20 Best Anime To Watch Before Bed & Fall Asleep To

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Anime is supposed to be intense and exciting. That way you’re left wanting to know what happens after the commercial break, the episode, and even after the entire run of the series.

That said, there are all sorts of genres in anime – and some of them are better suited for relaxation than excitement.

Watching a couple episodes of a soothing anime can help you sink into your mattress for that good night’s sleep. And that can be just as good as a Valerian root tea or a hit from a melatonin inhaler. Probably.

And here’s our list of some truly relaxing anime to fall asleep watching.

 

20. Dagashi Kashi

Dagashi Kashi anime screenshot

Some people can’t fall asleep if they’re laughing – but for others, a little laughter-induced endorphin release can make them feel good and send them to sleep.

Dagashi Kashi can quickly provide the laughs without being all over the place.

While its main heroine Hotaru is chaotic as only a hot anime girl can be, the old-timey appeal of the traditional Japanese snack store where most of the series takes place definitely calms things down.

 

19. Encouragement of Climb

Encouragement of Climb anime

You wouldn’t think a show promoting physical activity like climbing mountains would be a good watch right before bed.

But you haven’t watched Encouragement of Climb yet.

This unique slice-of-life follows a group of mountaineering girls as they visit different mountains throughout Japan.

In other words, it’s cute girls doing cute things at high altitudes.

 

18. Sleeping with Hinako

Sleeping with Hinako anime screenshot

What could be better to watch right before bed than a series made precisely to help you fall asleep?

Well, it’s debatable whether that’s what Sleeping With Hinako is trying to do…

After all, the show is basically a POV video of sleeping with a hot girl in comfy clothes.

I sincerely doubt Training with Hinako and Bathing with Hinako encouraged these activities, either.

Still, if you can handle a little bit of fan-service, having Hinako talk you through the process of falling asleep can be quite soothing.

 

17. Pillow Boys

Pillow Boys anime screenshot

If you’re not into anime girls, consider Pillow Boys for your late-night anime needs.

Much like Sleeping with Hinako, Pillow Boys allows you to share your bed with an anime character. In this case, each episode brings you a new guy to whisper sweet nothings into your ear.

If you want something to fill the void as you settle into your nightly rest, this is a fantastic option that doesn’t ask you to pay too much attention.

 

16. Servant x Service

Servant x Service anime

Most people wouldn’t consider being reminded of their jobs “relaxing”.

But this SoL comedy about a group of civil servants may be the exception.

Anyone working a bureaucratic job knows how meaningless and thankless it can be – and so do these characters.

They’ll make you feel understood and remind you of the not-so-awful parts of office life.

Just don’t start acting like an anime character at work after watching it. You may get fired!

 

15. Say I Love You

Say I Love You anime

Despite being a manly man with a beard and not a hair on my head, I can’t get enough of Shojo-Ai romantic anime – and Say I Love You is one of my favorites.

It follows the romance between the timid Mei Tachibana and the outgoing Yamato Kurosawa – a model-level popular boy from her school who falls for her after she kicks him down a flight of stairs.

Sure, there is a lot of drama. And some episodes will keep you at the edge of your seat.

But for the most part, the calming music and kind emotions from Yamato and Mei are sweet and soothing. Perfect for bedtime.

 

14. Iroduku: The World In Colors

Iroduku: The World In Colors anime

One of the best ways to relax and drift off to sleep is to watch something that’s visually mesmerizing – even better if it’s coupled with a heartwarming story.

Iroduku follows Hitomi Tsukihiro, the youngest member of a long line of witches. After a series of unfortunate events befall her family, she loses all interest in magic and living – and with it, her ability to see colors.

In a bid to make her realize the beauty of life, her witchy grandma sends Hitomi back in time so they can attend high-school together.

It’s a wistful Slice-of-Life show of the highest quality. P. A. Works did a fantastic job with this animation, and the colorful magic effects are a highlight.

