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12 Things You Need to Know About ASMR
wellness
12 Things You Need to Know About ASMR
by BetterSleep
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You may have recently seen a reference to ASMR in pop culture or online. What is this four-letter phenomenon, and why is it gaining massive attention?

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It refers to a tingling sensation that usually begins on the back of the head and runs down the length of the spine in response to certain stimuli, like whispering or soothing sounds.

Participants say it induces relaxation and euphoric-like states and helps with falling asleep. Experiencing ASMR through videos and podcasts has become increasingly popular in the last decade, and recent scientific studies demonstrate the health benefits.

What is ASMR?

ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a sensation characterized by a pleasurable tingling feeling in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, olfactory, or tactile stimuli.

The ASMR community has grown exponentially recently, with content creators making videos to trigger the sensation. Many people who experience ASMR report feeling more relaxed and less anxious after viewing ASMR videos, making it a popular way to unwind and de-stress.

How Does ASMR Work?

ASMR is still not fully understood, but it is thought to work by triggering a response in the autonomic nervous system to audio and visual stimuli. This system controls involuntary body processes like heart rate and blood pressure.

Observing ASMR videos may alter the heart rate and electrodermal response and elevate the mood. It is believed that combining these effects can help relax the body and reduce tension.

12 Fascinating Facts About ASMR

Whether you're hearing about it for the first time or are already well-versed, you'll love these 12 interesting facts about the history and science of ASMR.

  1. The sensation that later became known as ASMR was first mentioned online in 2007. ASMR University, a website that compiles all of the latest research and resources about ASMR, states it appeared on a forum at SteadyHealth.com entitled, "Weird sensation, feels good."
  2. Creators that use different mediums to stimulate ASMR are called artists. In the last decade, many films, tv shows, music, literature, commercials, and art pieces have referred to or used examples of ASMR.
  3. The first ASMR artist started her YouTube channel, WhisperingLife, in 2009. She's an optician living in England and prefers to keep her name private.
  4. The first videos of people whispering on YouTube weren't intended for ASMR, as the creators simply didn't want to be heard by others nearby. However, these videos became popular with many people who found the whispering relaxing.
  5. An ongoing research project at ASMR University reveals that ASMR videos have overwhelmingly been found to cause excitement, tingling, calmness, and a decreased heart rate. If you want to experience ASMR and see if it works for you, try one of the free ASMR sounds on the BetterSleep app.
  6. The first peer-reviewed study on ASMR, published in 2015, confirmed that ASMR provided temporary relief for those suffering from depression and chronic pain.
  7. The same study reported that a whopping 98 percent of the participants used ASMR for relaxation, and 82 percent used it to help them sleep.
  8. Though a small subset uses ASMR triggers for sexual stimulation, only a small percentage report arousal by triggers. Five percent of the participants used ASMR for sexual arousal, while 84 percent disagreed with this notion.
  9. The most common ASMR triggers reported in that study were whispering, personal attention (encouraging words, caring role play), crisp sounds, and slow movements. Less common triggers were repetitive movements, smiling, airplane sounds, vacuum cleaner sounds, and laughing.
  10. The results of the study suggested that those most receptive to ASMR triggers also experienced a highly-focused state, or flow state, during ASMR consumption. To identify the traits of the flow state, researchers used an established scale that asked participants to rate their experiences on a five-point scale. One example of a common experience in the flow state is, "Things seem to happen automatically."
  11. Another study published later that year found a significant difference in the brain's networked areas between the ASMR and non-ASMR groups. The results suggested that people experiencing ASMR have atypical wiring in the brain related to sensory associations.
  12. I Am ASMR Facebook group members declared April 9th International ASMR Day.
  13. ASMR could make become a staple of marketing and advertising very soon. An early 2019 article in AdAge stated, "With the over-saturation of images, customers will want to find meaning through sound and speech […] ASMR […] is also a sign of this renewal. By whispering information, we make it more impactful […]" Michelob recently used common ASMR triggers in their ad aired during the Superbowl.

The Ad was widely praised for its innovative use of ASMR, and it seems likely that other companies will follow suit shortly.

Given the growing popularity of ASMR and its potential to capture attention and engage customers, it is safe to say that ASMR is well on its way to becoming a staple of marketing and advertising.

The growing scientific evidence of the benefits of ASMR and its ability to help with relaxation in a digital age is bound to expand the rising enthusiasm for ASMR art and media.

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What are Some of the Most Popular ASMR Triggers?

There are many triggers for ASMR, including whispering, tapping, crinkling sounds, slow movements, personal attention, and visual stimuli such as intricate hand movements. Some people also find that gentle touch can be an ASMR trigger.

Some people prefer to watch videos with multiple triggers to experience a more intense ASMR sensation, while others find that a single trigger is all they need to feel relaxed and calm.

The beauty of ASMR is that everyone experiences it differently and can find the best triggers for them.

