The sleepy movie compendum

Movies can do a lot of things. They can make you laugh. They can make you cry. They can make you shake in terror, or sigh at the promise of true love.

Also they can make you sleep.

My wife has had trouble sleeping lately, so I bought a variety of movies to help her slip off to slumberland. Most of the time, it’s the slow, ponderous natures of these movies that puts her mind at ease. I’ve accompanied them with some projected nodding off times to help you decide which one you might want to rent from Netflix or purchase at your local Amazon.


Really, any John Wayne movie will do. His deep voice is not unlike a pastor’s, in that you hear it and immediately you want to take a nap. This one, though, has that bright 50’s Technicolor and those enormous scenes of Southern Utah, which get you in the mood to relax. Downside: the soundtrack can tend to be a little loud.

Estimated Napping Time: 30 minutes


Oh, man. The first hour or so of this film is like an Instagram portfolio come to life. Long scenes of primitive Earth, lots of classical music, followed by long scenes of rotating space ships scored to the Blue Danube Waltz. What’s not to like? … Well, the movie proved to be a little too interesting. My wife stayed up for an hour or so just to see where the movie was going. I mean … monkey wars, space ships, glimpses of the future… It’s actually a pretty interesting movie. It will get you to napping, though, once the main plot kicks in.

Estimated Napping Time: 1 hour


I seriously love this movie, especially the scenes where the clouds move like a huge ocean, lapping against the shores of the mountains. The big plus here, though, is that Philip Glass soundtrack. It’s so hypnotic. The images and music together are crucial. I tried to play just the music, and the wife found it more annoying than sleep inducing. Perhaps it was too much. Combined with the imagery, though, and she was out like a light.

Estimated Napping Time: 10 minutes


This movie, I don’t like so much. Man, do I ever miss that Ron Fricke cinematography. It just seems so staged. My wife was out in 5 minutes, though. (Yay, Philip Glass soundtrack!) However, while I like to stay up to see how many of these footage movies turn out, this one was just so boring. I had to turn off the TV personally after 30 minutes.

Estimated Napping Time: 5 minutes


So, so beautiful. The soundtrack is a little overbearing sometimes, especially when it switches to the Buddhist worshippers flitting around like hummingbirds. However, it is gorgeous to look at. I could probably turn the soundtrack off, and it would be more effective as a sleep aid. Me, I like to stay up to watch that awesome Ron Fricke cinematography.

Estimated Napping Time: 10 minutes


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