Do you have trouble falling asleep or suffer from mild anxiety? Got a lot of things running through your brain and finding it hard to shut off? Yeah, I was having the same problem, too. I would take 2 Benadryl at night to try to fall asleep. Once I fell asleep, I was fine. Getting there, however, was harder than it should be. This isn’t an ad…just an affirmation that ASMR and meditation can help you fall asleep at night and lessen feelings of anxiety.
The ASMR community broke out around 2009-ish. The term “ASMR” was supposedly coined around 2010 and has flourished on the internet since. ASMR stands for Autonomic Sensory Meridian Response. It is an automatic response your body has when it is subjected to certain sounds or sights that cause you to feel euphoric and relaxed. The scientific community is still trying to figure out exactly how it works, but some studies suggest perhaps it deals with brain waves and their frequencies. Sounds that I am talking about could be whispering or even tapping your fingernails on objects. Maybe it’s chewing gum, or kissing. Even role play has made its way into the ASMR scene with videos pretending you are at the doctor for an exam or at the spa for a facial. It is the idea that certain sounds can exhibit “tingles” to your brain and therefore, to your body. This should cause you to relax and/or feel sleepy. ASMR is like a mini-orgasm for the brain ;+) (I said the brain, people, don’t make this weird lol)
Enter an app called Calm. I first tried Calm while looking for an app to maybe just make white noise and keep my brain occupied while I try to drift off into slumber. I found out quickly that this app gave me the opportunity for a real person to actually freaking read me a bedtime story. What?!?! I didn’t think it would work. Here I was, a grown woman of
24… 28……..ok, 32, having an adult version of a bedtime story read me to sleep. The biggest shock? It was actually working! I was eventually able to stop taking the ‘dryl and go to sleep on my own with the stories.
Calm also has a part of the app that teaches you how to mediate. It includes timed exercises to allow you even just 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to disconnect your eyes from your phone and your brain from the busy life. I used to think meditation was hours of prayer or something used by monks but that is not the case. Silly Staci (Aren’t I a hoot?) It’s just a way to check out and pay more attention to your mind and body.
We rarely do this anymore. I have joked (but not really joking) about the need to aerate Xanax and smoosh it through the vents at my job. Very Pavlov’s dog here, but every two hours, a bell dings and we all stop and take a nice looooooong, deep breath and calm it on down. I have had many jobs over the years from being a waitress, working in retail, and being a nurse in many areas of healthcare. In each job I interact with people on a daily basis and have found in all areas that people these days are usually wound up tighter than Dick’s hatband and probably aren’t taking time to reflect on what is stressing them out and wooosahhh.
But back to ASMR. I figured out that my triggers are whispering, hair brushing, basically anything that feels like I’m at the spa, and anything that is nice and sloooowwwww. Slow talking, slow tapping, slow movements of any kind. Calm has many stories to be played and new ones almost every week, including some you recognize like The Velveteen Rabbit. This is where I discovered an ASMR alum named Whispers Red. Her name is Emma and she was reading The Velveteen Rabbit on my new Calm app. I listened to it night after night. Delicately drifted to sleep by her voice. It was soft. It whispered. (Of course she is top-notch in my book just for being a ginger. Duh. I mean, do you know what blog you’re at?) But her voice just absolutely lulls me to sleep in an instant.
Her ASMR channel on YouTube incorporates all of my triggers. Her brand is a slurry of things that make it lights out for Staci.
Another ASMR channel I loovvee is Maria with Gentle Whispering. Again, she checks all of my ASMR boxes with soft whispering, slow movements, and videos that have me feeling like I’m being pampered at the spa.
Watch Maria tell you about ASMR in a quick video while using some of the techniques.
*Here’s a tip: get yourself over-the-ear headphones and make sure the video is set at the highest resolution for your device. It will feel like they are literally in the room and walking around you. The “ear cleaning” videos feel just like they are cleaning your ears with a q-tip!! (Can you feel me getting excited, because I am, y’all!) Are some of the videos down right weird? Yes! But hey, to each, their own. Whatever helps you calm down and take a breath. You do you, boo. Headphones aren’t a requirement for ASMR to be effective, but I find that I have fewer distractions from outside noise if I am fully submerged. You can find countless ASMRtists (see what I did there?) on YouTube or download an app called ASMR Player from the app store and search to find videos. You can even find my two faves there and create your own playlist.
We are all so wrapped up in the day-to-day that we rarely take sufficient time to un-coil all the hostility we have carried around. At some point, it will explode. You spend all day worrying about your job, your family, your bills. It’s time you start making more time for yourself and your well-being. Comment below with the ways you take time for yourself or things that help you with sleep and anxiety. Also comment if you have a fave ASMRtist! I would love to check out any new ones that you love.
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