5 Calming YouTube Videos to Put You Straight to Sleep

You tried drinking tart cherry juice. You’ve counted more sheep than there could ever be on the planet. And yet, here you are, lying awake in bed, counting down the precious hours until you have to get up for the day. Before you resign yourself to a sleepless night, try watching one of these YouTube videos. We’re willing to bet you’ll be dozing off before the credits roll.

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First coined in 2010, the term ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is hard to describe with words but easier to understand after you experience it. Basically, it’s an audio- and visual-induced sensation that’s akin to the chills you get when you hear a really beautiful voice. The genre is pretty broad, with videos ranging from sand gardens like the one above to this borderline creepy makeup artist simulation that gave us nightmares but apparently puts other people to sleep.


Not a specific video per se, but Napflix curates YouTube’s most boring videos for your pre-bedtime viewing pleasure. Just go to the site, click on something you think will put you to sleep (think: “World Chess Final 2013”; “Matthew McConaughey Watching Rain” or “The Wonderful World of Tupperware”) and feel your eyes start to get heavy.

Guided Meditations

Regular meditation has been tied to improved sleep quality, but if you’re not a regular meditator, a guided version on YouTube can still work wonders. Many are only about an hour long, but you’ll be asleep before then. Think of this as the most relaxing Savasana of your life—that time when you definitely started snoring in the middle of a packed yoga class.

Binaural Beats

Binaural beats are auditory illusions that happen when different tones are played into each ear simultaneously. The idea is that your subconscious mind will fill in the gaps between them. There’s no scientific evidence to prove, as some loyalists claim, that binaural beats can improve brain function or take you to altered states of consciousness, but we can unscientifically confirm that these videos are super relaxing and conducive to falling asleep.

Nature Sounds

Not as fancy or scientific (or pseudo-scientific) as engineered beats or semi-creepy ASMR, but rainforests, birds chirping and rolling thunderstorms are some of our go-to soundtracks for falling asleep. Don’t believe us? The video above has more than 18 million views on YouTube, so there’s got to be something about the soothing sounds of the ocean that laughs in the face of sleeplessness.

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...