Talking Dutch: Sweet dreams


Snooze-inducing clips are all the rage, offering flight simulators, instructional videos and insipid kids’ programming, all designed to bore the bejeezus out of you

Derek Blyth finds a cure for insomnia

Tired of counting sheep? A new website offers a range of soothing video clips to give you a good night’s sleep, reports De Standaard.

De eedaflegging van koning Filip – King Filip taking the oath, de Last Post in Ieper – the Last Post in Ypres of een ritje door Antwerpen vanuit de tram – or a tram ride through Antwerp.

These restful videos have been posted on the website Mattflix to help insomniacs settle down for the night. The idea started in Spain, where sleepless nights are apparently a national problem, and people sometimes try the wrong remedy.

Slaapexperts raden bij insomnia aan – Sleep experts advise people suffering from insomnia om even voor de televisie te gaan zitten – to sit in front of the television. Maar wie de fout maakt om iets te bekijken op Netflix – but anyone who makes the mistake of sitting down to watch something on Netflix ziet zijn nachtrust als sneeuw voor de zon verdwijnen – will see their sleep vanish like snow melting in the sun.

Stel – Imagine, says De Standaard: je lichaam is moe – your body is tired, je geest nog niet – but your mind isn’t, en dan besluit je een spannende serie te beginnen op Netflix – and so you start to watch an exciting series on Netflix.

Voor je het weet – Before you know it, zit je een seizoen verder – you’ve watched a whole season en kamp je met een tekort aan slaap – and you’re struggling with sleep deprivation.


Two Spaniards originally came up with the idea of a siesta video website. Launched under the name Napflix, it allows people to watch the most soporific videos on the internet: a log fire burning for two hours, the sound of rain against a window pane, or a beach where nothing happens. And if that doesn’t work, then you can watch their own 23-minute black-and-white film of metro doors closing.

The idea was recently copied as a marketing stunt by the Dutch mattress start-up Matt Sleeps. So you can nod off to clips with titles like brieven posten – posting letters, de roltrap draait doorrr – the escalator keeps rrrolling and Damduiven – pigeons on the Dam. There is even a new Dutch word for the trend – slaaptelevisie – sleep television.

And now, just as day follows night, the idea has spread across the border. ‘Mattflix is een online slaapzenderMattflix is an online sleep channel waar iedereen gratis slaapverwekkende filmpjes van eigen bodem kan streamen’ – where everyone can stream free sleep-inducing clips from Flanders, explained Matt Sleeps founder Joep Verbunt. 

So if you’re wondering how to get to sleep, Mattflix might be the answer. You can watch Flightsimulator van Zaventem naar Oslo – Flight simulator from Zaventem to Oslo, Training digitale kassa – how to use the digital cash register, or an episode of the extremely uneventful children’s programme Tik-Tak.

Unless of course this story has already put you to sleep.