ASMR: what is it and how it help us to relax and sleep better
In recent years, the ASMR phenomenon has grown and the YouTube videos with millions of views are the proof. On the other hand, many of us have always enjoyed the effects of ASMR, but maybe we didn’t know it was called that!
ASMR is short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and refers to a pleasant sensation that many people experience when they hear certain sounds such as a hand running through someone’s hair, touching a glass with fingernails or delicate whispers. The official name of ASMR appeared in 2010, being introduced by Jennifer Allen, but such gestures, soft words and sensations have always been a part of our lives.
How many times have we not fallen asleep to the stories whispered by our grandma, how many times have we not felt a pleasant numbness from the rustle of the pages of books or magazines or when someone caresses our hair ...? All these gestures and sounds (called white noise) are also forms of ASMR.
The stimuli that trigger the pleasant sensations are varied and differ for each person. During ASMR sessions, most people feel pleasant and relaxing tingles starting from the top of the head, then descending to the nape of the neck and shoulders.
Some people relax as soon as they hear the waves, sound of rain, or whispers. There are people who feel the stress diminish as they look at people who cut someone’s hair, apply cosmetic treatments, do manicure, make up or tattoos.
Any slow movement of the hand, accompanied by pleasant, low frequency sounds, can be considered an ASMR technique and gives relaxation to those who are passionate about this phenomenon. Including folding a napkin or ironing clothes. In ASMR clips, all these sounds are amplified with the help of special, high-performance microphones.
The pure sound of fingers touching the pages of an old book provides a sensory perception that, when there are no other sources of stimulation, has a calming effect and induces a deep sense of relaxation. And sleep, if you struggle with insomnia.
Not everyone feels pleasant tingling from audio-visual stimuli, but even in their absence, ASMR offers benefits. For many people, ASMR has a relaxing effect, relieves them of stress and agitation, helps to induce sleep. Obviously, what someone likes can be annoying to someone else - for example, whispers. Some prefer soft voices or silence.
To identify the sounds, gestures and images that relax you, you can watch various ASMR videos on YouTube or keep track of everything you know that has given you a pleasant feeling at some point in your daily life. Later, you can only look for those stimuli, in order to realize what impact they have on you and if they help you to relax and sleep better.