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I Used ASMR Videos to See How They Would Affect My Sleep

If you have ever experienced a tingling sensation after hearing the sound of repeated tapping, scratching, brushing, scribbling, or even whispering, you may be experiencing ASMR. ASMR stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response”. It is an experience characterized by static-like, tingling sensation on the skin usually starting at the scalp and extending down the neck and spine and makes you experience “low-grade euphoria”. These are often triggered by specific acoustic, visual, and digital media stimuli. 

My first run in with this experience was in elementary school during art class. I was very drawn to the sound of colored pencils and markers shading on paper. I was very relaxed and it made the skin on my head and neck tingle. I always thought it was odd and that maybe no one else experienced it the way I did. It was not until a couple of months ago that I found out that feeling has a name. I also found that there are people who actually take their time to make videos for the sole purpose of triggering this feeling. A lot of these videos are role play with a variety of scenarios; my personal favorite are haircut scenarios. With the help of very high definition microphones designed specifically for ASMR and some commonplace and household objects, you can easily make an ASMR video. I found that listening to these videos when I am getting ready for bed time helps me relax and fall asleep when I find myself tossing and turning a lot. A disclaimer is that you have to approach this with an open mind; it may seem super weird but it is honestly super cool and it helps a lot of people. Often times it is associated with sexual arousal, but these are on completely different planes (I mean, unless there are people that are into that, I don’t kink-shame). Not everyone experiences tingles and some may only experience them from either acoustic triggers and/or visual triggers.

I listened to ASMR videos every night for five nights to see how it helped my sleep. My favorite ASMR YouTuber is ASMR Darling because she has a variety of videos with different type of stimuli. There are a variety of YouTubers with different video styles, so you are sure to find some that you will like. Grab some headphones, your laptop or phone, and chill in a dimly lit or dark room and relax.

Night 1: I listened to her video, “What is ASMR?”. It is basically a whispered video with a short introduction to what ASMR is and why she does these videos. I personally like whispered videos, especially when the consonants are emphasized.

Night 2: My favorite type of videos are haircut role play videos. The snipping sound of scissors has a very relaxing feeling to it. Also, visual hair playing is very relaxing, I feel like someone is playing with my hair. The sound of hair getting washed is very relaxing as well.

Night 3: My second favorite type of videos are tapping videos. Her Christmas decoration tapping video is very good. It sounds super cool when she taps on objects with her nails (which are always on fleek).

Night 4: On the fourth night, I listened to a brushing and scratching video, but I do not like those types of videos very much. My volume was too high and the sound was just not very appealing to me. To me, it just sounds like very annoying static sound, but a lot people seem to enjoy those type of videos.

Night 5: I listened and watched a makeup application video. This video was a combination of tapping on makeup products, and face touching/brushing (she does this thing where she brushes the camera to make it look like she’s directing the brush strokes towards your face and it surprisingly feels really real to me).

After watching each video, I found that I was very sleepy and relaxed. A lot of times I fell asleep before the video was even over. A lot of these videos are 30+ minutes. On some occasions, I listened to two videos depending on how short the first video was. The worst is when the video is over and out of nowhere a YouTube ad gets blasted into your ears. Overall, ASMR videos have really helped me with falling asleep earlier. I have been trying to regulate my sleep ever since I got to college because staying up late doing homework and studying can be really stressful and it can take a toll on you. If you have troubles falling asleep, you should definitely check out ASMR.

Hello my name is Yesenia. I am a Sophomore at Gustavus Adolphus college. I am hoping to major in Psychology and Studio Art to be an art therapist. I enjoy seeing and making art and I also like to help people. I love coffee and fall time is my favorite season because of all the pretty colors and comfy clothes.
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