Ever wondered why you enjoy watching the shopping channel but have absolutely no intention of buying anything, or indeed have much interest in the products? Perhaps you enjoy the calm voice of the presenter? Maybe you find their hand movements relaxing as you watch them present a piece of jewelry? Maybe you didn’t realise that you and hundreds of thousands of people are experiencing a phenomenon called ASMR?
What is ASMR?
Literally ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It is also referred to as head tingles of brain orgasm but really it is a very pleasant tingling sensation felt around the head and scalp that is set off by certain triggers.
ASMR triggers include:
- slow deliberate speaking
- speaking with an accent
- watching someone perform a deliberate task
- Sounds; tapping, scratching, water, crinkling plastic etc
- close personal attention
Many people experience ASMR but have no idea that there is a name for the phenomenon. There currently is a large and rapidly growing of ASMRtists on Youtube who make videos with the sole purpose of acting as triggers. I have written this article to outline the amazing natural benefits of ASMR for someone who suffers from insomnia. What is ASMR? It’s a super tingly sensation that usually starts on the back of your head and can even spread down the spine and travel to other parts of the body. Described as a very similar sensation to frission (that tingling feeling of goosebumps when you hear fantastic music) it is however quite different. Trying to trigger an ASMR feeling is a sure way of never experiencing it. Most people will only experience ASMR if they are relaxed, and usually sitting or lying down. Some people are lucky enought o be able to trigger themselves to have ASMR but for the majority it comes as a result of an outside trigger.
ASMR and Sleep
Many people find the ASMR community on Youtube as they go searching for meditation or relaxation videos to help them sleep or perhaps help with anxiety or stress problems. The amazing thing about ASMR is that it can help with all of these! Triggering an ASMR sensation is not only extremely pleasurable but also very relaxing. It has a wonderful effect on your body, often taking focus away from any troubles or worries and aiding sleep. People who suffer terribly from insomnia and who have tried many other ‘cures’ including medication, have only had some relief when using ASMR to relax. Often it can leave the person feeling very tired and relaxed afterwards and so really helps bring on the first moments of slumber.
Theories behind ASMR
What is ASMR and why do we experience it? Of course ASMR is a completely natural phenomenon and therefore many people prefer to use it to help them relax as opposed to popping pills. However, not everyone seems to be able to experience ASMR. Often when I try to explain it to people I am met with extremely puzzled looks. One theory is that we all have it, particularly as children but it’s often suppressed as the feeling can be very confusing. Perhaps it might be confused for a sexual feeling. However talk to 99% of people who experience ASMR and they will tell you there is nothing sexual about it. Unfortunately people who do not experience it often misunderstand ASMR. Some people find role play videos a great trigger and although not at all a sexual thing, it is perceived as such by some. The reason role play videos are a trigger is because of the voice of the person, their accent, their kind nature and often the personal attention they are giving. This type of trigger is really nothing to do with any sexual feelings.
Evolutionary grooming response
Another possible theory about what ASMR is and why we experience is related to our evolutionary development from our early days of grooming each other. Without good grooming, an animal can develop extremely poor health and so many people think that ASMR is built in, pleasurable sensation to encourage grooming.
ASMR as a natural sleep aid
Of course ASMR is a completely natural phenomenon and therefore many people prefer to use it to help them relax as opposed to popping pills. If you are unsure whether you have experienced ASMR, search for the community on youtube and get involved – you may discover the perfect, natural solution to your sleep problems.
You can also find a large community on facebook to talk about your experiences and connect with people who have similar experiences. This is also a great way to keep up with new videos being produced.