Our favorite bad sleepers from Christmas movies

December 9, 2020 6 mins read
Our favorite bad sleepers from Christmas movies

When it comes to the silver screen and our favorite Christmas reruns, sleep scenes in movies seem to fling good sleep habits out the window. As the audience, all we seem to see are “Good morning it’s Christmas!” expressions or “Goodnight, Santa’s coming” allusions to our favorite actors’ sleeping performance. We’re always left wondering if they do actually sleep and if we (as real-life human beings) were to be put into their place, what quality of sleep we’d be getting.

This is where we, a bunch of movie sleep critics, step into the glitz and glam of the movie business and show you our worst festive sleepers and what our favorite bad sleep scenes in movies would do to your sleep (in real-life).

Love Actually: the scene where Sarah’s phone interrupts an almost perfect recipe for nookie with Karl.

We’ll say this again, and a million times more. If there is ever a reason to put away the devices before bed, you have to watch this scene between Sarah (Laura Linney) and Karl (Rodrigo Santoro). We’ve waited one and a half hours into the movie to finally see our undercover couple get the opportunity to take their relationship to the next level (in the bedroom)… But alas, the most hated phone in movie business rings again, and because Sarah is such a devoted sister and puts everyone above herself, she prioritizes her phone instead of a night of sleep-inducing sheet rustling.


So what about this scene, in real life, would affect our sleep? We’re fully blaming phones. Sarah’s sleep must suffer severely from always having her phone on loud. If the blue light emitted from the screen doesn’t affect her ability to keep a consistent sleep-wake cycle, then the noise of the constant ringing definitely shouts sleep disruptions.

So it’s no wonder that Sarah is always so high-strung, she’s most definitely not getting any sleep. (If only she had gone all the way with Karl, she would be able to see the real sleep benefits of bedtime intimacy).

The Holiday: the scene where Amanda is eating in Iris’ bed on her first night of the house-swap.

We don’t know about you, but after flying 11 hours (business class aside), we’re definitely feeling the effects of jetlag. And after a full bottle of wine (cue supermarket scene), we’re well on our way to sleep-ville. But not for this screen queen Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who merrily uses her bed as a restaurant and instead of syncing into her new timezone, fights through the effects with more alcohol… that’s until Graham (Jude Law) shows up and well, we never quite get invited into that scene. (but we know there’s eventually sleep, we think).

However, if this were a scenario in real life, we’d be lights out even before Graham knocked on the door. But not in Amanda’s case…


Because in the same scene, she is seen reaching for anti-acid pills whilst drinking (another) bottle of red wine. Which lets us know that she is indeed a “sleep-sabotager” as her sleep is undoubtedly disrupted from acid reflux and insomnia caused by alcohol. Let’s not forget her busy mind, which all accumulates into one of the worst sleepers we’ve seen on screen.

Home Alone: the scene where everyone sleeps through the alarm

On the eve of a family trip to Paris, Kevin McCallister (Macauley Culkin) fights with his brother at dinner and is exiled to the attic. That night, heavy winds play havoc with the power lines, and the McCallister family oversleeps.

If you’ve slept through an alarm then you know the panic that quickly sets in, and it’s no different for the McAllister family. Unfortunately, in their scramble to get out the door and make their flight, they forget about Kevin in the attic and leave him behind.

Hilarity ensues, and Kevin saves the day.

Fast forward to real life. What causes you to sleep through your alarm? First up, you’re probably not getting enough sleep. Experts recommend you get between 7-9 hours of shut-eye each night. Other reasons why you’re hitting the snooze button could be a disrupted sleep pattern or a sleep disorder.

Dumb and Dumber: the scene where Lloyd dreams about Mary

If there were a prize for best dream scene in a movie, then Lloyd (Jim Carrey) would take it. While driving, he slips into a dream about his love interest, and boy is it detailed! Vivid dreams tend to be intense, and they feel realistic. Because they occur in the REM cycle of sleep, which lasts 20 to 25 minutes, vivid dreams can feel like a long drawn out movie.

Unfortunately, Lloyd’s dreamy movie takes place while he’s driving. Feeling sleepy while driving is a recipe for disaster, but luckily the screwball comedy duo is saved at the last moment by a pair of flashing, um, lights.

Sleepless in Seattle: the scene where Jonah tells the radio station host his dad doesn’t sleep

One of the most iconic bad sleepers in the history of film is Sam (Tom Hanks) in Sleepless in Seattle. In this scene, Sam’s son, Jonah (Ross Aaron Malinger) calls into a radio show and tells the host that he wants his dad to find a new wife because he has been miserable since his wife passed away a year and a half prior. The host gets Jonah to put his dad on the phone, and they start talking. When she asks him if he sleeps, Jonah replies: “He doesn’t sleep at all.”

In real life, dealing with grief can cause insomnia and disrupted sleep, which can often last for weeks, months or even years. A lack of sleep can be detrimental to your health and wellbeing, and because Meg Ryan is not the answer to your sleeplessness, as she is in this movie, it is important to take steps to process your grief to improve your sleep.

The Proposal: the scene where Andrew sleeps on the floor at his parents’ house in Alaska

If you haven’t seen the Proposal yet, spoiler alert. In the movie, Canadian Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock), executive editor-in-chief of a publishing company in New York, convinces her assistant (and future love-of-her-life) Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her, so she can stay in the U.S. after violating the terms of her work VISA. To make their relationship seem real, they go to Sitka, Alaska, to visit his family for the weekend.

To avoid any awkward intimacy at bedtime, Andrew opts to sleep on the floor.

Believe it or not, there are some benefits of sleeping on the floor. It could be good for correcting your posture, but if you are not used to it, like Andrew, chances are you won’t get the best sleep. (If you get any sleep at all).

That’s a wrap

Now that you’ve seen the worst sleepers from your favorite festive season movie picks, we’re pretty sure you’ve grabbed the remote for a good ol’ binge session. Do you know what goes best with Christmas classics? Tucking into sleep expert-approved festive season food