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Sleep Tips

What Is ASMR and Does It Affect Sleep?

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For some people, falling asleep in silence comes naturally. Perhaps they never had a television in their room growing up, so it's easier to fall asleep in a completely quiet room. For many others, sleeping in silence is almost impossible. Those who have trouble snoozing without sound resort to everything from music and sound machines to television or personal tablets. Recently, a new phenomenon called autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR ) has made a splash in the world of sleep, and viewers on YouTube can't get enough of it.

You know the feeling you get when someone whispers into your ear in a soft, slow — even somewhat sensual — way? The kind of whisper that takes your breath away and sends goosebumps from your head to your toes? Most people describe the effects of ASMR this way — a tingling, relaxing and even pleasurable sensation that takes over your body after listening to quiet and repetitive movements such as hair brushing, crisp sounds, whispering and light tapping.

ASMR Definition: What is it?

ASMR is defined as an experience of low-grade euphoria characterized by a “ distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin" that results in positive feelings and relaxation. These feelings have often been associated with the same feelings you get during a massage — complete calmness and serenity. The sensations are triggered by either specific auditory or visual stimuli.

Examples of each include:


  • Eye contact
  • Page flipping
  • Carving soap
  • Pimple popping
  • Brushing hair


  • Spoken – Whispering, Monotone, High/Low Pitch
  • Chewing
  • Tapping
  • Crinkling
  • Scratching

Not everyone responds to ASMR and even for those who do, not everyone responds in the same way. Some people may be more sensitive to one single sound, while others may need a combination of sights or sounds.

Can ASMR actually help YOU sleep?

Scientifically speaking, ASMR is still relatively new. The first research study on ASMR was published in 2015, and of the 475 people who were surveyed, 82 percent of the participants admitted to watching ASMR videos on YouTube to help them sleep, and 70 percent watched the videos to help them deal with stress.

It's still unclear if ASMR can help treat conditions like anxiety, depression or insomnia, but avid ASMR watchers insist that the relaxation that comes from the videos can help induce sleep. If this is true, the connection between ASMR and sleep seems clear.

To find out if you would benefit from watching these videos before bed, relax, unwind and check out this video created by our Snoozeterns. You might be surprised to find what relaxes you!

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