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Can You Use ASMR for Sleep?

As daily streaming numbers soar into the millions for ASMR tracks on Spotify, and sonically-bizarre yet strangely-relaxing videos go viral on YouTube, those with sleep troubles are starting to wonder:

  • What exactly is Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR)?

  • Why am I seeing it trending?

  • How can it help me sleep better?

Woman sleeping in SleepPhones headband headphones for asmr

In fact, "best ASMR for sleep" is a breakout search query on Google Trends, meaning its search volume has increased by 5000 percent in the last five years. To get a better understanding of this auditory phenomenon and how it can be leveraged for sleep, SleepPhones® creators, AcousticSheep, explored the latest research around this sonic topic.

What is ASMR?

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR), also referred to as auto sensory meridian response, is a sensation people get in response to particular sounds and visuals. This sensation on the skin is called paresthesia.

In the context of ASMR, the paresthesia people experience is often self-reported as "tingling" feelings that begin on the scalp and in the ears and move down the back of the neck. These sensations are different for everyone who experiences ASMR, but for many, they're accompanied by feelings of pleasure, relaxation, and even euphoria. It's for this reason that many people also assert that ASMR is a helpful sleep aid.

While our bodies have always been capable of this response, ASMR did not have a name until 2010. You've probably experienced the calming feeling of ASMR at some point in your life but didn't realize it. You might have come across this feeling when you heard:

  • Someone turn the pages of a book

  • Crinkling of paper or plastic

  • Repetition from a ticking clock

  • A cat purring

  • Morgan Freeman narrate a documentary

If you're wondering about triggers specific to the ASMR community, check out our infographic that explains eight of the most popular ASMR triggers.

Benefits of ASMR

This physiological response has only recently garnered the attention of the general public and researchers. There's still more research to be done around ASMR, but preliminary exploration shows that it has multiple health benefits. A study by the University of Sheffield showed that the stress-reducing ability of ASMR is similar to listening to music or practicing mindfulness. Specific benefits of ASMR include:

  • Better quality and longer duration of sleep

  • Temporary mood relief from those suffering from depression

  • Reduction in chronic pain for hours after an ASMR session

  • Lower heart rate

  • Increase feelings of relaxation

  • Increase feelings of social connectedness

Best Environment Using ASMR for Sleep

While the sounds or visuals that stir the ASMR response vary widely, many ASMR believers agree on what the ideal conditions are to experience the relaxing sensation. In a study with 475 participants, the consensus was a preference for a quiet, relaxing environment with binaural headphones to best trigger the ASMR from online media and create an immersive listening experience by sending sound frequencies at different volumes and times to one or both ears.

Many seek out ASMR for better sleep. SleepPhones® headphones are designed with relaxation and sleep in mind. The headband is luxuriously soft and embedded with flat speakers for optimum comfort and sound.

If you're interested in sleeping better, consider downloading AcousticSheep's Harmony Project™ app. The Harmony Project is a revolutionary sleep induction app that uses artificial intelligence to generate, recommend, and deliver the most effective deep sleep-inducing music, rhythms, and sound patterns. All you need to do is download the Harmony Project App, put on a pair of SleepPhones®, and let us know if the music helped. Visit SleepPhones.com for more information.

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