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February 13, 2017
SLEEP IS A BIG part of your day, even though you’re not actually conscious while you’re doing it. If you’re doing it right, you’ll spend one third of your life with your eyes closed and your brain flitting through dreamland, enjoying the restorative power of deep slumber.
Hollywood is fascinated with the mysteries of sleep, and there are many great movies on the subject. Since scientists are still unsure about much of what goes on in the human brain during sleep and dreaming, there’s a lot of room for the imagination to take over the storytelling. Whether you prefer a rom-com or a horror flick, there’s a great movie about sleep out there to suit your tastes.
This 80s sci-fi movie follows the adventures of a psychic who is tasked with entering people’s dreams to implant thoughts into their minds. When the U. S. president becomes an assassination target, things get real.
If you’ve ever wished you could control your dreams, this is the film for you. Leonardo DiCaprio plays an expert dreamer who works his way through layers of dreams within dreams. The plot is complex, the effects are astounding — and the ending will keep you guessing.
Think you have trouble sleeping? Try living in Alaska in the summer, when the sun never really sets. This 2002 murder mystery takes place under those circumstances. If you’re having trouble sleeping, this film could be just the thing to bide the time in the wee hours.
Another 80s classic, this horror movie was Johnny Depp’s first shot at stardom. Creepy Freddy Krueger haunts teen dreams, and if you die in your dream, you’ll never wake up. This one will keep you awake, so proceed with caution.
For a lighter turn, this Woody Allen comedy will bring the laughs. The main character is cryogenically frozen and wakes up years later to overthrow a hilariously inept authoritarian regime. It’s an homage to both ’50s sci-fi and Groucho Marx.
This animated Disney film from the 1950s follows the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty, who was cursed to sleep until a handsome prince comes to the rescue. Its beautiful color palette and soundtrack make it appropriate for all ages, so this one is a good bedtime story.
After the death of his wife, Tom Hanks suffers from insomnia in his grief. Meg Ryan hears his story on the radio, and it’s love at first listen. This is a classic romantic comedy that puts the human condition on display — including what it’s like to toss and turn at night.
It’s easy to forget that all of the color and magic of Oz are just a wonderful dream, but Dorothy wakes up in her bed at the end. If you haven’t watched this in a while, it’s definitely worth another look at this comforting childhood favorite. It could be just the thing to lull you to sleep when you need a helping hand.
Not every movie about sleep is going to help you catch your missing Zzs, so choose carefully before queuing one up before bed. Whether you are looking for a good scare or to relive the magic of a childhood favorite, there’s sure to be a movie about sleep that you’ll love.