What Is ASMR?
ASMR, which stands for ”autonomous sensory meridian response”, is a sensation that typically originates in the scalp area and down the back of the neck.
This phenomenon is also typically accompanied by feelings of relaxation and mild drowsiness.
It is often referred to as a sort of “tingling” feeling and is experienced by some people in response to a specific stimulus. This phenomenon is also typically accompanied by feelings of relaxation and mild drowsiness.
There are a variety of stimuli that are popularly known to cause ASMR, referred to by many as “triggers”, that can come in the form of certain audio or other sensory cues.
Some examples of common audio ASMR stimuli include:
- Gentle tapping
- Page turning
Some examples of common visual ASMR stimuli include:
- Mixing paint
- Lighting patterns
- Neatly slicing objects
- Completing a puzzle
Some examples of tactile ASMR stimuli include:
- Tickling of the arm
- Drawing on the back
- Humming through the nasal passages
There have been many cases in which individuals who have encountered an ASMR event report different physiological and psychological benefits as a result of the experience.
Although most of the evidence is strictly anecdotal, more scientific research into the potential benefits is actively being conducted.
Some of the reported benefits of ASMR experiences include:
- Relaxation and decompression
- Improved mood
- Relief of stress
- Counteracting depression
- Improved concentration
- Reduced vulnerability to intrusive thoughts
- Improved productivity/efficiency
Another one of the commonly reported benefits of ASMR is the relief of insomnia, or in other words, help to sleep.
ASMR for sleep has become more and more of an accepted practice over the years and will be discussed in more depth as we continue on.
How Does ASMR Impact Your Brain?
One of the most important things to understand about ASMR is that people will affect people differently, or will actually not affect some people at all.
Many will report pleasant experiences and positive reactions, while others will simply not find an ASMR event to be pleasurable in any way.
There has not been a significant amount of scientific research and experimental data gathered in regards to how ASMR impacts your brain.
However, it can be inferred that ASMR experiences are likely to involve the release of neurochemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and/or endorphins.
Dopamine in specific is directly associated with the reward centers of the brain but is actually also associated with “frisson”. Frisson is a psychophysiological response associated with a feeling of “chills”.
Dopamine is associated with this phenomenon and is most likely one of the main active neurochemicals that is present during an ASMR event.
It has also been found that ASMR experiences activate the medial prefrontal cortex, which is an advanced area of the brain that is associated with self-awareness, social information processing, and social behaviors.
How Does ASMR Help You Sleep?
Like many of the other aspects of ASMR, how it acts on the brain, and the relative benefits, ASMR for sleep has not been extensively researched.
However, existing studies and a significant amount of anecdotal evidence indicate that ASMR may actually have the potential to help with sleep!
As with other potential benefits associated with ASMR, some individuals will reap them while others will not.
The information that we do have about ASMR and what it does to the brain provides correlational evidence that it does have the potential to improve sleep.
Dopamine and oxytocin are both known for being sleep-inducing hormones in their own right.
ASMR has been shown to activate specific regions of the brain that are responsible for calming, relaxation, and the release of these sleep-inducing hormones.
One of the most popular applications for ASMR is for the relief of insomnia, and other sleep-related issues.
In a recent survey that consulted individuals that use video or audio clips to induce ASMR experiences, over 80 percent of those people use ASMR to help them get to sleep at night.
Does ASMR Work On Everyone?
The reality about ASMR and its effectiveness is that some people are simply more likely to experience ASMR than others. Some people report being irritated instead of pleased by ASMR, while others report not experiencing ASMR whatsoever.
Some of the more recent studies conducted in this regard have revealed that individuals who experienced ASMR also displayed higher levels of anxiety and neuroticism – neuroticism is a trait associated with a disposition to experiencing negative emotions, instability, and irritability.
In light of these findings, people have been able to conclude that ASMR experiences are more effective and/or more pleasant for individuals who are experiencing higher levels of anxiety, depression, or otherwise negative emotions and feelings.
ASMR is a personalized experience that will inherently differ from individual to individual, in terms of the triggers as well as the effects of the experience itself.
It is safe to say that ASMR does not actually work on everyone. There are individuals who find the experience to be more of an irritation than a pleasant event, while others report simply not experiencing ASMR at all.
Best Ways To Listen To ASMR
ASMR can be experienced in a variety of ways, including visual triggers, auditory triggers, and tactile triggers.
In regards to auditory ASMR, there are a few great ways to maximize your ASMR listening experience.
Headphones and earphones are the most popular ways people choose to listen to their ASMR content.
