Is 'Futurama' The Next Great Sleep Hack?
Reader, are you tired? Do you spend your nights tossing and turning, struggling to catch even a wink of sleep? Are you guilty of telling yourself the eternal lie of “one more TikTok and then I'll head to bed" only to watch approximately 100 more videos of people badly attempting to dance to “Renegade” before finally putting your phone down? Have you tried everything, popping melatonin pills like Tic Tacs, dousing your pillows in lavender spray, making the heartbreaking switch to decaf coffee, and hell, even counting herd after herd of fictitious sheep, to no avail?
Well, before you set your bed ablaze, chuck your pillows out the window, and begrudgingly come to terms with a life defined by sleepless nights and cranky mornings, it seems there may still be hope – enter Matt Groening's classic animated series, Futurama.
Yep, over the past almost decade, a strong community of “Futurama Sleepers" has materialized online, with its several thousand members detailing not only their love for the show, but also just how effective watching the intergalactic adventures of Fry, Leela, and Bender has proven to be at helping them catch some much-needed z's.
“Back whenever it was on Netflix I say there wasn't a single night I fell asleep without Futurama for years, and now I know I wasn't the only one,” wrote one user, a self-described “Long time Futurama sleeper" on Reddit.
“I've been using Futurama to go to sleep for probably a decade now and always look crazy when I tell people that I do,” added another user on a recent post entitled “This is so surreal!”. "You can ‘watch’ the episodes while your eyes are closed and still know everything that's happening and who is talking. Nothing is ever jarringly loud to keep you up, and that sweet sweet opening theme is almost a lullaby for me now. So cool to find a community that feels the same way! Onward to restful nights with the best show ever keeping us calm!"
Although this phenomenon has existed for some time, with r/FuturamaSleepers, which boasts more than 20,000 followers, dating back to 2012, the trend recently gained more attention thanks to a viral TikTok posted earlier this week discussing the concept of dozing off to the beloved animated series.
“A lot of these people will insist that Futurama is the only thing that helps them fall asleep," explained TikTok user kothtok in her video, which has garnered more than 500,000 views in roughly one day. ”that they had insomnia until they discovered it."
While as kothtok notes in her video, fans on the page have claimed other shows including American Dad, South Park, and Rick and Morty have helped secure those eight hours, with another Reddit group called “Bob's Burgers Sleepers” existing on Reddit, albeit with 9 followers, these micro-communities evidently have nothing on Futurama, a trend the creator pins on two separate factors.
“I think it boils down to nostalgia and also the fact that Futurama's dialogue is really nicely paced and really resembles an actual conversation, which is odd because the show is like traveling through space but whatever,” she continued, before delving into the science of how watching comforting re-runs can help provoke feelings of calmness.
However, kothtok is far from alone in this assertion – other Futurama sleepers have credited the show's smooth cadence as an integral part of what makes it the perfect Adult Swim sleep aid. “It's the voice actors in combination,” explained another user. "Their voices are light, soothing and they blend well together turning into white noise in the background. No action scenes, no real conflict based arguments. PLUS the theme song is gentle and monotone. With all this goodness going on I tend to stay sleep until the streaming service stops or changes the show [sic]."
Yet just like all supposed miracle cures, Futurama as a sleep aid does have its drawbacks -- namely the loud-chime-y credit sequence. “Here I lay, just having called into work after not getting a wink of sleep. It’s happening more and more. Is it because I have insomnia? No, I don’t think so,” posted another user on the forum. “It’s because after I peacefully doze off to a season 1-6 episode, I’m jolted awake by the sound of TUBULAR BELLS,” they explained, singlehandedly evoking the collective zoomer memory of waking up on the living room couch at 3 a.m. to the sound of the George Lopez theme song. “I don’t even make it all the way through a single episode before I doze off, and then im jarred awake by the end credits. It’s like it’s louder than ever. I wish there were some feature to go immediately from the end of an episode to the next.”
So folks, next time you're struggling to get some shut-eye, Futurama has got you covered – even with its aggressive bells.
Top Image: Fox