If you don’t know what ASMR is, maybe you’ve never had sleep problems , or maybe you’ve never come across this “niche” (by now in reality) of Youtube.
These are videos featuring content that should aim to relax and hopefully put the viewer to sleep. Not only relaxing images, but above all sounds, noises and whispers that should induce – in addition to relaxation – also a very particular and subtle pleasure.
Difficult to describe for those who have never come across it, ASMR is now an indispensable guilty pleasure for insomniacs from all over the globe, at least judging by the mountains of enthusiastic comments that can be read under the ASMR videos on Youtube.
But what does “ASMR” mean , how does this strange phenomenon work and how can it be exploited for one’s well-being and especially for sleeping ? Let’s see it right away.
What does “ASMR” mean
Behind the acronym ASMR, which has become a trend, would hide the body’s response to a sensory stimulation capable of generating an intense sensation of pleasure, sometimes associated with tingling. The first to talk about ASMR is Jennifer Allen, who in 2010 will coined the term “ Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response ”, that is to say “autonomous response of the sensory meridian”. It would be a strange feeling of well-being accompanied by tingling in different parts of the body, often aroused by some particular sound. Online Jennifer says that from the age of six it happens to her in many, and different, occasions of everyday life.
The sensation about which he questions resembles a tingling that comes from the head and spreads like an electric shock along the spine; sometimes a feeling of nausea can be added. But it is not the search for a solution that pushes the twenty-year-old to turn to the people of the web, but the desire to understand and understand if other people share this experience with her. The forum generates an incredible stream of comments; some will compare this phenomenon to an orgasm, even if it is not a sensation of a sexual nature.
What are tingles?
The above phenomenon has been identified with the expression “tingle”, which means tingling.
It’s like a head orgasm; it usually lasts for a couple of minutes at the most. The situations that provoke it can be very different, for example drawing, coloring a figure , looking at a screen. Is it the context, the “what” that causes the sensation or is it an attitude on a psychological level , the “how” we place ourselves with respect to what we are doing? This is the kind of question that internet users asked themselves in the first forums on the subject: many, many, testify that they have already experienced the same feeling.
The ASMR phenomenon is also known as Attention Induced Head Orgasm: massage or brain orgasm . Over time we have tried to find a unitary explanation for this subjective experience, which has been defined as “tingling sensation”; it is the sensation of a tingling that starts on the scalp and then goes down to the base of the neck and affects the spine. What people claim to experience is an experience characterized by a combination of positive sensations that moves to the epidermis. The particularity? The experience is usually associated with a visual or sound stimulus .
The phenomenon of ASMR videos on YouTube
The curiosity that initially animated the forums becomes a real trend, so much so that artists and public figures, from Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevingne, begin to produce ASMR videos : over 13 million content uploaded to the YouTube platform in 2018 alone. YouTubers who are dedicated to producing ASMR content. In common the search for pleasure and a deep sense of well-being .
What stimulus can trigger the experience? For example, a whispered voice into the microphone, the rustle of a sheet of paper or fabric, the sound of nails clicking on a wooden surface, the sound of the bristles of a brush on the canvas: all that, audibly and tactile, scratches, leaves its mark. Sound becomes a vehicle for emotions, which flow like a film projected on the skin . The auditory experience is a journey through time and functions as a key capable of triggering a magical lock: back, the thread of the years is rewound and lost memories, forgotten suggestions are found . The body’s response to these stimuli has in common the sense of deep relaxation, a state that manifests itself in the brain with therelease of endorphins and serotonin , neurotransmitters linked to the sense of fulfillment and well-being. The sense of relaxation together with the loneliness of an experience that is profoundly intimate and individual is what unites, despite the differences, the ASMR experience.
Is ASMR good for you?
What does science say about ASMR? The studies are numerous, because we are only at the beginning of a new chapter: emotions and the brain represent the great mystery that neuroscience is questioning. A precedent comes from the world of literature . Among the pages of the novel “Mrs. Dalloway” we read: “close to the ear, melodious, deep as an organ chord, but with a guttural accent like a cicada, which delightfully tickled his spine, sending him up up to the brain sound waves that collided with each other“. Once again the same ingredients: sound, skin, a deep reaction like an electric shock that touches from within and involves the nervous system. It was 1925 when Virginia Woolf published “Mrs Dalloway”. The first case of ASMR?
“Plunging your hand into a sack of legumes, breaking the crust of crème brûlée with the tip of a spoon and bouncing the stones on the Saint Martin canal”, are the little pleasures of life by Amélie Poulain, from the film “The fabulous world of Amélie “. Perhaps what we are looking for an explanation for is precisely this: the pleasure of those little things capable of touching us inside, which often go unnoticed over the course of days and which, instead, sensitive souls have always known how to grasp and live with all the intensity possible .
For this reason, ASMR can become a pleasant interlude of well-being to be experienced every day, especially in the evening. Also because – although there is no scientific explanation for the phenomenon yet – it seems that ASMR videos are a great way to fall asleep in a pleasant and very fast way.