Remember yourself as a child. Now remember yourself falling asleep listening to something routine, simple, and fairly quiet – someone clipping hedges outside, the clinking sounds of dining and murmured conversation, someone taking a shower.
Remember yourself receiving a
routine, enjoyable service in a quiet setting – a haircut, shoeshine, or
Do you remember the feelings of
calmness, even drowsiness? Do you
remember ever feeling a goose-bumpy tingle, for instance if the murmurs and
clinks sounded just right, or if the stylist was snipping around your ear?
Calm, drowsy or tingling
sensations are sometimes referred to as autonomous sensory meridian response(s),
or ASMR, and are becoming a sought-after YouTube phenomenon. In our stressed out, sleep-deprived culture,
people need ways to soothe themselves in order to relax or fall asleep. Apparently, more and more people are turning
to ASMR videos for just such purposes.
ASME sounds are different from
white noise in that they are not flat or constant, and, of course ASMR often
includes visuals as well as audios. If
you’ve never experienced ASMR “head tingles,” ASMR folks say you probably won’t
experience them from ASMR videos. But if
you’ve gotten drowsy or calm, you likely can expect at least that
response. Common ASMR triggers
include: whispering/slow speech patterns/accents,
lip smacking/eating sounds, scissor snipping, clicking/brushing/watery sounds, and
painting/drawing/quiet instructional videos – which explains why students
sometimes have ASMR responses in class – although not in my classes, EVER, of
I tried out a couple of the
videos – one about water marbles and one where a nice woman whispered about time
travel. I felt relaxed after these
videos, but not drowsy. I didn’t
experience the head tingles that some people report, although I don’t usually
get those from sounds.
Here’s just one site to try, if
you’re interested: soothetube
What do you think about
ASMR? Do you think you might try one of
these videos during a bout of insomnia? If
you tried one of the videos, what was your experience?