Weird But Effective: These ASMR Videos Can Really Put You To Sleep In Minutes
Trouble sleeping? Try this therapist-recommended, drug-free solution.
Scroll through your recommended videos on Youtube and you are bound to see people whispering on their expensive microphones, dressed like they are playing a role, with a themed background to complete the overall look. They don’t look like they’re singing at all – more like mouthing words and repeatedly tapping the microphone and the camera rhythmically. Try watching the video, and you’ll have been introduced to the world of ASMR.
ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a feeling that you get when listening to gentle or relaxing sounds: people tapping on different objects, whispering close to a microphone, fluttering their fingers, or even the sound of running water.
The term “ASMR” was coined in 2010 and is often associated with a tingling sensation that starts from the scalp and goes to the back of your neck, down to your spine. Sometimes called a complete “brain massage,” ASMR is slowly making its way into our daily lives through the Youtube channels dedicated to the craft.
ASMR creators, or “ASMR-tists,” produce videos where they would make relaxing sounds and gestures using their mouth and some props to help viewers relax and even put them to sleep. These videos run from a half hour to 3 hours, and may differ in style, depending on the artist. Still a bit confused? Let famous Youtuber Gibi ASMR explain what this tingling sensation is all about.
The benefits of ASMR
Asha, an 18-year-old college student, has been listening to ASMR videos for three years now. She started when she noticed that her sleeping pattern changed: she would fall asleep at past 4 am and wake up in the afternoon, so she decided to do something about it.
“Palagi na lang akong puyat. I couldn’t seem to sleep, because there would always be something to distract me, until I decided to try ASMR,” she says.
At first, Asha found the phenomenon “weird,” because it was unusual for Youtubers to keep fluttering their fingers for three whole hours and get more than a million views. However, Asha got used to it.
“It really helped me fix my sleeping schedule. Before, I would always sleep at 4 am, but since I incorporated ASMR into my night routine, I have been sleeping before midnight.”
Asha suggests that you keep exploring to find your own “triggers,” or the assortment of sounds that will give you the tingles, as they are different for each person.
“For me, I get tingles when I hear gentle whispering and tapping on cardboard. It’s really important to find your triggers, dahil kapag ibang sounds yung pinakinggan mo, hindi siya magiging effective.”
The tingling sensation also helped Cassandra with her insomnia and anxiety. When the lockdown started, it was difficult for the 28-year-old to go to sleep, as she would always feel anxious about the news of rising COVID-19 cases.
“I have always been an anxious person, pero lumala talaga this quarantine. The cabin fever, the lack of social communication, the constant updates about the virus -- all of these things ran through my mind at night,” she says.
However, when she discovered ASMR, she found a tool to help her relax. “It was actually recommended by my therapist. I told her that I was having trouble sleeping, but I didn’t want to drink pills or any medicine. At first, I thought she was joking, because I [had] never heard about ASMR, but after I tried it, effective pala siya.”
Cassandra has been listening to ASMR every night since, and she says it’s the biggest factor why she doesn’t have trouble sleeping anymore. Most times, she would not even finish one video and she would already fall asleep.
ASMR is effective not only for adults, but for adolescents too! Adrenn, a 13-year-old high school student, discovered ASMR recently during his school break, when he messed up his sleeping schedule.
“I played video games all the time during our term break, kaya hindi ko napapansin na madaling araw na pala ako matulog.” When he saw an ASMR video recommendation on Youtube, he decided to watch it out of curiosity.
“It was a ‘mukbang’ video. They were eating crispy chicken fingers, and the sound made me fall asleep in the middle of watching,” he remembers.
A “mukbang” is a type of Youtube video where presenters are shown eating a variety of meals while filming.
A lot of people discovered ASMR and got into it during the quarantine mainly because anxiety and loneliness are heightened during this time.
Dr. Giulia Poerio, a psychology lecturer at the University of Essex, explains, “There's a sense in which ASMR might provide social connection, in the absence of social contact. A sound or the sight of somebody being touched can induce feelings of actual touch.”
In summary, ASMR can help us relax, especially now that we are in an anxiety-inducing situation. Dr. Poerio agrees, “We know from decades of research on affective touch that hugs, touch, stroking…that kind of social contact is very beneficial for well-being.”
With thousands of ASMR videos on different video broadcasting platforms, you might get overwhelmed looking for the one you should watch first. Here are 5 ASMR-tists to get you started:
- Gibi ASMR
- Tena ASMR
- SoftlySweet ASMR
- ASMR Bakery
Remember to explore until you find your triggers. Rest and relaxation be unto you!