If you’ve scrolled through Netflix lately, you’ve likely seen Headspace Guide to Sleep on the home page. There are seven episodes total –- each of which explores common sleep misconceptions, offers tips and then tries to help you sleep. As a certified sleep coach, you learn certain things– one of which is if you want to sleep well, you need to turn off your television.
You can imagine my hesitance and doubt in a Netflix show that aims to help people fall asleep, especially when televisions are often the source of keeping people up at night. TVs emit blue light, which will inhibit your body’s ability to produce melatonin naturally. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the great show you’re binging that’s keeping you from falling asleep. It’s the blue light keeping you from feeling tired.
So, dear reader, please know that I went into this with a healthy dose of skepticism. Watching something to fall asleep goes against most of the advice I give. But for the sake of exploring all the resources out there, I gave it a try. Here are my thoughts.
Surprisingly, It Really Was Relaxing
Watching it was enjoyable. Admittedly, some of that enjoyment likely derived from the fact that I spend my days writing about the importance of sleep. And now that knowledge can reach a whole new audience. The rest of it, however, came from the appealing visuals and relaxing narration. The weird blob people and cool color transitions were relaxing and the narrator’s calming voice achieved what it was after.
The sleep information only lasts about half the episode; the rest is the relaxation exercise. Which I actually found to work; after a few episodes, I was asleep. The episodes are all under 20 minutes, so they’re not long enough to draw you in and distract you from sleeping.
Here’s an episode breakdown if you just want to catch one topic without committing to all seven.
- How to sleep better –– This one is a general overview of sleep. It dives into common sleep myths and what you should do to relax enough to fall asleep at night.
- Putting your phone to sleep –– I found this one pretty funny, given I was watching a show telling me about how technology can negatively impact your sleep.
- The weird world of dreams –– I think a lot of people will like this one. It explores why we dream and how much control we have over the outcomes. Also known as lucid dreaming.
- Letting go of stress –– This one also is worth watching if you tend to hold on to stress.
- The facts about sleeping pills –– It’s easy to reach for a sleeping pill to help you sleep. But relying on it regularly can result in dependency. I was glad to see this episode in the lineup.
- Putting insomnia to bed –– This episode explores the causes of insomnia and how to tame it.
- Your perfect sleep rhythm –– The finale is all about finding your stride with your sleep needs.
I fell asleep. So for me, I found the show to be helpful. The sleep information was well communicated and the relaxation exercises achieved their goal. That said, I did close my eyes and just listened during the relaxation exercises, rather than staring at my tv and wishing for sleep. It’s also worth noting that while TVs do emit blue light, it’s less intense than the blue light you get from your cell phone or tablet. So if you had to choose, your TV isn’t that bad of an option.
I think this show is tapping into two main things:
- TV can serve as white noise for some people.
- Familiar sounds can help lull you to sleep. The narrator, Eve, is the same for every episode and her voice is frankly really relaxing.
Too Long, Didn’t Read?
Visually, the show is appealing. And there really was some excellent content added in to educate people about sleep. Will watching it solve all of your sleep problems? Probably not. But it can help you to be more intentional about how you approach your sleep and give you the tools to make the changes you need.