If you've spent any amount of time on the internet in the past few years, you've likely stumbled across the term 'ASMR'. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR, is a phenomenon that has taken the internet by storm. But, what's more fascinating is the rising popularity of ASMR for sleep, an interesting application that's garnering attention for its effectiveness in helping individuals drift off to sleep.
ASMR Sleep refers to using ASMR triggers, such as whispers, soft sounds, light tapping, and personal attention, to induce sleep. The sensations associated with ASMR are typically relaxing and soothing, making it a natural sleep aid for some. People who experience ASMR describe it as a tingling sensation that begins in the scalp and often moves down the back of the neck and upper spine, leading to feelings of calm and relaxation.
Because ASMR is a fairly recent emergence, research about the topic and the exact science of how it works is relatively limited. It’s also worth noting that ASMR doesn’t work for everyone. Some people feel the tingles associated with ASMR after listening to certain sounds or watching some sights, but others simply aren’t affected by these triggers or feel repulsed. For example, ASMR videos of someone making scratching sounds on a table might be relaxing to some viewers and aggravating to others.
Though not everyone might benefit from the positive effects of ASMR, it is nonetheless a real phenomenon. Researchers have even tried to understand why some people experience ASMR and others don’t. One 2016 study indicates that those who experience ASMR form slightly different neural pathways than those who don’t.
Another study noted a link between ASMR and synesthesia, a neurological condition in which information that’s meant to stimulate one sense has an impact on multiple senses. For example, a person with synesthesia may find that listening to their favorite song isn’t just pleasing to the ears; they can also visualize its color or feel tingles run down their spine. Those who experience synesthesia can perceive the things they hear, see, taste, or smell in color or other abstract concepts.
Yet another study that examined ASMR personality traits found that participants with ASMR scored high on a personality domain referred to as Openness-to-Experience.
Openness-to-Experience is an indicator of curiosity, fantasy, unconventionality, and artistic or aesthetic tendencies. Though more research is required to substantiate the link, the study suggests that an individual’s personality can influence whether or not they experience ASMR.
So, why has ASMR sleep become such a popular trend, and how does it help induce sleep? The answer lies in the inherent characteristics of ASMR:
Furthermore, ASMR may also mimic certain aspects of personal attention, contributing to a feeling of safety and care, which is soothing and sleep-inducing. For example, the soft whispering or gentle sounds often featured in ASMR content may resemble experiences of being comforted as a child. Such connections could foster feelings of security, aiding sleep onset.
While ASMR doesn't work for everyone, if you're interested in trying this method, there are a few practical steps you can take:
As we pull back the curtain on ASMR sleep, it's clear that its growing popularity isn't simply a passing fad. For many people, it's a lifeline to achieve better sleep and overall well-being. ASMR is a fascinating phenomenon that harnesses our natural responses to sensory stimuli to induce relaxation, stress relief, and ultimately, better sleep quality.
As we've explored, ASMR offers a wide range of benefits that extend beyond the realm of sleep. However, it's essential to remember that what works for one person may not work for another. But if you're someone who finds solace in the soft rustling of leaves or finds comfort in the gentle rhythm of a whispered lullaby, diving into the world of ASMR sleep may be a welcome addition to your nightly routine.
Now that you have a deeper understanding of what ASMR sleep is, how it works, and how to experience it, you're well-equipped to explore this sensory realm. Listen to different ASMR artists, try out various triggers, and see how your body and mind respond. It might be the missing piece in your quest for restful, rejuvenating sleep. Sweet dreams!
Does ASMR helps you sleep? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.