Confession time, I use ASMR.
People who can fall into bed and turn off the world are lucky. Others, like me, lie awake for hours after the lights have done off. The reasons are different for why it’s hard to fall asleep. We wake up groggy, unable to focus, and irritated at the smallest things.
Sleeping has never been an easy thing for me. When I was young I would stay up reading until I could sleep. Then I played video games as I got older. Laying in bed with the lights off does nothing for me. I usually end up awake until past midnight. In America I had used melatonin drops quite often but I have yet to find drops in The Netherlands. So how can I fight my inner insomnia?
What is ASMR?
It’s short for “Autonomous sensory meridian response.” The experience can be different for everyone. It ranges from the sound of rain falling on the roof to someone whispering a story into your ear. It can even be someone chewing gum. What’s important is that it stimulates a sense of comfort and relaxation in the listener. ASMR is a type of white noise. It can play in the background and doesn’t have to be anything meaningful. On the other spectrum, there are tons of Youtubers producing ASMR now. The videos range from soap making to hour long spa experiences. What makes these content producers unique is the fact that most use a special microphone. This microphone allows different sounds to filter to each ear. I recommend listening to ASMR with headphones to achieve this effect.
How does it work?
There is one defining trait that allows ASMR to stand out from regular white noise. It’s all about the tingles. The experience brings about a strange tingling sensation when listening to ASMR. It is comparable to a shiver going down the spine or it can be like a feeling of euphoria. This depends on the type of ASMR. Either way, it’s sensational when experienced. It might be something that needs to felt first hand to understand.
How is it not creepy?
I never said it couldn’t be creepy. It most definitely can be to someone who doesn’t get it. Sander doesn’t get it at all! But he knows that it helps me sleep. I enjoy the sound of someone talking to me and telling me about their day. Many of the ASMR users that I follow make small talk to the viewer. It’s a one sided chat where I’m not needed to contribute. This is easier than listening to an audiobook because I don’t need to pay attention to what is being said. What creates the tingles that I experience are sounds of brushes on surfaces. It might go back to when I took art classes, but the sounds of brush strokes are calming to me.
Here are a few ASMR artists that I enjoy listening to. They all have their own styles and methods. See what works for you!