Electric blanket

Is ASMR good for your sleep?

22 Mar, 2023
Jürgen Swinnen

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or soothing videos and sounds. Some people like to listen to this to fall asleep better. But is that good for your sleep? In this blog, we explain.

What is ASMR?

Asmr is the abbreviation for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response or soothing movies and sounds that trigger a response in your brain. It is a phenomenon that has been on the rise since 2010 and became wildly popular thanks to countless ASMR videos online.

ASMR is described as a fine feeling, mostly around the brain, and is often induced by soft sounds or whispering voices.

ASMR videos can be about anything, but almost always revolve around interesting sounds, often close to the microphone. Consider whispers, tapping or rubbing the microphone, or even reenacted scenes such as barber visits.

The purpose of the videos is to induce the ASMR feeling. Not everyone can feel this, yet the videos are popular even among these people. In fact, they are often perceived as relaxing.

Some studies have now been done on ASMR videos, but there is no real hard evidence yet. Even if it is a placebo effect, it can cause you to sleep better.

Can ASMR help you fall asleep?

The reaction to ASMR is very personal. Even if you don’t feel a physical response, an ASMR video can help you fall asleep. It’s not bad to try it out for a while. What kind of ASMR you listen to can also make a big difference.

Experiences range from a tingling sensation that seems to creep over your body through your back, general calmness, weird tingling, a relaxed feeling in your head and some people experience less stress.

For some it goes a little easier while some do not experience the benefits as relaxing and rather become irritated and indicate that it even causes stress. So it seems whether or not you can be sensitive to ASMR.

Whether it helps and really gets your brain to work with it will certainly be further researched in the coming years. In any case, there are plenty of videos on youtube to indulge yourself and discover if you are among those people who experience ASMR as a blessing.

Is it healthy for my sleep?

While the effects of screens and the impact of blue light on falling asleep have recently been researched and demonstrated, albeit inconclusively, it is strange to see ASMR emerging as a soothing alternative to catching sleep.

Could there be a connection to the digital zeitgeist? Which puts the solution and the threat to healthy sleep in the same corner? Who knows…

Would you like to introduce your senses to ASMR and thoroughly distract your thoughts in your head for a while?

Open your internet, surf to YouTube and use ASMR as a search term or perhaps follow this shortlist provided to you by Mien De Vriendt, she wrote an article about ASMR in the newspaper De Standaard on February 18, 2021. You can read the article, titled “sleepily blissful.”

5 popular ASMR channels

  • Gibi ASMR One of the most popular “ASMRtists” who focuses mainly on soft ghost-rolling(3 million followers).
  • ASMR Darling Also one of the most popular channels, but for those who love the whispering role-playing game (2.5 million followers).
  • Ephemeral Rift Kafkaesque channel that has achieved true cult status, balancing between ASMR and comedy.
  • 959mari Channel that specialized in … soap peeling. As it turns out, one soap is not the other. Without speech, quite hypnotic.
  • ASMRSurge Cross between ASMR and DIY TV. Focus on crafts.

Alternative: White Noise or White Noise

Don’t feel like watching movies but listening? It’s possible … because there is also such a thing as “white noise” or “white noise” sensation.

All audible frequencies coincide, as it were, just like white light. For example, white noise is said to form a kind of blanket of sound for some people, making it easier to fall asleep.

Especially in situations where strange noises or surroundings make it difficult to fall asleep, such as the first few nights in a hotel or hospitalization, it may well be helpful to find relaxation.

Babies and young children also seem to respond positively to it. Other sound colors also exist, e.g. ‘pink noise’ and appear to be even more effective.

With pink noise, you hear a mixture of more intense low notes and soft high notes. Because the human ear is more sensitive to high notes, many people find pink noise more pleasant.

Pink noise could also impact brain waves during sleep. In fact, your brain becomes less active according to the sequence of the different NREM sleep phases, research shows.


Do you fall asleep better because of sound?

You may find that music, asmr, white noise, or other noise also makes you sleep better. Not only might you fall asleep faster, you may also experience better quality sleep.

During the sleep phases, the so-called sleep spindles are created; among other things, they allow your brain to “shut off” from the outside world, preventing the sounds in the environment from waking you up.

Experiencing a monotonous or rhythmic sound could then serve as an additional blanket. White noise or pink noise can be found through streaming services such as Spotify, for example.

There are even devices that can play them specifically for a particular audience, according to Sleep Foundation.

Best devices to fall asleep with

Conclusion

ASMR is a term used for videos with distinct sounds that stimulate your brain, and can lead to soothing feelings. It does not work for everyone, but trying is not a bad thing. ASMR videos are not harmful to your sleep quality.

You can also try other sounds such as music or white noise and pink noise. It can help you fall asleep, especially in new places or uncertain situations.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and describes a sensation some people experience in the brain when listening to certain sounds.

About 20% of people are sensitive to ASMR. On the contrary, some people cannot stand the sound, and think it sounds unpleasant. Do you experience a nice physical feeling when you listen to certain sounds? So then you experience “ASMR.Is ASMR good for you?
ASMR can reduce stress and anxiety.

ASMR can certainly help calm you down, and thus help with sleeping. Visuals are not neccesarily needed to improve your sleep using ASMR. It can’t hurt to try to sleep with ASMR, and figure out if it works for you.