50 Best Shows On Netflix To Fall Asleep To

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.


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)

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50 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.

49 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.

48 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

47 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.

46 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

45 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.

44 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.

43 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.

42 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.

41 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.

40 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.

39 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.

38 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

37 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.

36 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.

35 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.

34 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.

33 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

32 Down To Earth With Zac Efron (2020-2022)

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

31 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.

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