Have you heard of ASMR videos yet? ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, which is a (made-up, non-scientific) term for the relaxation people feel when listening to certain sounds. For most, it’s a tingling feeling that starts in the back of the head and travels, depending on intensity, throughout other parts of the body. Have you ever gotten a feeling like this when a friend brushed your hair? Getting your eyes and ears checked at the doctor? That’s real-life ASMR, and lots of people recreate it through videos on YouTube to help people fall asleep.
“What in the world…?!”
It might sound a little funny at first to imagine people recreating hair-brushing and whispered doctor exams on Youtube. But when you think about it, ASMR videos are a free and natural way to combat insomnia, a really annoying symptom of anxiety, depression, and many other disorders. Even just stress! Imagine what you could do to cure the underlying causes of your anxiety, etc., if you could just get enough sleep!
Research has just begun in the past five years or so on why we get these tingles. Still, we have a good grasp on what sounds and actions create them, leading to some hypotheses on the why part. For example, whispering and soft-speaking are the main triggers. In fact, the community online used to be called the whisper community! Some believe whispering produces tingles because we do it in intimate situations. Since humans need intimacy to thrive and procreate, nature may have built this pleasant, tingly incentive into us so we’d engage in these behaviors. This makes even more sense when you think of how some people are triggered by personal attention, sounds that feel close-up in your ears, etc.
The Youtubers who have made it their life’s work to relax us with their ASMR videos have excellent explanations for the phenomenon on their channels. If you want some more info, check them all out! Below are some of my favorite channels, and a couple of my favorite videos from each. I suggest watching a bunch of different ones to figure out what your triggers are! Sleep tight 🙂
Great ASMR Videos and Youtube Channels
With 1.5 MILLION subscribers, Maria is the most popular ASMRtist in the word. (Yes, that’s what they’re called!) She has been making ASMR videos since 2011, and steadily gaining momentum ever since. Maria is heavily involved in the community aside from just making videos– she is regularly interviewed for TV and news articles about ASMR videos, and is sort of the face of the movement. With a whopping 20 million views, this is her most popular video:
As you can see, she’s heavily focused on giving the viewer personal attention, talking slowly, and using a variety of different triggers to relax them.
This is a more recent one:
Ella is known for the cast of wild characters she creates for her ASMR videos! She’s done some really great impressions of famous people and characters like Ariana Grande, Marilyn Monroe, Janis Ian from Mean Girls, and Frenchie from Grease as well as creating her own. There’s Connie, the 80’s Jersey character, and Claudette the bitchy French actress. She can do about a million and one different accents, so if accents are a trigger for you, Ella’s your girl. Below is my favorite video (featuring a character named Flower!), followed by one with my favorite character, Connie!
LatteASMR– real name unknown!
Latte’s ASMR videos are famous because her voice is just so sweet and light and tiny. For real, every single one of her English videos gives me tingles. I say her English videos because I’m not personally triggered by other languages, because I think knowing what’s going on helps me feel it. But that’s a personal thing! So definitely check out her Korean videos as well– I’ve posted one of each.
Lilium’s ASMR videos are mostly on the darker side. For example, one of her most recent role-play is as a deranged nurse! If that’s not your cup of tea, you might still enjoy her videos because her voice is just so silky smooth, and she’s got that personal attention thing down pat. She’s also got a Danish accent, which is a strong trigger for me personally. With accents, you don’t always quite know what you’re going to hear next, so my guess is that it’s more difficult to build tolerance. Here is Lilium’s aforementioned deranged nurse RP, followed by one of my favorites. It’s an oldie, but still great!
Isabel is a Dutch fitness enthusiast with a side-passion for making ASMR videos! She makes lots of role-plays with mainstream characters such as Harley Quinn and Elsa from Frozen. She gets really into it with the hair and makeup and editing! However, I also like her simpler videos where she teaches us Dutch words.
Emma’s ASMR videos are often quite simple, but very high quality. There aren’t a lot of special effects, but often I believe that’s what makes her videos so tingly! They emulate real-life ASMR experiences more than the videos with green screens and tons of editing. Emma loves collaborating with other ASMRtists and including real people in her videos. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Ally’s channel got started just by taking requests from her subscribers, which is honestly a very scary undertaking. I’ve seen someone ask her, publicly in the comments, to have an entire video running her hands up and down her thighs while wearing jeans. Of course, she filters out what she doesn’t want to do, but still, she is an ASMRtist for the people, and I think that’s really cool!
Like Ella, she also has some really great characters, such as the tooth fairy of all things, and Ms. Miracle, the southern psychic. She’s very into making her ASMR videos like movies, so the quality is very impressive in a lot of them! She also has a series I love called thrifty tingles, where she visits a thrift store to find items that might trigger ASMR. She doesn’t spend more than $5, she has to be able to use the items elsewhere in her life, and she has to donate something of her own each time. I think it’s great that she does something good for her own personal community while doing something good for her ASMR community! Here’s a thrifty tingles video and one that shows off her creativity!
Can’t leave the male ASMRtists out of the mix! Matt’s ASMR videos are super relaxing and it’s great that he caters to the male listeners with videos on suit fittings, straight razor shaves, and more!
easyASMR– Alex (?)
EasyASMR chooses not to show his whole face, which is a travesty because the bottom half is adorable.
River– real name unknown!
I love River. For starters, he is a showstopper when he’s dressed as both a man and a woman. And his sense of humor is so subtle that you almost miss all his jokes, but that’s what makes them so funny.
Are you ready to try ASMR videos to help you sleep? Who are your favorite ASMRtists?
Tell me what you think in the comments!