What is ASMR?


OK. Let's get weird.

One night, several years ago, I couldn't sleep. I was clicking through social media and watched some video on YouTube that I can't remember. The next suggested video was some guy who tapes his clinical exam in med school or nursing school. I was like what?! So, I watched it for some reason and the next thing I know...

...I woke up the next morning. Somehow, that video had put me to sleep. Why? Because it was boring? I was intrigued. I went back to the video and saw the comments near the bottom saying things like, "This is the best ASMR!" "ASMR ASMR" and "I watch this for the ASMR." I was like, what in the world is ASMR? So, I Googled it and found out. 

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, and it's pretty hard for me to put into words, sooo...per Wikipedia:

ASMR is a term used for an experience characterised by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine...ASMR signifies the subjective experience of "low-grade euphoria" characterised by "a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin". It is most commonly triggered by specific acoustic or visual stimuli, and less commonly by intentional attention control.

Basically, I've seen it referred to as a 'brain orgasm.' 

ASMR is triggered by sounds like whispering, scratching, tapping and personal attention - like a doctor would give. So, I figured out that's why that medical video sent me to la la land. It basically had a variation of all of those triggers. 


And, to get even weirder - there's like this whole cult following of ASMR videos on YouTube. People even have specific accounts and make money (I guess?) doing this stuff! It's like all of these people figured out that something as small as a doctor checking your ears and whispering a casual "okaaaay..." can make someone feel 'the tingles' and thus - maybe even relax them to the point of being tired. It's like a Swedish massage for your brain. 

But, not everyone has the same triggers, I guess. Because, I laugh too hard at the one below to be relaxed. She's.combing.a.microphone.

Have you heard of ASMR or am I the only dork in the room? But, hey - if you ever find yourself unable to sleep, don't hesitate to ASMR away.