8 Things You Should Watch on the Internet If You Can’t Sleep

By Michael Martin  |  Feb 4, 2016
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8 Things You Should Watch on the Internet If You Can’t Sleep

Sometimes, sleepin’ ain’t easy. And although one of the biggest contributors to insomnia is staring into too many glowing screens too close to bedtime, there are some videos that can lull you into a satisfying slumber. See if you can make it though our favorite 8 without dozing off.

1. Kittens, puppies, pandas! Oh my!

You could go with tired puppies and kitties struggling to stay awake, and hope you’ll follow suit, watch the documentary Super-Cute Animals, or the live cam trained on Bei Bei (the frequently slumbering newborn panda at Washington’s National Zoo).

2. Breathe in, breathe out.

Clearing your mind is one of the easiest ways to induce slumber. Thankfully, YouTube has a huge selection of meditation videos, from a therapist talking you through it, to relaxing music, to a shot of a single candle burning.

3. Back to nature.

Be careful when hitting the Netflix to cope with a bout of insomnia. With their laugh tracks and frenetic pacing, sitcoms are a no-go before bed and dramas only get you prepped for a serious binge-watch. But nature programs can put you in a relaxed, contemplative mood. Go with a profile of Glacier National Park, the lives of the penguins in the Arctic, or the endless archives of PBS’s Nature series.

4. The most boring TV shows ever.

Thomas Hellum is a Norwegian producer who specializes in “slow TV,” creating shows that consist solely of footage from a 7-hour train trip or an 18-hour fishing forage. And they’re mesmerizing. They’ve also become smash hits up North; even Hellum gave a hilarious TED Talk about it.

5. Space out.

Silent images of the Earth taken from the Space Station as it pans over the planet are stunning and hypnotic, like a giant cosmic screensaver.

6. Get hypnotized.

A time-tested remedy for insomnia is progressive relaxation, in which you focus on each body part from the head down and concentrate on the tension draining from it. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that’ll walk you through the process with soothing vocals and visuals.

7. It’s like watching paint dry. Oh, wait…

We’re not kidding. It can have a meditative effect. YouTube is filled with gentle time-lapse videos, such as this hourlong shot of grass growing or the 10-minute shots of paint drying, fire crackling or wind sweeping a beach on the channel 10minutesofyourlife.

8. Doze off to the King of Snooze.

Speaking of paint, the luxuriously haired, monotoned master host of the ’80s PBS show The Joy of Painting is an aural and visual tranquilizer. As he covers his canvases with peaceful mountain ranges, waterfalls and forests, he mellifluously talks you through the process. The simple beauty of it will have the most high-strung types drifting off.

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