Whispering is one of the most common triggers. Whispering sounds can be calming and reassuring, and many people find it very effective in eliciting the ASMR response.

Tapping is another common ASMR trigger, as is crinkling paper. Slow movements are often effective in triggering ASMR, along with personal attention and intricate hand movements.

While everyone experiences ASMR differently, these trigger sounds are often effective in eliciting the same response. In addition to providing a sense of calm and relaxation, ASMR can also help to improve sleep quality and reduce stress levels.

How Can ASMR Be Used to Improve Sleep Quality and Reduce Stress Levels?

ASMR has been proven to be an effective way to improve sleep quality and reduce stress levels. In one study, individuals who viewed ASMR videos reported feeling more relaxed and less anxious after viewing the videos. Another study found that ASMR effectively reduced anxiety and improved sleep quality in individuals with insomnia.

If you're struggling with anxiety or insomnia, ASMR may be a helpful tool for you. Viewing ASMR videos before bed can help to relax your mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. Listening to ASMR podcasts or videos during the day can also help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being.

ASMR is a phenomenon that is still relatively new and not fully understood. However, the available research demonstrates the potential benefits of ASMR for relaxation, stress relief, and improved sleep quality.

How Has ASMR Become So popular in Recent Years?

ASMR has become increasingly popular as more people become aware of the sensation and its potential benefits. There are many theories about why ASMR has become so popular recently.

One theory is that our fast-paced, constantly-connected lives are causing us to crave more opportunities for relaxation and downtime. ASMR provides a way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax both body and mind.

Another theory is that as our lives become more stressful, we turn to ASMR to cope with anxiety and stress. ASMR effectively reduces anxiety, making it a popular choice for people looking for natural ways to cope with stress.

Whatever the reason for its popularity, there is no doubt that ASMR is here to stay. If you haven't tried it yet, be sure to explore some of the most popular ASMR triggers to see if they work for you. You may be surprised at how effectively they can promote relaxation and relieve stress.

What Does Science Say About ASMR?

There is still relatively little scientific research on ASMR, but studies suggest that it is a genuine phenomenon with real physiological effects. Not everyone experiences ASMR, and it is still not fully understood why some people do, and others don't.

One study found that people who experience this phenomenon show a reduction in heart rate and an increase in skin conductance response when watching ASMR videos compared to control participants. This suggests that the ASMR experience is associated with a change in the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary body processes like heart rate and sweating.

Other research has looked at the psychological effects of ASMR. One study found that people who experience ASMR are more introverted than those who don't. Another found that ASMR videos can help reduce anxiety and promote positive feelings.

What are the Benefits of ASMR Therapy?

There are several potential benefits associated with ASMR therapy. These include

  • reducing anxiety and stress
  • improving mood
  • promoting relaxation
  • improving sleep quality.

ASMR therapy may also help treat conditions like insomnia, depression, and chronic pain. It also helps in promoting positive feelings. Additionally, as the science behind ASMR continues to develop, more potential benefits may be discovered.

Are There Any Risks Associated with ASMR?

No, as of now, there are no risks associated with ASMR. Some people may experience a sense of relaxation or even sleepiness, but there are no reports of any negative side effects. In fact, many people find ASMR to be a helpful way to de-stress or unwind. If you feel sleepy after listening to ASMR, it's probably best to listen during the day or when you can safely lie down and take a nap.

Can I Try Out ASMR for Myself?

If you're interested in trying ASMR, you can do a few things to get started. First, explore some of the most popular ASMR triggers mentioned earlier to see if any of them work for you. Common triggers include sounds like whispering, soft speaking, crinkling paper, and tapping. You can also try watching ASMR videos on YouTube or other platforms.

Another way to experience ASMR is by listening to ASMR audio recordings. These can be found online or through apps like ASMR Radio. You can also try making your ASMR recordings by whispering or making soft sounds into a microphone.

If you want to explore ASMR further, a few resources can help. The BetterSleep app offers a variety of ASMR sounds to help you relax and fall asleep. ASMR University is a website that compiles the latest research and resources on ASMR. You can also check out the ASMR Lab, run by scientists studying ASMR. Finally, the subreddit /r/ASMR is a great place to find videos, discussions, and support from others who experience ASMR.

No matter how you experience ASMR, it is important to remember that not everyone will react similarly to triggers. What works for one person may not work for another. Be patient and experiment until you find what works for you. And don't forget to relax and enjoy the experience!

Conclusion

ASMR is usually triggered by specific acoustic, visual, and digital media stimuli and physical interactions. And though its mechanisms are still not fully known, they are believed to involve the autonomic nervous system. This system regulates involuntary bodily functions, including blood pressure and heart rate. Watching ASMR films can improve mood and affect the heart rate and electrodermal reaction.  There are various ideas that look promising regarding how ASMR functions, but additional research is required to substantiate all of these advantages. If you want to unwind after a hard day, you can try popular ASMR sounds for free on the BetterSleep app.

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