Open Letters

An Open Letter to the TV Sleep Timer

Dear TV Sleep Timer,

According to “science”, you are not necessarily a good thing. See, I read in this report on this online science trade journal I subscribe to (Twitter) that there are some “scientists” who claim that you aren’t supposed to watch TV in your bed right before you fall asleep, which is totally bananas because everyone knows that the only way to put yourself to sleep is to eat a bowl of cereal right when you get in bed and then stay up watching TimeLife music anthology infomercials until 3am (trust me, I know what I am talking about here).

In fact, there’s an entire sub-genre of television called Shows To Fall Asleep To (there isn’t — I just made that up) and some of my favorites include the finest crime procedural dramas network television has to offer. Or just anything on TNT. Hey, do you have insomnia? You should probably get a television set in your bedroom that exclusively plays TNT. I’m not insinuating that TNT shows are lacking in entertainment (they’re not, for the record – I mean, TNT knows drama, as they say*) but there’s something about a good stable crime procedural that is so comforting and safe. There’s nothing I want more than to cocoon myself in blankets and be lulled to sleep by the sounds of Rizzoli complaining to Isles about how much she hates dressing like a girl while studying blood patterns at a crime scene.

And then? Then that’s when you come in, Sleep Timer! Let’s say I put on one of the Shows To Fall Asleep To. Someone dies in like, the first four minutes, during which time I squint at the television set in the dark to make sure I program the TV to sleep after 45 minutes. Then opening credits roll, cut to commercial and just after the first big clue comes along, I fall asleep. Do I ever find out who the killer is? No. Do I care? No. I get a good night sleep with no interruptions and I’m saving that polar bear that starves on that one episode of Planet Earth (spoiler alert: I think that bear dies) because I’m conserving energy (you’re welcome, future polar bears). Then I wake up the next morning fresh-eyed and bushy-tailed and also bushy-eyed and fresh-tailed and it’s all thanks to you, TV Sleep Timer.

Fond Regards,


*they = TNT. I mean, it’s what it says right under their logo.

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  • Ann Marie Landry

    I use the sleep timer multiple times during the night! Or, I just leave it on all night, causing the destruction of the rain forest (somehow–I don’t know science!).

  • Becky Phelan

    <3 My personal Show To Fall Asleep To is MASH (I have all 11 seasons on DVD). I am entertained and distracted enough to keep my brain from whizzing around, but I don't have to pay so much attention that it keeps me awake! I always complain about the no-TV-in-the-bedroom studies because without the distraction, my brain would NEVER shut down!

  • Melissa Senger

    I like anything on HGTV to sleep to. Or reruns of things I’ve seen a hundred times. Thought the Wonder Years would work til I realized it’s been too long since I’ve seen it and it was keeping me up because I wanted to watch it!

  • Lindsay Sell

    i fall asleep to go ghost adventures lol. i really do find it comforting. i love listening to zak yell at aaron and all the, “dude run!”‘s. just comfortable to me :)

  • Brittany Woodell

    It’s The Office for me. Or any of the movies I’ve seen about a hundred times (harry potter, wet hot american summer, etc).

    Though, I have to say, lately I’ve been reading. Kindle has it’s own sort of sleep timer on the light, and I never lose my place when I fall asleep since it just shuts down and there are no bookmarks I need to put into place before passing out.

  • Jamie Moffatt

    Lord of the Rings is my lullabye. Unfortunately, I’ve used it as one so many times I now can not actually watch the movie, I nod off before they’re out of Hobbitown.

  • Caitlin C

    My sleep shows include anything on adult swim, law and order SVU, the fairly oddparents, and spongebob. sweet dreams! :)

  • Elisabeth Miller

    Before I started getting mad insomnia and had to stop watching tv right before I fell asleep, I would watch Nick at Nite with The Cosby Show, Full House and Roseanne. Comfort tv.

  • Laura Harris

    I have it on the news… they are there when I go to sleep and there when I wake up and turn the TV back on. It’s like they watch over me haha.

  • Catherine Bruno

    I put the sleep timer on sometimes. Usually when I can’t sleep at night, but I never really watch the TV I use it for light and sound mostly.

  • Jill McCool

    As disturbing as the show content can be, the narrator’s voice on “Gangland” can knock me out like a monotonous professor.

    • Ivonne Suarez

      Based on voice alone, I would absolutely marry that guy!

  • Liz Jacobus

    I have to watch Investigation Discovery(ID) every night while I’m falling asleep. I paid for the upgraded Comcast package just for that channel. You would think living alone and being a female that would be the last channel I would watch before bed.

    • Jerusha Smith

      Same here! I love it because they have programming all night and never go to infomercials. There is nothing worse than being awakened at 4am by Billy Mays screaming, “KABOOM!” But I do notice I sometimes have really bad dreams and I am sure it is caused by falling asleep to the words, “Her burned and mutilated body was found 3 days later…”

  • Heather Mckown

    When i was in jr. high i would always fall asleep to Felicity, even before she chopped her hair off…

  • Lindsay Bradleigh Shank

    I’m currently falling asleep to ‘Felicity’ but other TV shows that hold the honor are: The Office, Eureka, Doctor Who, How I Met Your Mothers, and Gossip Girl in addition to the countless movies that permanently live in my bedroom for this reason alone.

  • Sarah Mihalus

    It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who does this! My current falling asleep show are the commentary tracks for various episodes of Psych.

  • Lauren Nespoli

    I don’t have a TV in my room (I know; I’m probably the only person who doesn’t!). But I love going on vacation and being able to fall asleep with the TV on a sleep timer. Sometimes it’s a crime show, sometimes a comedy, sometimes an old favorite; I just feel like it keeps me entertained and then when my eyes can’t stay open anymore it lulls me to sleep!

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