A young boy takes a dive into the ocean on A World Of Calm

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Sometimes, we want nothing more than to fall asleep fast either after a hectic and taxing day or the night before vacation when our brains are aflutter with thoughts and anxieties of the upcoming journey that lies ahead. And in those moments (of excitement or duress), we look for something that is going to help us relax, clear our brains, and settle down so that we can get some much needed rest. This recently happened to me before a trip over the holidays which sent me into a state of panic and fully awake when I should be resting. Luckily I remembered seeing A World of Calm while browsing through HBO Max. And that moment gave me a wonderful idea.

Now, this isn’t to say that A World of Calm or any other titles that follow in the list below are boring or bad shows that immediately make us fall asleep at night, but each of them have a certain quality to them and allow your worried thoughts to fade away from the forefront of your attention as you become transfixed by beautiful scenery, peaceful music, and narration that would make David Attenborough jealous (don’t worry, he’s included as well). Here are nine such titles you can stream to help fall asleep fast.

A Norwegian artist creates snow art by walking in patterns on A World Of Calm

A World Of Calm - HBO Max

Created through a partnership by HBO Max and the Calm app, A World of Calm takes viewers on a series of grand journeys into the heart of nature as well as the human experience through the exploration of various locations and crafts. Over the course of 10 episodes, the meditative and transfixing series follows experts in the worlds of glassmaking, noodle making, and crafting decadent and mouthwatering chocolate, and that is just the sections that focus on humans.

Other episodes, which all feature soothing and calming narration from the likes of Lucy Liu, Cillian Murphy, and Nicole Kidman to name a few, follow a rare breed of distinct horses on a small island, the universe beyond our solar system, the perilous journey of polar bears and more. And each 23-minute story will leave you feeling calm and at one with the world as you ready yourself to drift away into a night’s slumber to prepare for the day that awaits just ahead.

Stream it here.

An otter coming out of the water in A Perfect Planet

A Perfect Planet - Discovery+

The Discovery+ platform boasts some impressive, exciting, and sometimes absurd content, but one of the highlights of the newcomer to the streaming wars happens to be one of its most calming as well. The new original docuseries A Perfect Planet is very much like other series in the Planet Earth franchise in that it focuses on different topics and issues affecting various locales around the world, all narrated by one of the most enchanting voices, Sir David Attenborough. Much like its predecessors, A Perfect Planet will have you on the edge of sleep in no time at all, though this isn’t to say the program is boring. Quite the contrary, actually.

This beautifully written, shot, and orchestrated spectacle of nature filmmaking is truly something to behold, but the combination of those elements makes a recipe to pull you out of our worried mind and into a state of peaceful bliss, one that will have you asleep in no time at all.

Stream it here.

Two trappers set out into the Siberian wilderness in Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

Happy People: A Year In The Taiga - Tubi

There are few people who have the ability to make mesmerizing and engrossing documentaries like Werner Herzog, and the German filmmaker’s 2010 film Happy People: A Year in the Taiga is no different. But unlike some of Herzog’s more intense efforts like Grizzly Man or Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World, this calm, quiet, and transfixing film set in the Siberian wilderness is a slow-paced and calm experience.

For years now, Happy People has been one of the titles that I not only recommend to people looking for a great documentary about fur trappers in a small Siberian village and surrounding woods, rivers, and valleys, but also for those looking for something to put on while they fall asleep at night. And if you liked the sound of Werner Herzog’s voice in The Mandalorian Season 1, just wait until you hear him wax poetic about the approaching winter in this gem of a film.

Stream it here.

Moana charting her course in Moana

Disney Zenimation - Disney+

If you (or the younger members of your family) are looking for a great way to relax and drift off to sleep while still enjoying some of the most beautifully crafted animation from Disney, then Disney Zenimation on Disney+ is going to be the way to go. This 2020 series includes 10 episodes (plus a 50-minute compilation) with each including footage from various Walt Disney Animation Studios projects set to different themes. With ambient background noises being used in place of dialogue or thunderous scores and catchy singalongs, the episodes take viewers on epic water adventures with footage from Moana and Frozen, adventures in the air with clips from Aladdin and Big Hero Six, and much, much more. The perfect way to unwind for the entire family, Disney Zenimation will have restless minds at ease.

Stream it here.

Steve Wallis camping in an ice fishing hut

Camping With Steve - YouTube

Over the course of the past few years, camping videos have become one of the most popular types of content on YouTube, and one of the best creators in that regard is Steve Wallis and his “Camping with Steve” videos which see him camping in the woods, in state parks in his native Alberta, Canada, and even in his car in a busy suburban area in the dead of winter. His low-key and sincere videos are about as genuine as it gets and make for the perfect way to calm down and drift off late at night (I know from experience). And despite his nearly 450,000 subscribers and being called the Bob Ross of stealth camping by Vice, the Canadian camper is a genuine as ever, even when he’s not showing you how to camp in an airport parking lot in the middle of winter.

Stream it here.

Bob Ross on The Joy of Painting

Bob Ross - The Joy Of Painting - Hulu

Speaking of Bob Ross, there isn’t a single one of us who hasn’t put on The Joy of Painting hoping to watch the gentle artist with his iconic head of hair paint some happy trees and play with squirrels only to fall asleep about 10 minutes into the first episode. And that’s what makes the show so popular decades after the death of the beloved television painter. This no-frills and ultra-70s staple of public broadcasting can be viewed in a number of places these days, but Hulu has a large offering of episodes that will surely help you fall asleep, no matter what is bothering you.

Stream it here.

Neil deGrasse Tyson in Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey - Disney+

There are few programs about the universe and man’s place in it that are told with as much beauty and detail as Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Ever since the spiritual successor of Carl Sagan’s landmark series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage aired in the spring of 2014, it has been one the shows I turn to the most if I need to fall asleep while something is on the TV screen. With expansive shots and explanations of the universe, detailed animations, and that narration from Neil deGrasse Tyson, it’s no wonder Cosmos is one of the best options out there. It’s just a shame that Sagan’s 1980 series is no longer streaming because that is something to behold.

Stream it here.

Buffalos in Yellowstone National Park in The National Parks: America's Best Idea

The National Parks: America’s Best Idea - Hoopla

Like many others on this list, including Ken Burns’ 2009 documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea isn’t a knock on the quality or presentation of the the multi-part film. In fact, Burns’ chronology of America’s national parks is one of the filmmaker’s best efforts and tells an enriching story of how places like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon became American icons under the leadership of certain figures in the nation’s history. Through combining breathtaking shots of the various parks, Peter Coyote’s soothing narration, and that way Burns can tie stories together, The National Parks is a peaceful and tranquil way to drift off.

Stream it here.

Ice cream sandwiches being manufactured on How It's Made

How It’s Made - Discovery+

And then there is How It’s Made, the long-running Science Channel series that, as the title suggests, shows how everyday items (food, tools, clothes) are manufactured, and is honestly one of the most calming shows you can watch on Discovery+. The simple nature of the show somehow makes the process of manufacturing seem like poetry thanks to the Brooks Moore and his upbeat and informative manner of speaking and controlled chaos on the screen.

Stream it here.

Hopefully you're still awake at this point. If so, make sure to sound off in the comments below and let everyone know which of these shows are your favorites or if you have any recommendations.

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