Verity is a Physics with Teaching Bsc (Hons) graduate. In her spare time, she likes to cook, read and play video games.
Everyone suffers from sleep problems at some point in their life. We have all tried the usual advice, e.g., having a warm glass of milk, unplugging from technology an hour before bed, lavender essential oils on the pillow, etc. But sometimes that just does not work. I went through a period in my life where the only way that I could get to sleep was to put a video on, on my laptop, and let that distract me and relax me until I fell asleep by accident. I know that a lot of people have the same experiences, especially people suffering from chronic pain and depression/anxiety, sometimes being left alone with your thoughts is the worst thing you can do!
So I have put together a list of my personal recommendations on types of videos that you can use to help you relax. I have picked a wide variety of videos, with some short ones and some very long ones. If you have any recommendations or personal tips to share, feel free to comment with them below.
1. Massage Videos
I love using massage videos to help me relax. I sometimes watch with my eyes open and imagine the feelings and sensations. Or I put my eye mask on, and simply listen to the masseur guide me through the massage, and I can fully immerse myself in the experience. I have chosen two videos to recommend. One is a short (11 minute) head massage with a soft-spoken masseuse, who whispers towards the end to help you relax. The second one is a longer, slightly more instructional back and shoulder massage, I like this one as I find Katie's accent to be calming while she guides you through the massage. She is a beauty lecturer so has a way of speaking that makes you feel engaged.
Short Scalp Massage Video
Upper Back and Shoulder Massage
2. Body Scan Meditation
A body scan is a very special type of meditation, and it is absolutely my favourite. This guided meditation slowly allows you to calm your breathing. It then talks you through, very slowly, from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, relaxing each body part and releasing all of the tension in your muscles. As someone who is quite tense day-to-day, I need to remind myself to loosen my muscles and relax, rather than tensing up. This is the type of meditation that helps me fall asleep the fastest, sometimes I'm asleep before I reach my shoulders!
3. Make-Up Tutorials or Walkthroughs
Sometimes watching someone create something can be so relaxing. Having something to focus on can distract you from whatever is going on inside your head and help you drift off naturally without even realising. A lot of make-up videos can be quite loud or feature energising music, the video I have chosen is a lot more calm and Dulce Candy is very soft-spoken. This makeup look is also quite colourful and cheerful which puts me in a happier state of mind.
4. Cooking Shows/Instructionals
Similar to the make-up videos, watching someone create and being distracted from your thoughts can help you fall asleep so much quicker. And you have the opportunity to learn something! The video I have chosen below is a full cook of a Blue Apron meal, from opening the box, chopping the ingredients and cooking the food. This is an ASMR video, so there are some auditory-tactile sounds, there are time-stamps in the description of the video that can allow you to skip to pertinent moments. Maria is very softly spoken, and very calm, and her accent allows me to relax immediately. She also has lots of other types of videos, and she is one of my favourite youtubers.
5. DIY or Craft Tutorials
Similar again, to the cooking videos and the make-up tutorials, craft and DIY videos allow you to distract yourself by focussing on the creation of something new. The video I have chosen is by an extremely soft-spoken person, who (for an hour) walks you through the process of creating tile mug coasters from scratch. This is also a video which features auditory-tactile noises.
Speedpaints are videos of someone creating (usually) a piece of digital art, but sped up so that the whole process only takes a few minutes rather than a few hours. Since this is a video without a plot or story, you do not need to focus on it to try and 'follow' it. You can just watch how the art progresses from start to finish. The video I have chosen has some relaxing slow music playing over the top so that it engages both visually and auditorily.
7. Book or TV Show Theory Videos
If your problem is that you need to engage something to fall asleep, but are made anxious by ruminating on your daily life, then theory videos are what is best for you. These videos go in to great detail dissecting plot points to try and guess what will happen next in the book or show. This can often inspire your imagination and get you theorizing without even noticing. The video I have chosen below is a particular favourite of mine. Preston Jacobs does Game of Thrones videos. The video I have recommended is the first video in a series that analyses the sample chapters for the next book, line by line, and interprets them.
8. Bob Ross - The Joy of Painting
You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't enjoy Bob Ross. This painting show that aired in the 80s, presents the painting in a simple, step by step, fashion with the intent that you could follow and paint along should you wish. Bob Ross is very cheerful and has an encouraging and calming demeanor. He speaks very gently which makes it perfect for falling asleep to. The video I have chosen below is the first episode of the 29th season!
9. Sleep Meditation
Another type of sleep meditation is one that simply guides you through calming and soothing types of thinking. It helps you to build confidence and belief in yourself and it helps you to get into the right, positive mind frame for sleeping. It can help you frame events from the day as encouraging, and helps you to look forward to the following day. The video that I have recommended is by a gentleman with a very calm and soothing voice, who simply takes you on a walk through positive thinking.
10. Ocean Sounds
For those of you that do not like to hear the sound of voices or people, when trying to get to sleep then nature sounds are right for you. Sounds of the ocean are one of the most relaxing sounds you can fall asleep to. The nature of the sounds mean that you can choose to imagine any kind of day that you like to accompany these sounds. You can imagine that you are walking along the shore at sunset, or swimming in the sea, or having a picnic with the ones that you love.
11. Guided De-Stress Meditation
If your problem is that you are too stressed to even go to bed then this is the video for you. Sometimes if you are stressed, you cannot even entertain the idea of getting ready for bed and laying down, because you feel so busy. This meditation helps you to slow down, and get you in the right frame of mind to wind down for sleep.
12. ASMR Videos
ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. In response to whispering, or certain gentle noises close to the ear, results in the person experiencing a very positive static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. It can make you feel safe and sleepy. The video that I have recommended below is an ASMR video specifically made to assist sleep. You may wish to watch this video with headphones in order to get the full experience from it. Sophie Michelle's ASMR channel is geared towards positive affirmations, sleep assistance and anxiety reduction. Sophie is very softly spoken, and her positive affirmations make me feel good. She helps me get to sleep multiple times during the week. She is probably my favourite ASMRtist (and I don't even have ASMR)!
Similar to the ocean sounds, if you prefer nature sounds then the sound of a gentle waterfall is definitely for you. With this video you can imagine yourself swimming in a secluded pool, sunbathing next to a water feature, or on a hike in the forest. It is very versatile, it allows you to engage your imagination and make up your own narrative.
14. Thunder and Rain
If you like nature sounds, but don't like being out in nature then weather sounds are for you. Listening to the sound of rain might remind you of home, or it might make you feel more cosy, as though you are warm and safe, completely unbothered by the outside world. This is also a video which you can use to create your own narrative, using your imagination. This will allow you to drift off into a natural sleep without even realising.
15. Binaural Beats
Binaural beats use sounds and music played at certain frequencies to elicit responses from the listener. Lots of people swear by binaural beats and say that it helps them get to sleep and that it soothes their babies and helps them sleep through the full night too. The video I have recommended below has some binaural beats in some relaxing music that you can play all night.
Binaural beats and Isochronic Tones for Sleep
Thank you for reading this guide! I have done my best to include lots of different types of videos to suit a wide range of different tastes. If you have any recommendations and would like to share the videos that you use, then please do comment below with your sleep aids.
I hope that this guide has been helpful and that you are all able to get a good night's sleep!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2018 VerityPrice