 

13. Laid-Back Camp

Laid-Back Camp anime

Another relaxing entry in the “cute girls doing cute things” genre is Laid-Back Camp.

As you can probably tell from its title, the atmosphere of this show is chill and laid-back.

It follows high-school girls Rin, Nadeshiko, and their friends as they go on camping trips throughout some of the most famous camping places in Japan.

Their activities, which include cooking marshmallows by the fire, are generally pleasant and calming – and watching these girls bundled up in their winter clothes makes me want to climb beneath my covers for warmth.

 

12. Non Non Biyori

Non Non Biyori anime screenshot

Have you ever felt the calm and stillness of a rural town? These long-lived human settlements with only a handful of inhabitants are often so quiet, some city folk think it’s “too quiet to sleep”!

That’s only one of the small challenges facing Hotaru, a fifth-grade student moving from Tokyo to Asahigaoka, a small traditional Japanese village where time seems to flow at a different pace.

It’s so small that all school grades share a single classroom – and a single teacher.

Non Non Biyori thrives in this quiet atmosphere where nothing ever happens, as it makes its colorful characters stand out even more.

 

11. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid anime

Another comedy that’s bound to relax you is Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, which follows Kobayashi’s misadventures after a dragon moves in with her.

A dragon maid, that is.

Kobayashi’s life as an office worker/programmer is awfully relatable if you’re the reliable type. She’s hard on herself and responsible to a fault, creating a stark contrast with her carefree dragon maid, Tohru.

Throughout the series you’ll get to know other dragon newcomers to the human world and empathize with the very human problems they’ll have to overcome to adapt.

There’s lots of absurd humor in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, but the heartwarming tale of friendship and family are at the core.

Which should warm you up and send you to bed with a smile on your face.

 

10. Wataten! An Angel Flew Down to Me

Wataten! An Angel Flew Down to Me anime

One of the most recent releases to make this ranking is Wataten!, a heartwarming show exploring the relationship between university student Miyako Hoshino, her stupidly cute elementary-school sister, and her equally adorable friends.

The show is a nonstop barrage of great jokes and cute girls in costumes – and it just gets better with every episode.

Miyako’s character development is nice to watch, and the portrayal of her wonderful relationship with her little sister is really heartwarming.

 

9. Barakamon

Barakamon anime screenshot

People talk about teenage years as some of the most emotionally turbulent, but being a young adult can be challenging too.

After an aggressive outburst toward a critic of his work puts his emotional stability in doubt, 23-year-old calligrapher Seishu Handa is sent by his father to live in the peaceful Goto Islands so he can find his inner balance.

Despite this relatively intense beginning, most of the series is actually pretty relaxing thanks to Seishu’s calm and collected personality (whenever he’s not punching critics in the face).

His interactions with the energetic and curious 7-year-old Naru are also heartwarming, as is watching him become acquainted with many of the island’s inhabitants.

 

8. Sound of the Sky

Sound of the Sky anime

When I first watched Sound of the Sky, I was mesmerized by the beautiful scenery and magical atmosphere of its setting – the town of Seize, based on real-world Cuenca, Spain.

Incredible landmarks of this mountain town, such as the St. Paul Bridge and St. Paul Convent, are recreated beautifully in the anime.

If you want an awesome anime wallpaper, just Google some stills from this show!

And this beautiful environment is the perfect stage for the heartwarming tale of the 1121st platoon, and main-character Kanata Sorami, who joins the army as a bugler.

If you like cute girls doing cute things in military uniforms, you can’t miss this show.

 

7. Usagi Drop

Usagi Drop anime screenshot

Parents worldwide will be quick to tell you nothing is relaxing about having a child.

Now watching someone else raise a child – that’s different.

Usagi Drop follows 30-year-old Daikichi after adopting Rin – his grandpa’s illegitimate child – to save her from a life of being ostracized by other members of his extended family.

This unique series deals with parenting in a somewhat realistic but uplifting fashion – just stay away from the manga if you don’t want this picture shattered by its edgy ending.

 

6. Hyouka

Hyouka anime screenshot

If you don’t mind some big-brain sleuthing and a couple philosophical conversations to go with your relaxing anime, Hyouka is a no-brainer.

It follows the Classic Literary Club members after main character Hotaru Oreki joins to bolster their numbers and keep it from being closed down.

Watching Hyouka – or anything by Kyoto Animation – will make you sleepy in the same way looking at a soft pillow on a clean bed will.

Their characters are drawn and animated to make them look like the most comfortable people in the world to be around.

Hyouka takes it to the next level with its legendarily lazy main character, who sets the show’s pace – a very leisurely pace. The other three main characters have energy to spare.

But one look at Hotarou’s daydreaming, lazy face will get you yawning in no time.

 

5. Natsume’s Book of Friends

Natsume’s Book of Friends anime

One of the most unexpectedly popular shows in recent years is Natsume’s Book of Friends, which follows a 16-year-old orphaned teen who can talk to spirits known as “Yokai”.

Takashi Natsume inherits a book from his grandmother.

And then realizing it was used to “bind” Yokai by taking their names, he takes it upon himself to find these spirits and free them from this contract.

Throughout several seasons you’ll watch Takashi slowly finding himself and learning about life by visiting these Yokai. It definitely has some dramatic and intense moments, but it’s a pretty slow and atmospheric show for the most part.

 

4. Aria

Aria anime screenshot

Sometimes, it’s better to return to the classics.

The Aria animated series began in 2005 with Aria the Animation and quickly garnered a healthy following thanks to its appealing setting, beautiful vistas, and lovable characters.

Further releases like Aria the Natural and Aria the Origination have only cemented this appreciation.

The show is set on a far-future version of Mars, which has been terraformed into a blue planet known as Aqua. Specifically, it takes place on Neo Venezia, a futuristic version of Earth’s Venice.

If falling in love with angelical gondola drivers from the future isn’t relaxing, I don’t know what is.

 

3. Flying Witch

Flying Witch anime

We’ve all wanted to wake up and find a Hogwarts admission letter on our bedside table.

But what do actual magic users wish they could do?

The well-loved slice-of-life Flying Witch explores this through its protagonist Makoto, a young novice witch who moves to the countryside to live with relatives – meeting new people and exploring a new reality.

You’ll slowly fall in love with Makoto and her new friends as you watch her try to juggle being a witch with a normal high-school life.

 

2. Tanaka-kun is Always Listless

Tanaka-kun is Always Listless anime

I’m a fan of high-school slice-of-life anime that transports me to simpler times.

This fantastic show revolves around Tanaka, a sleepy high-school student who can’t seem to shake off morning grogginess in the entire day.

I used to doze off a lot during my high-school years – probably due to watching anime into the wee hours of the morning every single day. Tanaka-kun reminds me of that, and it makes me awfully sleepy too.

Since Tanaka is always dozing off, the story focuses on the characters around Tanaka. Including friends, frenemies, and even a romantic interest.

It’s like someone mixed a standard SoL plot with Lorazepam. And it’s perfect for a late-night anime fix before bed.

 

1. Mushishi

Mushishi anime screenshot

Some shows are so slow, so calming, that it’s hard not to fall asleep after a couple episodes – even if you love the series!

That’s what happens to most of us with Mushishi.

Not only is the main character Ginko calm and collected, but the atmosphere of the show is sober and relaxing. Like staying inside on a rainy day.

Ginko’s interactions with Mushi – little spirit-like creatures made of life energy – can get intense, but somehow, it never breaks the show’s harmony.

Every episode of Mushishi is like a little self-contained bedtime story. Most of them even have a teaching about our place in the world’s ecosystems and interpersonal relationships.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.