Do you remember your mom singing a lullaby or reading bedtime stories to make you go to sleep?
It worked better when she whispered it right next to your ear.
You never knew what insomnia was back then, and sleeping in minutes was a cakewalk.
Fast forward to 2019.
You are an adult now, suffering from anxiety disorders and insomnia that won’t let you sleep peacefully. Bedtime stories don’t work, and neither do lullabies.
But, soft sounds like shuffling papers, gentle tapping of the foot, and similar things have a positive effect.
These soft sounds repeating near your ear causes a relaxing phenomenon called autonomous sensory meridian response.
Although everyone may not feel it, those who do experience a tingling sensation spreading slowly in their head.
It moves down to your spine and spreads throughout your body. This tends to give a euphoric feeling that experts call brain orgasm.
Why ASMR is Effective for Relaxation
Researchers believe the neurological sensation of people helps them sleep better when they hear soft sounds.
The rustling of waves, the sound of burning leaves, crumbling of paper, and similar sounds create a strong neural connection between the emotional and auditory areas in your brain.
However, ASMR experts indicate that only low-volume sounds are effective for inhibiting relaxation. The rhythm and predictability of these sounds work in your brain to create a safe space that triggers the sleep you missed so much.
Your brain knows that these sounds are non-threatening.
This quickly induces relaxation, especially when the sounds relate to something you care. That is why the sudden noise of a horn blaring on the road or the sound of thunder wakes you up from deep sleep.
These are sounds that the brain classifies as dangerous.
On the contrary, if you consider someone humming, a whispering voice, or a pen scratching on paper – these sounds stimulate that euphoric feeling related to ASMR.
Different people react to different sounds of ASMR, but none of them would react to yelling or harsh sirens. For example, lip-smacking sounds, soft eating sounds, and even water dripping may be useful for a few people.
But, the ones who suffer regular, these may be ineffective.
They may have to try some other sounds like whispering or soft speaking, hair brushing, water falling in an empty basket, and so on.
Infact, there are some sounds that tend to relax a person and others that help them fall asleep.
So, it is not a given that all the ASMR sounds will result in a deep sleep.
Experts think that nature sounds and white noise are more helpful if you want to focus purely on relaxation.
ASMR-inducing sounds include soft crinkling and light tapping that usually tends to relax your mind.
How to try ASMR?
Thanks to YouTube, there are hundreds of ASMR videos with a variety of ASMR-inducing sounds.
There are probably over 15 million videos of people scratching, tapping, whispering, or even combining all these things in a specific pattern.
It is better to search for sounds that offer personalised attention like brushing your hair, scratching the carpet, or anything that you can associate yourself with. Even sounds of scissors cutting hair work wonders on some people.
ASMR-inducing sounds usually work in 15 or 20 minutes.
Your brain registers the sound and its rhythm for the first five minutes. Slowly, the euphoric tingling starts spreading in your head. It reaches your ears, temples, and moves down the spine. Within 15 minutes, your body starts to relax.
Your brain gets accustomed to the sound, which also leads to sleeping comfortably.
Most of the videos available run for over 30 minutes.
So, you have enough time to make the most of the sounds. It is wise to not think of anything.
This increases the speed at which ASMR works in your brain.
Although experts don’t confirm that ASMR works on everyone, they believe it is helpful for a significant number of people.
Infact, many psychiatrists also try to calm their patients down with ASMR-inducing sounds.
So, you can always check some of the numerous ASMR for relaxation videos on YouTube to understand which sounds work for you and which ones don’t.