The global coronavirus pandemic that started in the first quarter of 2020 has made getting a good night’s rest difficult for a lot of people.
Take a look at China as an example. Insomnia rates in this country increased from 14.6 percent to 20 percent during peak lockdown. What’s more, people Googled the term “insomnia” more in 2020 than it ever had been before.
The pandemic, unfortunately, is in its second year. Several months of social distancing, coupled with ongoing uncertainty and erased work-life boundaries, have negatively affected people’s quality of sleep.
The good news is that there’s a way for people to relax their minds and get that much-needed shuteye at night.
Tune in to ASMR sleep music or videos.
What are ASMR Sleep Sounds?
ASMR, also known as autonomous sensory meridian response, describes the euphoric tingling sensation people feel in response to certain sounds and visuals. When people listen to ASMR sounds or watch an ASMR video on YouTube, they often feel tingling in the spine, shoulders or head before spreading to the other areas of the body.
ASMR triggers vary from one person to another but they often involve ordinary, repetitive or slow activities. Examples include ASMR gentle whispering, finger tapping, bedtime stories, folding towels and hair brushing.
Although people use ASMR to relax, many listen to ASMR sleep sounds to help them fall asleep. ASMR sleep videos and music are available all over the web.
How ASMR Works
ASMR usually starts when you watch or listen to a video that contain visual or audio triggers.
There have been a few hypotheses surrounding the physiological changes occurring during ASMR. Comfort, relaxation and the desire to fall asleep may be due to the following chemicals released in your brain when you sense your “trigger”:
This chemical is important for attention, memory, reward and motivation. It can also sometimes encourage addiction. This may be true with ASMR sleep sounds, as it may entice you to experience this sensation repeatedly.
This hormone may help induce sleep, aid in relaxation and lower stress.
This chemical, when released, promotes feelings of well-being, bonding and love. This may contribute to the tingly feeling associated with ASMR sounds.
This hormone helps reduce stress and pain. Endorphins may be the cause of the “euphoric” feeling associated with ASMR.
Given that people’s knowledge of ASMR is fairly new, experts are only beginning to study it.
A study published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS) tried to determine if ASMR demonstrated differences in physiology after viewing ASMR videos.
The results revealed that the people who were watching these videos showed increases in the skin’s electrical conductance and significant changes in the reduction of heart rate. What’s more, ASMR subjects reported calmness after viewing the videos but no changes in sexual arousal or excitement.
How Can ASMR Help You Sleep?
ASMR sleep music, sounds or videos go beyond give you a tingling sensation. It may aid sleep in the following ways:
Everyday stress can ruin sleep. It bumps up your heart rate and makes relaxing and falling asleep more difficult.
Listening to ASMR sleep music or watching a sleep ASMR video can help lower heart rate. This drop in heart rate may imitate the relaxation that naturally happens as one falls asleep, while also reducing one’s levels of stress.
People using ASMR to sleep may experience a feeling of well-being. These mood improvements may last for several hours — even when the tingling sensations don’t occur.
Temporary or chronic pain makes relaxing a challenge. People who watch ASMR videos or listen to ASMR sounds experience pain relief that lasts for hours.
Using ASMR for Sleep: A Quick Guide
ASMR is a highly personal experience. A sound clip or a video that activates the response in one individual may not do the same for another. Given this, people can use ASMR for sleep in various ways.
Before you head over to YouTube or Spotify, determine whether you can experience ASMR. If this works for you, experiment with different sound clips or videos to figure the triggers that are right for you.
Many who use ASMR for sleep prefer a relaxed and quiet environment. They also prefer using stereo headphones, as they offer a greater sound depth. If you find these headphones too uncomfortable to wear during sleep, consider investing in a pair of sleep headphones that can sit flat against the head.
Do take note, though, that listening to ASMR sleep music or watching ASMR videos alone isn’t enough. You also need to practice good sleep hygiene and follow a pre-sleep routine to help improve the likelihood of getting a nice shuteye.
What ASMR Videos Can Help You Sleep?
The internet has literally millions of ASMR sleep music and videos to choose from. If you need help deciding on the videos that can help you relax and sleep, consider the following suggestions:
ASMR Sleep & Relaxation Treatment (YouTube Channel: Gibi ASMR)
Two of the most common triggers for ASMR are crinkling and tapping sounds. Listening to them repeatedly may elicit relaxation and help you de-stress, which is where the ASMR Sleep & Relaxation Treatment video comes in.
Unique Triggers & Deep Inner Ear Sounds (YouTube Channel: ASMR Zeitgeist)
Watching this ASMR sleep video helps relax your mind from the daily tensions of life. Get to listen to fizzy sherbet powder poured directly into your ears while the host picks foam gently into your ear canal.
1 Hour Sleep Clinic ER (Doctor Roleplay) (YouTube Channel: mads asmr)
Looking for something that’s both relaxing and entertaining to watch? Try viewing the 1 Hour Sleep Clinic ASMR sleep video. You’ll come across a range of audio and video triggers, including nail tapping, scalp massaging and inaudible whispering — all conducive to falling asleep.
The Future of ASMR
Given that not everyone experiences ASMR for sleep or other purposes, this will likely stay as a niche for a subset of individuals on the internet.
There are, however, some tech advancements that could aid in the advancement of ASMR. Virtual reality, for instance, has a lot of ASMR viewers and creators excited, as this can bring a whole new level of immersion to the experience.
If counting sheep isn’t working, ASMR sleep sounds or videos may just be what you need to get a good night’s rest.