ASMR which stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is a pleasurable tingling sensation that is triggered by certain visual and auditory stimuli. This intense static-like response to triggers is first felt in the scalp after which it makes its way through one’s neck and upper spine.

This feeling is a relatively new term and is often also called “braingasm.” Surprisingly, simple, seemingly ordinary videos such as that of a person folding laundry or sounds of whispering, brushing, or rustling can stimulate ASMR.

How did the term ASMR come into being?

The word ASMR was given to this unique, tingly sensation by a nonscientist named Jennifer Allen. Allen proposed this term because she thought it was clinical as well as objective and comfortable. Other then-suggested names for this feeling included brain tingle, spine tingle, brain massage, brain orgasm, and head tingle.

ASMR videos

Last year, ASMR videos became a trending topic on YouTube. The videos comprised of sounds such as that of whispering, brushing tapping and the like. These intentional ASMR videos used triggers to make people feel relaxed, and to make them experience the euphoric tingly feeling.

Advertisements by brands such as Ikea and Renault have also tapped into the potential of ASMR for marketing purposes. Celebrities like Cardi B and Ariana Grande have too made ASMR videos. The Bodak Yellow rapper told her audience in a W Magazine video that she is a big fan of ASMR videos.

And it is clear from the way she tries to induce the feeling in said video for those watching by massaging a blanket and repeating the same word numerous times. Ariana Grande’s fans have also collected videos that she has posted on her social media channels in the past in which she makes ASMR sounds.

Does ASMR work for everyone?

ASMR is a feeling that is not experienced by everyone. Those who experience it call it euphoric and calming. Those who don’t, have a hard time believing such a sensation even exists. For some people, ASMR can also decrease or even disappear over time. They say the more you watch or experience ASMR triggers, the higher the chances your brain develops tolerance to them.

Can ASMR help you sleep?

As mentioned, ASMR videos are relaxing. This feature is why people often watch these videos to fall asleep. In fact, the calming response that one feels may also help him overcome insomnia. Some ASMR videos last 20 minutes while others can go on for an hour. Watchers may also doze off in the middle of an ASMR video. Some people merely use their imagination to trigger ASMR.

In a nutshell

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response or ASMR refers to a tingly feeling which is felt first in the head and then in the neck and the spine. This sensation is pleasurable and relaxing so much so that it can even lull some people to sleep. ASMR triggers are typically auditory or visual. The concept is recent and became a trending topic last year, when several ASMR videos made their way online on YouTube.