ASMR audio version (and background noises of my kitten jumping on the keyboard)
ASMR is immensely intoxicating to me. In fact, for as long as I can remember, I have felt deeply affected by physical touch, people whispering to me, or even just the nature of certain presences.
As a child, I didn’t know why some people and things had the ability to make me lose my strength and give me chills, but it all makes sense to me now. In just the right lighting, with just the right person whispering just the right amount of sweet nothings into my headphone-bound ears — I’m out for the count. And that’s a promise.
ASMR is an acronym for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. If you research what ASMR is, you’ll read that it’s an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. But if you really want to know what ASMR is, you must experience the visual and audible combination of triggers for yourself.
Most commonly paired with props of all kinds, there are whispers, hand gestures, accents, crackles, perfect pronunciations and diction, tapping, scents, flavors, textures, and more that our tingling brains just cannot fight the addiction to.
ASMR has quickly become a trend amongst young adults; however, I believe that no matter your age, it can suck you in too.
You may not have realized that ASMR exists in many of our everyday activities.
When you’re sitting in that salon chair and shampoo is being massaged into your scalp in monotonous yet delightful motions; when the tickle in your ear is introduced to the fluffy, determined head of a Q-Tip; when stampeding raindrops meld with bone-quaking thunder and startle you out of your wits; when the comforting smell of a hot chocolate chip cookie pairs with the slow, stringy melting of its contents during that initial tear; when the crackling dance of the flame on a wood-wicked candle is the only thing you see and hear in a darkened room; is the very moment when that satisfying tingle starts on the top of your head and ends up in the tips of your toes making your hair stand up, your skin get goosebumps, and your eyes roll back to a close.
This, my friends, is ASMR.
ASMRtists are what we have titled the people who spend their time catering to the ASMR needs of us crazies. They create videos and podcasts displaying all the triggers we love the most. My favorite triggers are whispering, hand gestures, and touching, which are done in a very soothing, slow, precise manner. Two things I love most are watching people get massages and listening to scary stories read in a whisper.
Before I go to bed at night, I watch YouTube videos by ASMRtists: itsblitzzz, Jingle Jangle ASMR, Almazan Kitchen, Gibi ASMR, and ASMR Glow. The type of video I choose depends on what type of day I’ve had, but regardless of the video, I can never make it through a full one without falling soundly asleep in a tingling euphoria.
I know many people who enjoy ASMR as I do, so I asked my friend, Paul, to explain how ASMR has nestled itself into his life. This is his testimony:
When I was very young, I noticed that I would get a pleasant tingly feeling in my neck and throat and back of my mouth whenever I would hear someone whispering gently. I remember that the first time I mentioned it to anyone else, I asked my grandmother if she had ever felt it. She had not. I asked her to whisper for me though, and she did. She thought I was being silly.
It’s a very relaxing and somewhat sleep-inducing sensation. It’s usually very subtle and just feels like little tiny electrical currents gently tickling me. My favorite trigger has always been whispering. Mouth sounds are also nice but not dramatic ones. Natural mouth sounds like the ones that happen when someone whispers or speaks softly can be very nice.
The first time I found videos online, I was looking for bedtime stories to listen to — specifically entirely whispered ones. I had been falling asleep to Christopher Lee’s readings of Edgar Allan Poe stories for maybe a week or more, and I had run out of fresh ones. I noticed that when he was reading The Tell-Tale Heart he would whisper at certain points for effect. I would get tingles when he whispered and found it very relaxing. So, I wanted to find more content like that.
I searched ‘whispered bedtime stories’ on YouTube and found a video of a girl doing just that. Her story was a little improvisational, but it was okay. At least she was whispering. I noticed the acronym ASMR on the video and all the recommended videos.
That was when I looked into it and found out that there was a whole community of people sharing this stuff online who felt the same thing that I felt. It was a very exciting thing to discover. I’ve been listening to ASMR almost religiously ever since. I can get a little addicted to relaxation.
When I met Paul, one of the first things we ended up talking about was ASMR. We are always so eager to share new videos with one another. It thrills me to find others that feel exactly how I do about it.
I will probably never stop incorporating ASMR into my everyday life. After a lifetime full of restless sleep, I couldn’t possibly give up the relaxation it’s brought me.
So, if you find yourself unable to fall asleep at night, give my method a try.
Click on the names below to watch videos from my favorite ASMRtists.
Jingle Jangle ASMR