Earphones are great for individuals who are listening to their ASMR content while in bed as they are not bulky and will be much more comfortable to use than headphones.
Earphones are also known to deliver sound more directly into the ear canal, which will increase the clarity and intensity of the audio, which in turn can make for a more profound ASMR experience.
Headphones on the other hand offer a number of advantages. Some headphones have been designed specifically to promote a high level of noise canceling capabilities.
Noise-canceling headphones will effectively reduce and even fully eliminate any background sounds, which will help ASMR listeners to immerse themselves in their content without any distractions.
Here are a few important things to look for when choosing your listening equipment:
Good Detail Retrieval
- Having a pair of headphones that pick up on the low-level components that make up a sound will help your ears and brain pick up on the subtle details that make a sound what it is.
- Noise cancellation is arguably one of the most important aspects of a good pair of headphones for ASMR.
- Excessive background noise can interfere with the ASMR audio content and as a result, hinder the overall experience.
- Noise-canceling headphones will help to eliminate disruptive background noise and allow listeners to avoid distractions and become fully immersed in the ASMR experience.
- Headphone impedance refers to the amount of resistance that is applied to the electric current that is being transmitted by the amplifier.
- A higher impedance will mean that your audio source will need more power to deliver your sound at an acceptable volume.
- This is important for ASMR listening sessions in which lower volume, softer sounds must be heard clearly in order to enjoy a complete experience.
Best ASMR YouTubers
ASMR has become an incredibly popular niche on Youtube, arguably the most popular video-sharing platform that exists today.
Some of the best “ASMRtists” have grown their following strictly by posting their content on Youtube for the world to enjoy.
Here are a few of the best ASMR YouTubers!
Maria “Gentle Whispering” Viktorovna
Maria Viktorovna is a Russian ASMR practitioner who is known as one of the original ASMRtists to become somewhat of a celebrity.
After experiencing issues with her mental health following a divorce, Maria turned to ASMR to help cope. She then developed into one of the most popular ASMR content creators on youtube, currently with over 2.1 million subscribers.
She has built a huge following by providing ASMR sleep aid content, in which she uses gentle whispering to provide a calming sense of well-being.
She uses her soft-spoken manner to connect with her viewers, while even telling personal anecdotes and putting on makeup while making her content.
Maria has earned her place as one of the best and most consistently active ASMR YouTubers in her niche.
Tingting is a Chinese-born YouTuber who has gained international popularity with her ASMR channel.
She makes a variety of content from cosmetology to role-playing and loves to inject her Chinese influences and traditions into her videos.
Her most popular video is titled “Sleep Recovery – 3 Hours of Hair Treatments”, amassing over 11 million views.
Tingting currently has a total subscriber count of well over 2.2 million, and is actively putting out new content for her viewers to enjoy!
SAS – ASMR
SAS – ASMR is a Canadian ASMR YouTuber, who was born in Thailand and is known for creating and delivering food-related ASMR content to her viewers.
She has become internationally renowned for her “mukbang” videos, in which she indulges in different foods while accentuating the sounds of her eating.
Her channel was created back in 2016, and she gradually started making ASMR videos in the following months. Today, SAS – ASMR has a total subscriber count of over 9.3 million, making her the most subscribed ASMR channel on Youtube.
With a total of well over 1500 videos, she offers a variety of high-quality ASMR content for her audience. Definitely one of the most experienced and consistent ASMR YouTubers currently active!
Taylor Darling, more popularly known as “ASMR Darling”, is an American Youtuber residing in Florida who started as an ASMRtist back in the year 2016.
She has become incredibly well known for her ear-to-ear whispering ASMR content, while also using upwards of 20 triggers in some of her videos.
Darling specializes in sleep-related ASMR, using some of the more popular techniques alongside whispering (tapping, scratching, brushing, etc..).
Her most popular video is titled “ASMR 20 Triggers To Help You Sleep”, and has gathered over 38 million views since it was posted in 2018.
If you are looking for some sweet, sexy, relaxing ASMR that can help with sleep and insomnia, ASMR darling is definitely one of the Youtubers to check out.
In this article, we have covered everything you need to know about ASMR for sleep.
We covered the basics of ASMR and what it is, as well as provided some more in-depth details regarding how ASMR impacts the human brain.
We talked about ASMR as a sleep-aid, how it can affect people differently, and also briefly highlighted some of the best ways to listen to ASMR.
To wrap it all up, we highlighted a handful of the best ASMR Youtubers who have earned a reputation as great ASMRtists. Check them out for some awesome content!
We hope you have learned everything you need to know about ASMR and ASMR for sleep. Thanks for reading!