On YouTube alone, typing ASMR into the search bar brings more than 10 million results with videos of one million plus views. It's the latest phenomenon to sweep the world and according to YouTube statistics, there has been a 250 per cent growth in the number of ASMR videos posted in a single year!
But what is this craze all about?
What is ASMR?
Have you ever experienced a gentle vibrating sensation in your head while hearing someone whisper, getting a haircut or turning the pages of a magazine? If the answer is yes, then you have probably experienced Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response – otherwise known as ASMR. The tingling sensation often starts at the top of your head and travels down into your neck and shoulders and is a response to specific audio and visual stimuli.
The above examples are just three out of endless triggers that people may feel – it varies from person to person. The famous painter, Bob Ross, is remembered for his beautiful landscape paintings, as well as his extremely soft-spoken tone and calming demeanour. His art show became the most watched of its kind, however, many viewers experienced ASMR when viewing. Although there are many triggers, they all share characteristics of being slow, repetitive and methodical with a strong ability to induce relaxation.
What are the benefits of ASMR videos?
A common reason many choose to watch ASMR videos, is to help with the struggle of getting to sleep. The clips are often long, and because gentle voices are present, along with soothing elements, the heightened state of relaxation can help those who live with insomnia to fall asleep easier. Gaining a good night's sleep has been scientifically proven to better hearing – researchers from the University of Birmingham discovered that lack of sleep can harm blood vessel function which is vital for auditory abilities1.
ASMR can also help to increase mood and promote happier feelings. Swansea University researchers found that participants in a neurology study reported an average of 79 on a scale of 0 to 100, when asked to present their positivity mood after watching an ASMR video. They also found that people at a higher risk of depression had the greatest benefit overall after engaging with the videos2 .
People at a higher risk of depression had the greatest benefit overall after engaging with ASMR videos.
Achieving a relaxed state of mind is a common goal by many living with tinnitus – a condition where internal sounds are present within the ear, with no external source making them. Being relaxed allows the brain to adopt a lower state of alertness, leading the cognitive system to do the same, resulting in a more stress-free bout of tinnitus3 .
To check the state of your hearing, book in for a hearing test at no cost* at Adelaide Digital Hearing Solutions. Call us today on 1800 940 982 or click here to book.
1American Physiological Society, Cutting Back on Sleep Harms Blood Vessel Function and Breathing. Accessed September 2017
2PeerJ, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): a flow-like mental state. Accessed September 2017
3Australian Hearing, Tinnitus: What it is and how to manage it. Accessed September 2017