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What is ASMR and How Can It Help You Sleep?

What is ASMR and How Can It Help You Sleep?
What is ASMR? What Triggers ASMR? How does ASMR work? Can ASMR Help You Sleep? Does ASMR Have Other Benefits? How to Use ASMR for Sleep
Do you ever see someone softly stroking a cat’s ear, speckling a background with fur, or hear them lightly whisper to a whisper of a baby’s cries?
It’s called ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) and it’s a neurophysiological response to certain auditory, visual, and tactile stimulation. Experts believe it flips on in response to stress, and it’s temporarily induced in others through articles, headlines, and movies.
According to a University of Iowa study, 98% of people who listen to or view ASMR videos feel the same way (source). Other research confirms the feel-good effect: In a study with 196 people, 40% of participants reported a significant increase in compassion, 24% experienced a greater sense of relaxation, and 12% experienced feelings of happiness (source).
ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is an auditory sensation that is induced through specific sounds and makes your body feel warmer or tingly. It generally occurs when someone whispers, talks quietly, sings, burps, or laughs. It is generally not immediately perceived by the person experiencing it — although the deeper the vibration, the greater the sensation.
ASMR can also be triggered by things that distract your mind, such as flashing lights or loud noises, as well as from touch. Contraptions, such as those for haunted house video games, can trigger the phenomenon. For the people who express an emotion through their body when listening to ASMR, this can mean a warm hug, caressing hand, or even a kiss.
ASMR content can help with sleep and stress relief. While research has yet to prove how powerful ASMR is for sleep, there are a ton of ways to use it and it has had a huge impact on my sleep improvement.
I started with ASMR and sleep guided relaxation videos. The ASMR content in these videos is generally relaxing and calming and makes me feel good. I emphasize deep breathing and restorative sleep techniques after watching the videos.
It is important to mention that during stressful times, it can be difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Most people don’t want to take drugs during a fight with your partner or while having a big exam in school. But sleep is so essential for our health and wellbeing — including our ability to focus and remember things — that it’s okay if you experience some mild ASMR during stressful times.
On the flip side of stress, experiencing ASMR can help with stress relief.
Sleep is crucial to human health.
The National Sleep Foundation notes that poor sleep can put you at higher risk of adverse health effects like cardiac events, high blood pressure, obesity and dementia. Inflammation, high cortisol levels and blocked blood vessels can also cause significant health issues.
On a psychological level, sleep also impacts your dream life. The National Sleep Foundation says dreams are about 60% during the first half of the night and then level off for the night. Those that do not slip into dreamland are less likely to remember their dream the next day.
Lack of rest contributes to decreased immune system defense, higher body temperatures and adrenaline pumping through peripheral nerves, all issues that keep you awake during the day.
Check out these ways to earn relaxation that can help you fall and stay asleep:
Why: ASMR hobbyists and YouTube channels describe techniques to fake being in a child’s bed. Creating a calming environment makes getting into bed easier (even whining works) and can induce a calmer night’s slumber.
How: Buy a bed and then instantaneously make your bed into a toddler’s.
Why: Sleep experts argue there is no ideal bedtime; Blake Dircksen, PhD, professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, advocates going to bed when the sun rises. But if you want to build sleep into your routine, Dircksen likes the hacks he shares in a blog post titled ‘7 Ways to Get More Sleep:’ “During the day, stick your head under the covers, turn on your favorite relaxing or meditative music, read a magazine or paper book or crank up a favorite TV show.”
How: Try experimenting at home or by yourself. Get an alarm clock, choose three settings and go to sleep. Or test a variety of waking noises — your neighbors, the crickets of your office building, shopping center bells, car alarms, the radio, video game sounds — to get used to different sleep environments.

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