer Eye, then you should definitely pay full attention to each and every minute of this delightful reality series. Now, if you’ve already gotten the most out of these makeovers and are rewatching the show like us, then 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.

How to watch: Queer Eye is now streaming on Netflix.

6. Babies

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.

How to watch: Babies is now streaming on Netflix.

5. Night on Earth

The majestic scenery of a good nature documentary always pairs well with a nap. Night on Earth, released earlier this year and 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.

How to watch: Night on Earth is now streaming on Netflix.

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 order of this reporter’s personal experience, the Explained series from most to least easy to fall asleep to are: The Mind, Sex, the main Explained series, and then…Coronavirus. (Yeah, I don’t recommend that one. Not for sleeping, anyway.) 

How to watch: The Mind, Explained is now streaming on 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.

How to watch: Grace and Frankie is now streaming on Netflix.

2. Get Organized with The Home Edit

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).

How to watch: Get Organized with The Home Edit is now streaming on 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.

How to watch: The Great British Baking Show is now streaming on Netflix.

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