Have you ever come across videos of women (and some men) gently and softly (almost a whisper) speak into a microphone? Sometimes, they use objects like makeup brush, bubble wrap, and hair brush. They produce sounds that are intended to help you relax. If you’ve tried listening to a sound effects compilation, ASMR is like the gentle raindrops, the rustling of leaves, or the blowing of the wind.
ASMR is a term coined by Jennifer Allen back in February 2010 after trying to look for an explanation of the weird tingling sensation she felt while watching videos of space. It stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Some people describe it as a relaxation guide in audio form, or a guided meditation, or even some form of hypnosis. For my husband and I, ASMR is simply a miracle worker. It helps us relax and we’re able to sleep well.
We have long been looking for something to help us sleep better. Counting sheep didn’t work anymore, especially on my part, since I’m a bit of a worrier. I have an active mind, too, so I keep churning out ideas and things to do in the middle of the night. Likewise, I am a light sleeper; even the sound of someone opening a door will wake me up and I won’t be able to go back to sleep anymore.
For his part, my husband starts working late in the afternoon and well into the night. As a result, he has a difficult time going to sleep. When he discovered ASMR, he started sleeping better – on more regular hours. He’d go to YouTube, put on his earphones, and lie down on our bed. He’d be asleep in a matter of minutes!
I was introduced to ASMR via Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting. The sound of his voice, the brush strokes, and the sound of paper was calming. So calming that even our dog Kara is glued to the TV screen every time she hears Bob Ross.
My husband has since graduated to different types of ASMR triggers like whispering crinkling, and tapping. I’ve stayed with Bob Ross, although listening to a scriptural recitation of the Holy Rosary and to carefully selected music also helps me relax and get to sleep.
Types of ASMR Triggers
ASMR videos abound on YouTube. Some of them have amassed millions of followers and this is not surprising because they (the videos) have helped quite a lot of people already, especially those who are stressed out, those who are not feeling well, and those who have difficulty sleeping.
SleepyASMR describes ASMR as “a tingling sensation that starts around the scalp and passes through the neck before ending in the upper spine area. It is triggered by different sounds and even visual stimuli”.
There are different types of triggers: whispering, tapping, physical touch (ex. face touching or playing with hair), personal attention, page turning, light (visual stimuli), roleplay (ex. hotel receptionist’s office), eating, concentration (Bob Ross’ videos), massage, and crinkling (bubble wrap, plastic wrapper).
Check out this video to get a visual idea of what ASMR is all about:
According to some sources, ASMR is also helpful for students as they become more relaxed and focused. Thus, they study better and perform well in class.
In addition, studies are being done to determine if it could help people with insomnia.
Most Popular ASMR Channels on YouTube
If you want to try out ASMR, check out these channels on YouTube. These are some of the most popular ones. (Number of subscribers are as of September 24, 2019)
1. ASMR Darling – 2.41m subscribers
2. Gibi ASMR –2.24m plus subscribers
3. Gentle Whispering – 1.76m plus subscribers
4. ASMR Glow – 941K subscribers
5. Jojo’s ASMR – 830k subscribers
6. WhispersRed ASMR – 803k subscribers
7. DennisASMR – 575k subscribers
Check out their ASMR videos on YouTube and discover a kind of calm you haven’t experienced before! (Warning though….ASMR is not for everyone – as some find it boring because nothing is happening.)
Tara! ASMR na ta!