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Bedtime Stories

How ASMR Can Help You Relax

Maybe it happened the first time you crunched dry leaves under your feet in Autumn. Or, maybe it was during a routine trip down the weird YouTube rabbit hole. In any case, you’ve probably either experienced or heard of ASMR by now. But do you know what it is, exactly?

ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response and is best described as a sensory phenomenon. It is a fairly new term, having popped up somewhere in the last decade. Usually associated with slow, crisp sounds, most people think ASMR is strictly auditory. However, ASMR can occur from both visual and touch stimuli. Rather than describing the actual stimulus, ASMR describes the feeling one has when exposed to the stimulus.

What does ASMR feel like?

So is it like... sexual? Actually, no. The feeling usually begins as an intense tingling of pleasure concentrated in the scalp and back of the neck. This tingling will then flow to the shoulders, back, and eventually create a full-body experience of deep relaxation. You’re right, it does sound kind of sexual…

Who does ASMR?

Since we assume no one wants to sit next to you and crinkle wrapping paper in your ear until you feel relaxed, we suggest turning to YouTube for all your ASMR needs. Probably the most well-known example of ASMR audio is gentle whispering, which is fittingly the handle for one of the most popular YouTube ASMRtists.

Some might say the original, albeit unintended, ASMRtist was the beloved Bob Ross! While Bob Ross’s intention was to teach his audience to paint, many people watch his videos for the sole purpose of anxiety relief. His relaxing voice and sweet disposition, coupled with the gentle scraping of paint, make for the perfect ASMR-inducing audio.

Our perfect ASMR trigger? Without a doubt, the sound of gently sweeping our fingers across the surface of an OkiPillow.

Can ASMR improve sleep?

The burning (or tingling) question is: Can ASMR help me fall asleep? While there is no official research to show that ASMR aids sleep, it seems to be the primary reason why people are watching ASMR videos. A 2015 survey showed 70% of respondents used ASMR videos at bedtime to induce sleep, while 98% found the videos to be relaxing.


The gentle crashing of waves and the humming of air-conditioners have been helping people fall asleep for decades. But if you aren’t blessed by oceanside living or an AC unit (sigh), try searching for the perfect ASMR sound and throw it on next time you’re relaxing on your OkiOki.

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