Would someone rustling a bag of crisps help you get to sleep? Or how would watching someone pretend to be giving out spa treatments set you up for a good night’s kip?
Welcome to the weirdly wonderful world of ASMRs.
With millions of people mesmerized by this ever-growing phenomenon, what is ASMR and can it really help us sleep better? We’ve taken a look at how it works, and offered a few top videos to try out to find an ASMR trigger that works for you!
What is ASMR?
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a term coined to describe a tingling sensation that often begins in the back of the head, and spreads down to the neck and across your upper back. This sensation is often caused by visual or audio stimulation, and is widely believed to help boost wellbeing and encourage feelings of relaxation.
How does ASMR work?
This is where it gets interesting. There is no real scientific explanation into the understanding of ASMR and why it creates such a sensation that helps you relax and sleep better.
However, there are a variety of ASMR triggers that are renowned for bringing on the tingling feelings to the back of your head and neck, including:
- Personal attention
- Slow movements
- Crisp sounds
Visuals and situation-based scenarios (or, to put it more more bluntly, role-play) are also known as ASMR techniques, varying from watching someone pretend they are getting their hair cut or acting as if they are a doctor treating a patient. Ridiculously boring activities like spraying water or crumpling up a sheet of paper are ASMR triggers too.
But in terms of proof of how ASMRs can help you sleep, it’s all down to anecdotal evidence. All we do know is that it certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to relaxation techniques.
In a study of 500 people, Swansea University found that the majority of participants reacted well to slow movements, crisp sounds and whispers, helping them relax, de-stress and allowing them to sleep better. But the experiment concluded that there was no understanding why it works, with the only theory being that people felt intimate (in a non-hanky panky kind of way) which, in turn, made them feel relaxed and aided sleep.
Best ASMR YouTube Accounts
The most practical way to use ASMR for sleeping is to stick on a video as you get into bed. YouTube is absolutely jampacked with vloggers showcasing the best ASMR techniques to help you relax, offering different styles and methods to trigger those senses.
Here are five of the top ASMR YouTube accounts you need to subscribe to so you can get your brain tingle fixes:
Whisper Talk Studios
With over 20,000 subscribers, Whisper Talk Studios offer a whole range of ASMR videos to get the senses going. You’ll find everything from a softly spoken travel agent and a virtual haircut, to the sound of food being cut up to help you wind down and get a better night’s sleep.
No, this isn’t just someone whispering down your ear to help you switch off. Gentle Whispering takes ASMR to the next level – her 1.3 million subscribers can vouch for that – with the boundaries of sounds and visuals being pushed to the limit to aid tranquillity. Her adventure-based videos are great too, bringing ASMRs to the great outdoors – the ultimate in relaxation.
Located in the Gold Coast, Australia, channel-owner Dmitri brings over 700 ASMR videos for you to enjoy. His much-watch list includes “Tapping you to sleep with Dr Von Tap”, “No talking marathon” (this one lasts 287 hours!) and “Captain CoCo Crinkle Pop” – they might have slightly bizarre names, but they are brilliant ASMRs techniques!
Ally from ASMR Requests has almost 500,000 followers and specialises in making the videos people want to see – hence the name! Her goal is to bring your ASMR dreams to life, be it the noise of a pencil crayon colouring in or a dog being brushed, to the sight of a mandala stone being painted.
The UK ASMR
An expert in ASMR sleep techniques, the UK ASMR will help you effortlessly drift off to the land of nod. This lip-smacking, poetry reading, scalp massaging YouTuber will bring that tingling sensation to your head and neck in no time at all.
Winding down your mind before you go to bed needn’t be a chore. Autonomous sensory meridian response methods can be an effective way to help promote a state of relaxation, so try a few ASMR sleep technique videos when you hit the hay and see how they work for you!
Want more tips and advice on catching some Zs? Check out our other top tips and advice pages over on our blog homepage,