20 shows and movies to help you fall asleep when you’re frazzled, tired, and stressed.
Contrary to the consensus of film critics and movie buffs, shows and movies don’t always have to be great and earth-shattering. Boring entertainment actually has an important function.
When you are frazzled after a long day, and your brain feels like a dried-out sponge, sometimes all you want to do is veg out in front of the TV and fall asleep.
These 20 shows and movies from the video-on-demand collection at Vidgo have all the hallmarks of a tried-and-true insomnia cure – overly complicated plotlines, ridiculous characters, overdone tropes (read about post-cinematic stress disorder here), clunky dialogue, and so much more. Even better, unlike sleeping pills, there are no side effects, aside from killing a few brain cells. So check out our listicle, grab the remote, and get sleepy!
- Matthew Perry – The Diane Sawyer Interview | ABC | On Demand | TV-PG
A 90s TV star talking about his drug problem…zzzzzzzzzzzz. Fall asleep to the good, the bad, and the life-saving lessons cherry-picked from Matthew Perry’s memoir.
- The Surreal Life | VH1 | On Demand | TV-14
D-list celebrities that need a paycheck – Stormy Daniels, Frankie Muniz, Dennis Rodman, and others – move into a house together and share their wild experiences with money and fame. The beginning is interesting, but you’ll be asleep by the time they start talking about their feelings.
- Impossible Planet | Animal Planet | On Demand | NR
The soothing voice of the narrator and mesmerizing cinematography of the natural world will help you gently drift off to dreamland.
- Mysteries of the Abandoned | Discovery | On Demand | TV-PG
This docu-series checks all the boxes of a snooze fest – ancient ruins, old wreckage, and interviews with boring intellectual historians. If you love historical mysteries, it’s also interesting enough to watch later when you’re not dead tired.
- Embarrassing Pets | Animal Planet | On Demand | TV-PG
Fall asleep to cute pets acting goofy, like a farting French bulldog and a nervous collie that acts like he’s in a witness protection program; the challenges facing these vets and trainers are nothing to sniff at.
- Jackass: Shark Week | Discovery | On Demand | TV-14
You can expect a predictable mashup of trademark Jackass mayhem – grown men in ill-fitting bikinis doing dangerous stunts and needing MRIs for the rest of their lives. For Shark Week, they cover themselves in chum and donate their bodies to science.
- My Lottery Dream Home | HGTV | On Demand | TV-G
After a stressful day working for the man, slip into a warm Jacuzzi of luxury and conspicuous consumption in the ultimate fantasy reality series. Get sleepy as lottery winners chit-chat about real estate while searching for their dream mega-mansions.
- Passengers | FXM | On Demand | PG-13
Starring two – very good-looking – bowls of oatmeal, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, put on your pajamas and get comfy for the trifecta of sleep-inducing movie boredom – mediocre CGI, impossible science, and bland acting.
- Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar | FXM | On Demand | PG-13
Starring Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, the ‘adorkable’ 80s wardrobe acting isn’t enough to carry this snoozer buddy comedy, but it will carry you off to sleep in the first 10 minutes.
- Crimes of Fashion | Freeform | On Demand | PG-13
The year was 2004, a simpler time of flip phones and the early beginnings of social media. The movie has fun retro vibes with Kaley Cuoco pre-Big Bang Theory and Megan Fox before the lip fillers. But after a trip down memory lane, it’s a real sleeper with overdone mean-girl tropes and an implausible story arc involving a mob family.
- Tolkien | FXM | On Demand | PG-13
LOTR fans and history nerds will be hooked on every frame but for everybody else, the tea and crumpet scenes of this heavy period piece will quickly cause a movie-induced coma.
- Sweet Home Alabama | FXM | On Demand | PG-13
A Southern belle with champagne problems leaves New York and returns to her hometown for a wedding. If you’re not already asleep from reading that tagline, the movie itself will have you nodding off before you can say ‘buttermilk biscuits.’
- Lucy in the Sky | FXM | On Demand | TV-MA
With a bad Southern accent and equally awful hair, Natalie Portman plays a NASA astronaut loosely based on the real-life Lisa Nowak. But with no reference to adult diapers, you’re better off sleeping through most of this watered-down story.
- Engineering Catastrophes | SCI | On Demand | TV-G
These failed engineers give new meaning to having a bad day at work, giving you a renewed perspective on your own challenges in adulting, plus the yawn-inducing interviews of various bespectacled experts.
- World’s Funniest Dogs | Animal Planet | On Demand | TV-G
Get ready for some ‘pawsitive’ dreams when you and your fur babies fall asleep to the real superstars of the Internet – dogs being their hilarious selves.
- Bernie Madoff In His Own Words | NAT GEO TV | On Demand | NR
If white-collar crime makes your blood boil, this documentary will be particularly exhausting. Everyone knows how the story ends, making it easy to fall asleep to as the interviews unfold the biggest financial scandal in U.S. history.
- Stuber | FXM | On Demand | TV-MA
Kumail Nanjiani’s sad sack charm as a moonlighting Uber driver delivers some laughs in the beginning, especially for fellow drivers. But go ahead and fall asleep because most of this trope-stuffed movie is a long Uber commercial disguised as a buddy/action comedy.
- Ad Astra | FXM | On Demand | PG-13
Lauded by critics as a compelling masterpiece, this philosophical space odyssey follows Brad Pitt as he mumbles way too much navel-gazing narration while trying to save the planet. The back-to-back space meetings and hypnotic musical score will have you snoozing at the speed of light.
- Downhill | FXM | On Demand | TV-MA
In a criminal misuse of Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell, it takes so long for this middle-class comedy to get funny, you’ll fall asleep waiting for laughs.
- New Zealand: Welcome and Wonder | NAT GEO TV | On Demand | TV-G
Remote, rugged, and breathtaking, New Zealand is a peaceful place to fall asleep in the world of streaming.
While experts say blue screens from TVs, laptops, and phones disrupt natural circadian rhythms needed for restful sleep, research suggests other benefits of watching TV that outweigh the drawbacks. To boost the sleepiness effects, we suggest watching these shows and movies with subtitles, which have other benefits you can read about here.
Looking for more content? Check out the Hallmark Watch Guide and Vidgo’s Top Picks for Veterans Day. Vidgo features the best in entertainment, sports, news, and Latino programming with 150+ channels and thousands of on demand shows and movies.