Struggling to fall asleep? We’ve rounded up the most relaxing virtual tours, from deep ocean dives to NASA space station tours, to help you drift off.
We’ve all had those nights when you just can’t seem to fall asleep no matter what. With the NHS claiming that one in three of us suffer from bad sleep, insomnia is a problem a lot of us are looking to tackle.
If eight hours of slumber sounds like a dream to you and counting sheep just doesn’t do the trick — a virtual tour might be the ticket to a good night’s sleep. The research team at Uswitch has compiled a list of some of the most relaxing virtual tours that can help quiet your restless mind through nature, soothing sounds, and calming surroundings.
#1. David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef
There’s nothing more relaxing than the sound of nature and wildlife when you’re trying to drift off, especially if it’s accompanied by everybody’s favourite narrator; Sir David Attenborough.
Scientists at Brighton & Sussex Medical School found that nature sounds increase the body’s‘ ‘rest-digest’ response, which lowers your stress level and helps you become more relaxed for sleep.
Spend your downtime before bed virtually ‘snorkelling’ off OceanX’s marine vessel; The Alucia. Drift off whilst naturalist Sir David Attenborough explains how the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most fragile, but fascinating eco-systems in the world.
#2. Tembe Elephant Park Livestream
Nature lovers can tune into 6 different live streams of Tembe Elephant Park, based in Northern Tongaland, Africa – home to some of the biggest elephants in the world.
Lions, leopards, and rhinos are only a few of the park’s wildlife residents you might catch down by the watering hole. With a collection of over 340 species of bird, you can relax and drift off to the beautiful sounds brought to you by Mother Nature.
#3. Vatican Museum’s Virtual Tours
Virtual museum tours are the perfect way to unwind before bedtime, and where better to explore than one of the most famous museums in the world?
The Vatican is not only one of the world’s largest museums, but it’s also one of Rome’s most iconic historic monuments. The museum offers more than 10 virtual tours, using 360-degree imagery throughout the church.
Explore all of the incredible murals and tapestries on display inside, and then take a virtual stroll around the remaining Vatican City, all from the comfort of your bed.
#4. Berliner Philharmoniker Digital Concert Hall
Scientists at Hungary’s Semmelweis University discovered that listening to classical music before bedtime improves the sleep quality of young adults. So, what better way to test out the theory than with the Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Concert Hall?
You can access over 40 live broadcasts and hundreds of concerts covering six decades which feature some of the greatest conductors and soloists from around the world.
#5. Conservation International’s Under The Canopy
There’s no substitute for real wildlife encounters, but you can stay connected to nature with this virtual tour of the Amazon, narrated by indigenous guide Kamanja Panashekung and actor Lee Pace.
‘Under The Canopy’ takes you on an extraordinary journey through the infamous rainforest – perfect for kicking back and unwinding before you doze off.
If you’re not quite ready to drift off to sleep and if you have a VR headset – you can really immerse yourself in the adventure.
#6. NASA’s International Space Station Livestream
NASA’s live stream of their International Space Station will have you falling asleep and dreaming of the stars in no time.
Witness the sunrise as the station orbits around the earth and listen to conversations between the station’s crew and mission control.
If you’re lucky, you might even get to observe the magical view of the city lights below before you drift off into slumberland.
#7. National Marine Sanctuaries’ Virtual Dives
Scientists at Penn State University have found that the non-threatening sound of the ocean helps to calm us down before bedtime. The National Marine Sanctuaries offer several virtual dives – notably, the extraordinary exploration of Shipwreck Alley at Thunder Bay.
Immerse yourself in some of the world’s greatest underwater locations, and stay dry, warm, and cosy in bed whilst you do so.
#8. The Royal Academy’s ‘Gauguin And The Impressionists’
Plunge yourself into the allure and artistry of Denmark’s Royal Academy with a virtual tour of their ‘Gauguin And The Impressionists’ exhibition, before what is guaranteed to be a good night’s sleep.
‘Walk’ around the gallery, a goldmine of Impressionist art, and admire work from the likes of Renoir, Monet, Manet, and Pissarro whilst accompanied by peaceful classical music – from the comfort of your bed.