Have you heard of those ASMR Youtube Videos? People whispering, role-playing, brushing and tapping against a microphone, creating white noise to help people relax and/or fall asleep. I’ll be 1000% honest, just the idea of all of this was super weird to me, for lack of a better term. I’ve never been a fan of white noise. Can ASMR help you sleep? Really? I mean, I have always preferred to fall asleep in a pitch black room with absolutely no noise. So this was just…completely out of the box for me.
If you haven’t heard about it yet, ASMR, or Autonomy Sensory Meridian Response, is the tingling sensation of the skin that typically starts on the scalp and moves downward through the neck and down the spine. It usually results in relaxation or falling asleep. What a mouthful!
Don’t get me wrong. Tingling is actually one of my favorite sensations. I have this response whenever someone plays with my hair, touches my neck, or tickles my arms or back.
The current ‘trend’ is to listen to ASMR videos while falling asleep. These videos contain varying sounds that ‘trigger’ this meridian response. (To avoid overuse of the word ‘trigger,’ I will call them ‘sparks’). The video ‘sparks’ include soft spoken or whispered words, sounds of a mundane task, watching someone perform a mundane task, scratching, tapping, paper crinkling, or someone eating. These YouTube videos also provide a special attention role play, such as hair cutting, manicures, facials, massages, etc.
But does that really help someone sleep? I asked myself that question. Because I couldn’t imagine how it would…how it could. I did some research and watched a couple of videos. It just seemed too odd. I felt as if having someone whisper in my ear as I was trying to fall asleep would just be counter-productive.
My boyfriend, as I’ve said before, suffers from depression himself. While going through therapy, someone suggested that he try ASMR videos. And now…he swears by them. He will knock out in mere seconds…even if he isn’t tired. He’s actually the one who suggested I look into all of this.
So…I decided to try it. Asking myself the same question…do ASMR videos really help people sleep? And I found the answer…well, my answer.
Yes…yes it does. I’ll explain how I got to that conclusion.
First, like I said, I researched the term ‘ASMR’ to gain more understanding. I also paid close attention to the ‘sparks’ used in the videos. I watched a few, beginning my research…and originally found them to be super weird. I just didn’t quite understand.
But my boyfriend said I just couldn’t understand unless I used the videos before falling asleep.
For the sake of this post, I’ll share my experiences of one whole week. This will make it easier to understand my transition from doubt to belief.
Earphones in, I put on this video and left auto-play enabled. I could not for the life of me get comfortable. Honestly, I wasn’t used to having earphones in my ears. They kept moving or falling out. I was tense. I couldn’t find ‘my spot.’ And most importantly, I couldn’t help but listen to the video. And my honest to God thought was, “what the hell is this chick saying?” I tossed and turned for about an hour. Finally, I fell asleep after finding a semi-comfortable position.
I woke up the next day tense. And slightly disappointed in the whole experience. It just didn’t make sense that the video I watched was supposed to be relaxing.
Still, my boyfriend convinced me to try it again. “I just wasn’t used to it,” he said.
With only a little bit of my stubborn nature unfolding, I agreed to give this ASMR thing another go.
I left one earphone out, found my comfortable spot, and listened to this video. Again, I focused on what was being said. Random facts are amazing, so I couldn’t help but listen in. Because I had disabled auto-play, I had to find a second video just to force myself to relax. But as I focused on this girl’s voice, I fell asleep after about 30 minutes..
It was safe to say that the experience wasn’t too bad. Still a little weird, but I was much more willing to try again.
I searched for a new creator. Maybe I needed to find a voice that was more ‘sparkful’ to me. So, I tried this one.
Knocked out immediately.
Same girl, different video.
Out like a light.
Could this really be helping…
My Bluetooth earphones died. I couldn’t find my other pair. So I was forced to fall asleep the old fashioned way. It wasn’t until that night that I realized just how much I THINK when I’m trying to fall asleep. The moment I lied down in silence, my mind started to race. I was contemplating everything and nothing at the same time. I tried muscle relaxing exercises, and massaging my own head. Sadly, it still took an hour to fall asleep.
I woke up incredibly early…3:45 AM to be exact. I was exhausted by 2 in the afternoon. After doing some writing, I could feel my eyelids slowly closing. I decided to take a nap. Mad that I still had yet to charge my earphones, I told myself I was tired enough. So, I would be fine.
I put my head on the pillow…and suddenly…I was MAGICALLY AWAKE. Sadly, I just couldn’t relax myself enough. I was so tired and I wanted so desperately to just sleep. But it wasn’t happening.
So, I busied myself and CHARGED my earphones.
Thank God…I put this video on Friday night and was out instantly.
I’m laughing at myself as I’m writing this. I had never realized that it would take me so long to fall asleep. I never questioned how much my mind races while trying to relax. Maybe I just got used to it. Who knows?
But this ASMR trend seemed to be a miracle.
I woke up incredibly refreshed. In fact, I didn’t wake up at all in the night, and when I woke up naturally, I smiled. I just felt so…good. I felt relaxed. I felt rejuvenated.
Don’t misunderstand, I am a busy person. I always need my morning coffee and I get tired throughout the day. But having a better night’s sleep seemed to be something I didn’t know that I needed.
Yes…I guess I have to admit my boyfriend is right about this one.
So…ASMR YouTube Videos…try them. They may not be for everyone. But maybe they are for YOU. I was a huge skeptic. But even just after a couple of days, I understood why my boyfriend loves them so much. And they will definitely become a part of my evening ritual.
And since my boyfriend was right about these videos working, maybe he will be right about this too: he says I should make my own ASMR videos on YouTube.
So…I did. You can check out my ASMR channel here. I am a little embarrassed, and I hate hearing myself speak, but I can only hope it will help others get rest and calm anxiety.
Let me know. And feel free to share any other YouTubers that I may like for ASMR.
Woman of Steel