If you’re like us, your talkative brain decides the best time to go into overdrive is just as you’re slipping under the covers for a good night’s rest. Turning on your favorite movie or re-watching your favorite series to help you relax may sound tempting, but there’s nothing like a quiet slice-of-life video from a real person to really calm those thoughts and finally get some sleep.
“These fantastic content creators help us go to sleep” might not sound like a compliment, but we absolutely mean it as one. Here are five soothing (yet entertaining) YouTube channels that will make everything else fall away so you can fall asleep.
We’ve told you about the mind-blowing work of Baumgartner Restoration before, but it’s just so good that we have to tell you about it again. Julian Baumgartner is a Chicago-area master of art restoration and he wields some impressive video filming and editing skills. The two talents combined create content that will glue you to the screen video after video.
Not only does he typically offer both narrated and ambient ASMR-ish versions of each restoration, during the lockdown period Julian has also been livestreaming hours of one of the most satisfying parts of the process: cleaning off all the gunk on his current projects.
As soon as we tell you this is a hand embroidery channel, you might skip to the next pick on our list. But don’t go yet! Diana Vingert is an embroiderer in Russia who helpfully offers how-to patterns and videos for visitors to her channel. Her videos effortlessly illustrate how each stitch eventually turns into a work of art, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it is.
After watching just one of these, you’ll either be completely relaxed or ready to go to the craft store to pick up supplies and try out a stitch yourself.
Hamster Miniature Studio 2
Just look at those teeny Cup O’Noodles! Look at them.
Ahem. Japanese artist Hamster specializes in miniature dollhouse creations, from the smallest yet tastiest looking foods to putting together kits of tiny-sized buildings, items, and more.
Not only are Hamster’s steady hands and eye for detail incredible, their creativity is off the charts. It turns even a snap-together model kit into a teeny masterpiece. Videos aren’t narrated or accompanied by music, just annotated with notes about the materials. This makes each how-to a very quiet, yet fascinating, experience.
You might not be able to go camping or fishing right now, but watching Matthew Posa and his dogs head out into the woods is the next best thing.
Matthew narrates with the perfect amount of running commentary to keep you intrigued from camp setup to teardown. Not only are there tips for your next camping trip—from finding just the right firewood to setting up camp with just a tarp to sleep under—Matthew also cooks mouth-watering meals that you can replicate over a campfire. And did we mention his doggos are downright adorable?
With millions of subscribers, Lizi Qi’s channel isn’t exactly a hidden gem. But its cinematic videos make it plain to see why it’s so popular. If it’s an escape from everyday urban life you’re looking for, these relaxing slice-of-country-life vignettes fit the bill perfectly.
Pick persimmons on a mountainside, frolic in a field of flowers, and more without ever leaving your comfy bed.
Bonus: Bob Ross
Every episode of The Joy of Painting is on YouTube. What else do we have to say?
Kelly Knox is a freelance writer in Seattle, WA who writes for Star Wars, DC Comics, and more. Follow her on Twitter.
Featured Image: Matthew Posa