Autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, has been described as ‘the feeling of wellbeing combined with a tingling sensation in the scalp and down the back of the neck’.
Now, you may already be well immersed in the world of ASMR, but did you know that those peculiar sounds could actually be helping you sleep?
The tingling sensations experienced by people in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound, such as whispering voices or paper tearing, is certainly a fascinating notion.
While it’s certainly not new – in fact, we listed ASMR as 2018’s ‘sleep phenomenon’ last year – it certainly is growing in popularity.
Now, the breathy whispers and audible mouth sounds that trigger ASMR responses, are relaxing as many as a third of the population into a sound night’s sleep, according to recent trends.
What is an ‘ASMRtist’?
Emma Smith, perhaps Britain’s best known ‘ASMRtist’, has a nine-hour-long ‘sleep clinic’ video on her YouTube channel, which has racked up more than 1.9 million views.
For those who are intrigued, Emma will tuck you into bed, check that you’re comfortable, coo to you softly as you drift off, then wake you up in the morning after a restful nine hours.
Going by the persona, WhispersRed, Emma has more than 800,000 YouTube subscribers and more than 200 million views of her hypnotic videos, which are recorded in her garden ‘Tingle Shed’.
ASMR videos can often run for long periods, allowing people to either watch or listen as they drift off. The ambient noises associated with ASMR can promote REM sleep, which is the most regenerative stage of our sleep cycle.
REM sleep benefiting from ASMR
Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, Silentight’s resident sleep therapist, has done extensive research into the different stages of sleep we experience throughout the night, with the REM stage in particular benefiting from ASMR.
She said: “There are five layers of sleep, which includes two phases of light sleep, two phases of slow wave, or deep sleep, and a short 10-15 minute phase of REM sleep.
“Each sleep period heals a different organ system in the body, which means that getting a good amount of each phase, including REM, ensures we wake up feeling replenished, alert, and ready for the day ahead.”
Silentnight’s top ASMR picks
If you’re feeling intrigued, why not check out some ASMR videos on YouTube, and get in touch via our social media pages to let us know what you think.
We’ve listed some of our favourites below to get you started: