Does ASMR help you sleep naturally?

Does ASMR help with sleep

Wouldn’t it be great to just nod off at a click of the fingers? Well, you wouldn’t be alone: 40 million American’s suffer the same problem; insomnia being the most common cause. And when you reach the age of 65, there’s a 50% chance you’ll have some form of sleep disorder. Does ASMR help you sleep? Let’s find out…

It’s important to note ASMR would be highly unlikely to cure a multitude of sleep disorders. There are more than 70 recognized sleep disturbances after all. What it helps with are issues involving a lack of sleep: insomnia and shift work sleep disorder (because you work nightshifts). The other two types of sleep disruptions are disrupted sleep disorder, the prime example being OSA: obstructive sleep apnea, and excessive sleep being the other, where you sleep too much: narcolepsy being an example where you really can sleep at will.

A state of relaxation

ASMR stands for an autonomous sensory meridian response, which is the result of psychological and physiological responses in your body to certain stimuli. It can be both visual and audio. I prefer to watch the videos as I think the cosplay/role play is a highly immersive experience, which relaxes me a lot. But others may prefer to slip on some noise-cancelling headphones and chill out in bed.

Does asmr help you sleep graph for proof
Figure A – beats per minute (bpm) curvature whilst sleeping

Sounds of brushing hair, flipping magazine pages, finger tapping on desks can induce goosebumps. Heck, I even watched a video of an ASMR therapist shaving soap and found it to be the most pleasurable thing ever! Whatever it may be, you’ll find the content promotes calmness and a great relaxation state before bedtime, lowering the heart rate.

Stress and anxiety disappear, as your body is enveloped in a warm tingling sensation. Moreover, the four prime triggers are whispering, personal attention, crisp sounds and slow movements. This is why the video content can be very effective as all the attention is on you, and its human beings natural tendency to kinda like that…

Whether that is a video experience for getting your haircut, a massage or storytelling, you feel that you are the focus of attention. Coupled with the gentle, soft-spoken voices means you can’t help but enter a transcend the state of comfort and wellbeing. It’s the perfect recipe for sleep.

Will it work for me?

ASMR is highly preferential. Even for the people that get to experience it, it may only be certain triggers, sounds, visuals and specific ASMR therapists that do it for them. Think of it like food – you get some people who will devour anything in sight, but others are a bit pickier. Some people lean towards a certain cuisine (Chinese, Indian etc.) and that’s perfectly fine. The same goes for ASMR. For example, my two personal favourites are WhisperAudios ASMR and Gibi ASMR. Both of these therapists are females, so maybe it’s the soft tones of a women’s voice that triggers the relaxation for me. There are plenty of popular male ASMR therapists out there who are great at what they do, but it just doesn’t work for me.

Also, I recommend at nighttime you ditch the phone screen and watch the ASMR content on your TV. Especially from a distance, the light isn’t as intense, and a phone’s light could counteract the effects of ASMR. The blue light will penetrate deep into the eye and cause hyper-arousal. Have you ever noticed if you’re on your phone at night, whilst in bed, that you can stay up all night?

Yeah, that pretty much explains everything.

ASMR may not help with sleep because of blue light effects
Figure B – the effects of blue light on your sleep

But if you’ve experienced the warm tingles of ASMR in everyday life, like an involuntary response, you’ll probably find it’ll work very well as a sleep aid. And the vast majority of ASMR experiencers would likely have encountered their first episode in childhood.

Consistent nighttime routine

ASMR is effective at signalling to your body its time for bed. But you can’t get around the fact there’s a little more to it than that. We can think of this as a healthy evening ritual. Based on my research, here’s what I propose:

  • Don’t eat for at least 3 hours before you go to bed
  • Set the phone aside, quite looking at social media and playing video games 1 hour before bed. Television is fine but the best thing you could do is read a book with a nice bedside light on, and/or with some nice background music. OR immerse yourself in your favourite ASMR experiences!
  • Avoid caffeine for 7 hours before bed – coffee AND tea. So, if you go to bed at 11 pm, have your last cuppa at 4 pm. However, if you still need a warm brew, try herbal tea like chamomile and lemon tea. Just make sure it’s caffeine-free and remember that decaffeinated may mean all the caffeine is extracted, but it could also be the concentration has only been reduced, so read the label
  • Wake up at the same time and go to bed at the same time, EVERY DAY. You’ll feel way better for it as your body isn’t sent into a ‘shocked’ state. Make it easy for the poor thing
  • Avoid napping during the day – you’ll feel its time to hit the kip for your recommended 7-8 hours sleep (if you’re an adult) when its time to do so. And you’d have earned it. If you are getting less than 6 hours sleep/day, you’ll want to increase this in small increments each week by 15 minutes until you’re in the healthy 7-8 hours range
  • Meditation – you could couple this with ASMR, or substitute it if you found meditating wasn’t your thing. Both have many similarities because they reduce your heart rate and promote a feeling of wellbeing. And they both have physiological and psychological benefits
  • If you don’t already have them, some black-out curtains and a temperature-controlled room (goldilocks environment 15.5-19)

Of course, you could find other methods that work for you. But the important point is you want downtime before your shuteye for 1-2 hours. Plus, make your bedroom ‘sleep-friendly’. What does this mean? Well, your bedroom should be separate from the rooms where you take phone calls, work at the computer or watch TV etc.

What you’re doing here is creating the perfect environment for you to become sleepy. Your biological circadian rhythm (body clock) will signal to you that you’re tired instead of alert. It will signal to the part of your brain that secretes sleep hormones, such as melatonin, which will rise in the evening and remain elevated whilst you’re asleep. 

The dreaded phone screen

This deserves a special mention again. I think the infographic below explains the effects of blue light perfectly. So basically, if you want a surefire way of disrupting your sleep routine, stare deep into that laptop or phone screen for hours on end…

ASMR helps to release melatonin for sleep
Figure C – what smartphones do to your sleep

ASMR has a strong connection to mindfulness. If you’re already stressed from everyday life, then this will only compound the problem. You see, the University of Sheffield carried out a comprehensive study on ASMR effects, and they analyzed 475 people. All of them were ASMR experiencers, and 82% of them used it for sleep, with 80% saying it positively impacted their mood. This is the total opposite of depression and anxiety, which have many disruptive effects on sleep. ASMR, on the other hand, is the ultimate form of passive relaxation

Sleeping list

I’ve compiled a list of my top ASMR videos – we’ll call it the sleep playlist! You’ll notice that they’re all quite long: 45 minutes or above because they allow you to listen until you drift off. You can even listen to this popular playlist on Spotify: ASMR Sleep Sounds.

All the videos incorporate a variety of techniques to help you sleep – I’ve even included one where nobody is speaking – just crisp noises. Again, because it’s a personal thing and you may find listening to somebody talking quite distracting, but rest assure, they will ALL alleviate stress, which is amazing for your mental health and you’ll sleep better because of it. None of the videos has any sudden volume changes to surprise you.

Now, ASMR is a very new technique that’s only been catching momentum these past few years. There are very few peer-reviewed studies at the moment, but I think its simple to understand how ASMR reduces anxiety and stress. I experience the sensations myself, so I can honestly vouch for that. If you are in an induced state of wellbeing brought on by ASMR, you’re going to sleep better.

A simple, natural technique to solve a complex problem. Does ASMR help you sleep? Give it a try…

https://youtu.be/mREHWJMwuRo

https://youtu.be/y1ucBSGR2Do

https://youtu.be/eLjSyI8bNfk

https://youtu.be/OXITw-y-fKQ

https://youtu.be/sHkS0XXutrk

But please note – this article and ASMR isn’t intended to replace your medication or professional advice. If you experience bouts of depression and are struggling with mental health, please seek out your doctor.

References

Breakfast Criminals (n.d.). Can’t Sleep? 8 Best Sleep ASMR Videos To The Rescue. [online] breakfastcriminals.com. Available at: https://www.breakfastcriminals.com/cant-sleep-8-best-sleep-asmr-videos-to-the-rescue/ [Accessed 5 Jun. 2019].

Breus, M. (2019). What is ASMR—and Can it Help Sleep. [online] thesleepdoctor.com. Available at: https://thesleepdoctor.com/2019/03/19/what-is-asmr-and-can-it-help-sleep/?cn-reloaded=1 [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].

Burton, K. (2019). How ASMR Can Help with Sleep. [online] monq.com. Available at: https://monq.com/eo/asmr/asmr-help-sleep/ [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].

Green, M. (2017). Sleep, Insomnia and Blue Lights. [image] Available at: https://www.fiftyandfab.co.uk/blog/sleep-insomnia-and-blue-lights [Accessed 7 Jun. 2019].

HB Optical Laboratories (2017). What is Blue Light?. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dziGIMBekcA [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].

Health Communities (1999). Overview of Sleep Disorder. [online] healthcommunities.com. Available at: http://www.healthcommunities.com/sleep-disorders/overview-of-sleep-disorders.shtml [Accessed 5 Jun. 2019].

Kavey, N. (2001). Stress & Insomnia: Help & Reasons. [online] sleepfoundation.org. Available at: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/stress-and-insomnia [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].

Oura Crew (2018). Curvature of your BPM in bed. [image] Available at: https://ouraring.com/heart-rate-while-sleeping/ [Accessed 6 Jun. 2019].

Postles, H. (2018). Brain tingles: First study of its kind reveals physiological benefits of ASMR. [online] sheffield.ac.uk. Available at: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/asmr-health-psychological-benefits-1.787541 [Accessed 5 Jun. 2019].

The National Sleep Foundation (n.d.). What is ASMR?. [online] sleep.org. Available at: https://www.sleep.org/articles/what-is-asmr/ [Accessed 5 Jun. 2019].

Walia, A. (2016). The effects of blue light. [image] Available at: https://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/05/21/how-smartphone-light-affects-your-brain-body-infographic/ [Accessed 7 Jun. 2019].

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Hello everyone, I'm Donald Eide, founder of Honey Gusto. We specialize in the manufacturing and selling of medical devices and supplies. Our purpose is to have these devices available to everyone across the globe. We make the process simple. Nobody want's to be overwhelmed when they buy a medical product, whether that be an allergy test kit or an earwax removal product. We've got you covered with user simplicity. It could be a custom-designed instructional comic, 2-D animated video or a live product demonstration. We ditched the old-fashioned black and white instruction leaflet and introduced an engaging way to learn. All our instructions are simple to understand. And trust me, they aren't boring. You can rest assure that you will have a stress-free experience with our products, whilst picking up new skills and knowledge on health and well-being. You can feel proud knowing you can manage the health of yourself and your family. That's my goal for everyone who uses our products. I wish you all the very best of health. Donald Eide

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