Okay, so the general idea of anime is to definitely not put their viewers to sleep, but sometimes you just want to watch something to unwind for the day and fall asleep to nice dreams afterwards. When it comes to anime to fall asleep to, we’re not talking boring, but rather relaxing. Whether it is the music, the animation, or even the candor of the characters, it has a bit of a soothing effect to it so that afterwards (or even during) you can finally fall asleep without any fuss. Of course, you need to be careful not to get sucked into the plot either.
Each episode of Mushishi is like a bedtime story in and of itself. It is an episodic anime series that doesn’t really have any overall story, but rather is about a man that studies mushi, or small spirits, that affect humanity in various ways. Basically he travels and observes these mushi or solves the problems that they are causing. There’s no fast action, it is extremely atmospheric, and highly soothing. It is something you can pick up and put down with ease.
Non Non Biyori
Non Non Biyori is all about crafting that “country feel”. It is a show essentially about nothing. Five girls live in the country. It is boring. They try to make it less boring. While it can focus on some character relationships, it is one of those shows you can jump in to and see what crazy things they are up to this episode, but its music and animation all make it so serene.
The Aria Series
Whether it is the Animation, the Natural, or the Origination, the entire Aria series follows the various going-ons on the planet Aqua, a waterworld that used to be Mars. Typically the shows detail the trials and tribulations of gondola guides on the planet, but there is nothing overly exciting going on. It is something that isn’t altogether boring, but so soothing that most people have a hard time staying awake.
Spice and Wolf
Spice and Wolf tells the tale of a merchant and the wolf goddess Holo that has been slowly forsaken by her worshippers traveling around a medieval world. Spice and Wolf is all about dialogue, there isn’t much action, so everything interesting about it happens through words that make you think as well as teach you more about medieval economics than you probably wanted to know. Not only is the dialogue interesting, albeit relaxing, but the music alone can lull you into a nap.
Typically shows about cute girls doing cute things are a great genre to enjoy if you want to unwind. However, you want to make sure that it is not too energetic like Lucky Star or Nichijou. Hidamari Sketch is cute, but also relatively calm and low key. However, it is not completely without weirdness either.
The whole plot of Barakamon is about an artist with rage problems being exiled by his father to a rural Japanese island so that he can calm his shit. Naturally, Barakamon’s setting is all about being soothing while the characters are both funny and extremely likable. While it’s occasionally visual comedy can be distracting if you are trying to fall asleep, this is one series sure to cheer you up and mellow you out.
Once you get past the overall setup of Usagi Drop, where a middle aged bachelor takes in his dead grandfather’s secret love child, you can essentially watch the episodes at your leisure. Usagi Drop is about their developing relationship as well as dealing with death as a child and all that. The show is very quiet, very soothing, and pretty sweet. With light colors and a gentle soundtrack, it is interesting but not so engaging that it is likely to keep you up all night.
What better way to travel to dreamland than to watch an anime about traveling first? In Kino’s Journey, Kino and her talking motorcycle travel from city to city only staying a few days, which is all they need to get a feel for it. There is no ultimate destination, it is all about the journey and the sights seen and people met within.
Natsume’s Book of Friends
As an episodic series about a boy dealing with and helping a variety of spirits, each episode is a new story and somewhat a bedtime story, not unlike Mushishi though a bit lighter. While you should watch it seriously, the bright colors and soothing music can easily unwind you down from the day, making it a great night time watch.
The Monogatari Series
All Monogatari series have some commonality. They have great fluid animation and they are all kind of dialogue-heavy. The good thing about a lot of dialogue is that you can kind of get lost in it. There less flashy action scenes to follow, and you can just listen to the voices and watch their strange sexual tooth brushing scenes as you get ready to sleep.
Kimi ni Todoke
Romance series are always a good choice to unwind with. They typically aren’t action heavy and they alternate between drama and light-heartedness enough that you’ll be engaged, but hopefully not engaged enough to binge watch all night. Kimi ni Todoke is the Queen of the castle in this respect, it is light and refreshing with slow moving romance but several good messages hidden within that leave you with that warm and fuzzy feeling that you want from a romance.
The Flying Witch
Slice of life series are so good for chilling out, but sometimes they can be so chill they actually get a little boring. Not this one though. The Flying Witch adds a heavy dash of supernatural then makes it look like it is just a normal slice of life show. There’s magic, there’s witches, there’s familiars, but it all seems quite normal and relaxed.
Bartender is all about being chill. The anime series wants to be that cocktail you drink before bed without that light hangover in the morning. You watch people pour out their problems to the bartender, and then you watch him make the perfect cocktail to sooth them.
Sleeping with Hinako
This is one anime series you are meant to fall asleep watching. In it, it is basically just an anime girl talking to you, someone to fall asleep with. It is just another symptom of Japan’s increasing distance between emotional intimacy.
For the ladies, this is another series like Sleeping with Hinako, only with boys. Each episode is a different boy so they hit all the types. Basically they sit there and ask you about your day and whisper other sweet nothings to you to help you unwind.
Did we miss any more good anime recommendations to put you to sleep without boring you there? Let us know in the comments section below.