What Are ASMR Videos And Can They Help Me Sleep?

Have you ever heard of ASMR? It stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response.” That term may make your eyes glaze over, but ASMR is actually getting very popular among people of all stripes. (For proof, look no further than YouTube.)

According to Sleep.org, ASMR “describes a feeling of euphoric tingling and relaxation that can come over someone when he or she watches certain videos or hears certain sounds.” For some people, this relaxing, tingling feeling can help them fall asleep or overcome insomnia.

Researchers are just beginning to understand ASMR, and its exact mechanisms are generally unknown. Here’s what we know so far about this potential sleep aid.

[Editor’s Note: The content provided on this site is for general informational purposes only. Any information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice. We encourage you to consult with the appropriate health expert if you have concerns.]

ASMR: What We Know So Far

ASMR is a relatively new buzzword, and not everyone experiences ASMR responses in the first place. Certain people have likely always had this type of response, but the term “autonomous sensory meridian response” wasn’t invented until 2010. Overall, scientists haven’t studied it much, and experts are not totally sure what causes ASMR.

For people who do experience ASMR, the Valley Sleep Center website says the videos that induce the feeling are usually of people doing quiet, repetitive tasks such as brushing their hair, flipping the pages of a book or magazine, folding clothes, or whispering nice things. Popular audio stimuli include the sounds of writing, rain, crunching leaves, and gentle tapping.

“Currently, it is still debated amongst experts as to whether or not ASMR can be a useful tool in helping patients who suffer conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia,” the Valley Sleep Center website explains.

Even though the scientific verdict is still out, ASMR videos are extremely popular on the internet. One YouTube channel, Gentle Whispering ASMR, has over one million subscribers. Another, ASMR Darling, has 1.5 million. In these videos, so-called “ASMRtists” perform tasks such as crinkling foil, chewing, cutting paper, and ripping tape.

ASMR videos will only help you sleep if you are someone who experiences an ASMR response—and again, we don’t know exactly what causes the whole thing. It’s likely not harmful to check out a few videos and see how they make you feel. Just bear in mind that looking at bright screens before bedtime usually isn’t a great idea, as blue lights from electronics can stop your body from releasing melatonin, a hormone that helps with sleep.

Still, if you’re struggling to relax or fall asleep, there are plenty of ASMR playlists and video channels online. If you’re a person who experiences ASMR, you may feel some benefit from checking them out.

RELATED: The Benefits Of Getting More Sleep

[Editor’s Note: The content provided on this site is for general informational purposes only. Any information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice. We encourage you to consult with the appropriate health expert if you have concerns.]

Featured image: leungchopan/Shutterstock

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Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.

He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.

Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.

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