I have a hard time falling asleep pretty much every night. The temptation of reading the news, checking in on my social media newsfeeds and catching up on TV before bed is just too much for me. Invariably, I get caught up in an Instagram explore page black hole or distracted by a lengthy article I have to finish before I go to sleep. In the past, I’ve done everything from giving up electronics at night to using meditation apps before bed to reading good old fashioned books before hitting the hay. Most of these strategies have worked well for me when I actually use them, but like I said — sometimes the temptation to engage with technology is just too strong. When I heard about Napflix, a site that curates and hosts a bunch of videos that it claims are sleep-inducing, I knew I had to try it. I gave myself three nights to test it out, and I was pretty surprised at the results.
I’m feeling skeptical, but I hop in bed with my laptop around midnight and start browsing the site. My S.O. seems confused by what I’m doing since I hardly ever bring my computer to bed, but I explain that I’m doing a little experiment. After a few minutes of browsing, I realize that Napflix is basically YouTube or Netflix, except that every video is extremely, mind-numbingly boring. In fact, the options are literally so dull that I can’t even bring myself to choose one. A video on Klingon grammar? A video of sand passing through an hourglass? How about a video of a car being washed? Is the strategy to provide so many ridiculous options that you exhaust yourself just picking a video? The choices are actually so funny to me that they have the opposite of a restful effect because I’m giggling uncontrollably rather than getting tired. Eventually, I give up and just go to bed.
So, after some more browsing, I discover a category on the site called “relax,” which features — you guessed it — super-relaxing videos. I choose a video of a burning fireplace because that seems pretty chill. The film is a full two hours long, which mercifully I don’t need to watch all of — I conk out after about 15 minutes of continuously staring at the same image on my screen. Mission accomplished.
Tonight, I fall asleep so quickly to a video on all the different types of sheep breeds (it’s almost literally like counting sheep) that I wake up with a jolt, worrying that my laptop has fallen off the bed. Oof. I guess these videos do work after all. Either that or I’m just really tired. My S.O. is actually interested in the video, so he finishes it while I head back to sleep.
The Bottom Line
Here’s the thing about Napflix… we know using technology before bed is bad, right? It keeps you awake longer, can cause vision issues and can seriously affect the quality of your sleep. The beauty of Napflix though, is that it’s so crazy boring that it makes you not want to look at a screen before you fall asleep (and if you do, it won’t be for long). In fact, it’s such a deterrent that it might even be a good strategy for those who are trying to wean themselves off of pre-sleep technology use. While I don’t think the site is as effective at helping me get rest as not using any technology before bed, I definitely think it’s a good solution for those who feel the need to watch or listen to something in order to fall asleep or as a stepping stone to cutting out nighttime technology altogether. Plus, where else are you going to find an educational video on the history of Tupperware?!
Have you tried Napflix? Tell us about it @BritandCo!
(Featured photo via Getty)