In the simplest terms, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a tingling sensation that some people experience due to certain auditory, visual, or tactile triggers.
Not everyone experiences ASMR. Those who do describe it as a pleasant, blissful sensation that moves down the spine. Some people describe it as chills or goosebumps, while others describe it as brain tingles originating at the top of the head or on random body parts.
ASMR is associated with relaxation. Most people report feeling calm, relaxed, or even sleepy when or after they experience it.
ASMR can be caused by a wide range of triggers, and the intensity varies from person to person depending on the specific trigger. This article will explore common ASMR triggers and how they affect your sleep.
Common ASMR Triggers
As previously mentioned, ASMR triggers can be audio, visual, or tactile. Below is a list of the most common ones:
- Whispering or soft speaking
- Scratching sounds
- Tapping sounds
- Pages turning
- Running water
- Slow, repetitive hand gestures
- Three-dimensional sounds, such as binaural beats
- Soft static sounds, such as white noise
- Crinkling sounds, such as crumpling plastic paper
- Hair play
- Personal attention
- Eye contact
- Blowing sounds
- Buzzing sounds
- Water drops
- Clock ticking
- Cat purring
- Ear brushing
- Color swatching
- Paint mixing
- Light tracing
- Finger fluttering
- Face touching
- Sticky sounds
How to Identify Your ASMR Triggers
Here are a few tips to help you identify your ASMR triggers:
- Pay attention to your body. If you notice an involuntary tingling sensation, note what you are doing, hearing, or what’s happening in your immediate environment. Investigate to discover if you are exposed to any of the above triggers. If you can identify it, note the type of trigger and the intensity of the sensation you experience.
- Expose yourself to different triggers. Now that you know the most common ASMR triggers, deliberately expose yourself to various types to identify which ones you react to. An effective experiment method would be to watch an ASMR video with different triggers and pay attention to which triggers you respond to.
- Reflect on your past experiences. A look back at your past can also help you figure out your ASMR triggers. Remember moments when you experienced tingling sensations, chills, or goosebumps and see if you can pinpoint the trigger.
- Journal about your triggers. If you experience ASMR regularly, record when it happens and the potential triggers that caused it. It will help you to identify patterns and get a better understanding of your triggers.
How Do ASMR Triggers Affect Your Sleep?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that ASMR triggers can help you to sleep better. However, there is no scientific evidence to back this claim.
That said, most people who experience ASMR report that it makes them feel relaxed, which can result in falling asleep more easily. In fact, some people watch ASMR videos online to prime themselves for sleep.
A 2019 study was performed to establish the effects of ASMR on the brain. The researchers did functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans on ASMR-sensitive participants as they watched ASMR videos.
The study established that ASMR activates 3 main parts of the brain: the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and the nucleus accumbens (NAcc).
The medial prefrontal cortex is the most likely to impact your sleep. It is associated with the production of oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphins, which are brain chemicals that promote relaxation and comfort. As such, ASMR may be beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety, ultimately resulting in better sleep.
How to Use ASMR for Better Sleep
To effectively use ASMR for better sleep, start by identifying your triggers. Once you know what your triggers are, it is easy to tap into them to get an ASMR reaction. Then, expose yourself to the triggers as part of your bedtime routine.
There are thousands of free ASMR videos on YouTube that you can watch that offer a wide range of triggers. Some are only a few minutes long, while others are longer. Identify the ones that work for you and create a playlist.
For some people, a single ASMR reaction is enough to relax them and even get them drowsy and sleepy. Others require exposure to ASMR triggers for an extended period to receive the relaxation benefits from this practice.
If your triggers are primarily auditory, use high-quality headphones when listening to ASMR videos for the best audio transmission and the most effective experience.
Note that ASMR triggers can cause overstimulation in some people resulting in restlessness. Therefore, it’s important to gauge yourself to determine how much stimulation works best for you.
As mentioned earlier, not everyone experiences ASMR. If you do not, you can use other relaxation techniques for better sleep. Some effective options include meditation, calming music, and delta frequency music.
Whether you are using ASMR triggers or other alternatives to fall asleep, set up a conducive environment for restful sleep. This includes a comfortable temperature in the room, your preferred amount of light or darkness, and adequate pillows and blankets to support your body and help you deeply relax.
Top 10 ASMR Triggers Videos on YouTube
- Calming ASMR Triggers That Will Make You Super Relaxed & Sleepy
- ASMR Sleep Like a Baby! 100+ Triggers Collection For Sleep (ASMR No Talking)
- ASMR for Those Who Want to Sleep Soundly Now / 3Hr (No Talking)
- SATISFYING VIDEO TO RELAX, CALM & PUT THE BRAIN TO SLEEP
- ASMR for People Who Need DEEP SLEEP (No Talking)
- ASMR The Ultimate Brain Melting Triggers / 99.9% of You Will Sleep (New Mic)
- ASMR Most Tingly 99.99% of You Will Sleep / 4Hr (No Talking)
- 99.99% of YOU will sleep to this ASMR
- ASMR FALL ASLEEP in 10 MINUTES or LESS ASMR FOR SLEEP! Light Test, FOCUS, Chaotic, or 5 Minutes
- SATISFYING VIDEO TO RELAX, CALM & PUT THE BRAIN TO SLEEP
Although there is a need for more research to establish the benefits of ASMR triggers for sleep, the few studies conducted so far indicate that ASMR triggers may induce relaxation and anxiety relief that can improve sleep.
There is a wide range of ASMR triggers. Some people respond to a variety of triggers, yet others react to only a few specific ones.
Pay attention to your body and expose yourself to different triggers to establish which ones work for you. Consider incorporating ASMR videos into your bedtime routine to help you unwind, relax, and easily fall asleep.