Have you been struggling to drift off to sleep recently? Whether its work stresses which spring into your mind at bedtime, noisy neighbours or a fidgeting bed-mate, one YouTube community may have the media you need to soothe worries, block out disturbances and relax into a great night’s sleep. Welcome to the world of ASMR…
What is ASMR?
It may have an acronym for a name, but this community of YouTubers and their devoted fans is not rooted in tried and tested science. Instead ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) uses its own logic to create videos and sounds which make viewers feel relaxed, with the goal of stimulating an ASMR response often described as “tingles”.
Not all viewers report experiencing tingles, but those who do describe a pleasant tingling wave or sensation on their skin, triggered by looking at visual cues, hearing particular noises or experiencing a complete audio-visual effect.
There are lots of different types of ASMR, with every “ASMRtist” creating different kinds of videos based on what they believe is relaxing and triggering, as well as what their fans request. From creators who focus on role-plays of relaxing situations such as haircuts and eye tests, to those who focus on sounds made by objects, there are videos out there which may be of use to anybody with sleeping difficulties.
Here are five of our favourite ASMR artists and videos to introduce you to this soothing world…
The face of ASMR on YouTube, community pioneer GentleWhispering AKA Maria, makes the very best quality, most thoughtful videos online. She’s been in this world since its inception, which means she has a huge and experimental back catalogue of videos to explore, full of different sounds, styles and triggers. This video makes great use of Maria’s soothing narration, relaxing voice and tactile approach to objects.
Being in safe hands and going through official processes can be a relaxing experience for many of us. Cutebunny992 ASMR has a wonderfully soothing voice and caring manner which makes viewers feel incredibly at ease, perfectly walking the line between professionalism and care. This ASMRtist specialises in visual triggers and roleplays.
Another very warm and loving presence in the ASMR community is Karuna Satori, who also does a very relaxing line in roleplays. With a good knowledge of the sounds which make viewers experience tingles and which prompt relaxation, this ASMRtist performs convincing roleplays like this makeover session.
Australian ASMRtist NeonIndieGirl may be taking a hiatus from the community, but her relaxed vibe makes her videos a great go to for anyone in need of unwinding. “Sk sk sk” and other mouth sounds are a popular trigger for many fans, does it work for you?
BlueWhisper’s ASMR videos are technically incredibly well made and enacted, making them super relaxing and tingly for viewers hooked on sound triggers. Ear cleaning is another huge trend in the community because of the professionalism and closeness of the pretend procedure. This is one of the best versions, especially if you prefer videos with less talking.
ASMR is a curious phenomenon but with little research carried out on it so far and the fact it is entirely subjective, it is difficult to truly assess the impact it has. An open mind and an element of scepticism might be required when delving into it. For now at least, it is likely to remain a niche interest, one however that may be worth a go if you’re struggling to relax or fall asleep.