Wednesday, February 19, 2014

ASMR = Ahhhh

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 pedicure.

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 course.  J 
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? 

1 comment:

  1. I'll check out these videos. I'm sound sensitive, and some sounds keep me awake or alarm me. The sound of ocean waves, for example, frightens me, as does the sound of wind or a forest night. But a steady rain or brook is soothing. I easily fall asleep before a boring television show, so these videos may be right for me. Thanks for the information. Nice blog.