What's ASMR and Can It Help You Sleep?
A new video craze has swept the internet in recent years and, while being a little strange, it claims to be able to send you straight to sleep. It’s called ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response), and it has been hailed as one of the best, natural ways to relax, unwind, and relieve anxiety, helping thousands of people already. But what's the catch?
ASMR is a series of subtle sounds and movements that stimulate the comforting sensation of relaxation in the viewer. Whispering voices, stroking someone’s hair, the things in life which help us to relax, are all used in ASMR to evoke a “tingling” sensation, or that ‘hairs on the back of the neck’ feeling. But the catch is that it doesn't work for everyone.
According to Heather Feather, a popular YouTuber who makes ASMR videos, “it feels like the amazing chills you get when someone plays with your hair or traces your back with their fingertips”.
Types of ASMR
There are two main types of ASMR, intentional and unintentional.
Intentional is the most common variety, and these are the videos found on YouTube where ASMR artists create various sounds and movements to stimulate a relaxing, sensory response.
Unintentional ASMR are experiences that occur in our everyday lives that may help us to relax, for example, having a haircut, or listening to someone speak with a soothing voice.
What Causes an ASMR Response?
It’s important to understand that not everyone responds to ASMR, and even those who do, don’t always respond in the same way. Things that trigger sensations in one person, may do nothing for another. ASMR pleasure sensations usually occur when an individual is exposed to particular smells, sounds, sights or textures, for example:
The sound of rain.
Pages of a book turning.
Walking on leaves.
Brushing hair or applying make-up.
Can ASMR Help You Sleep?
Research around ASMR is relatively new, and the term itself was only coined in 2010. A study on 475 people reported that 82% of them watched ASMR videos for the purpose of helping them sleep, and 70% to deal with stress and anxiety. Results showed that almost all of the viewers felt a heightened sense of relaxation after watching the videos, and it even induced sleep in some.
Because every viewer needs a different ASMR experience, it’s key to try out lots of different stimulants in order to achieve your desired sensory response.
For The Ultimate Night's Sleep
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How To Try ASMR
Thanks to the beauty of the internet, thousands of ASMR videos are available to watch on YouTube (more than 15 million!). From whispering to tapping, brushing hair to scratching, there are countless forms of ASMR to try. The most popular channels include TheWaterWhispers and HeatherFeather, each with their own range of popular videos. There are also AMSR podcasts available on Spotify, which are great for those who prefer to just listen, rather than watch.
Give yourself a “brain-massage” today, and see if ASMR can help you sleep better!
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