I, like many others, have a hard time falling asleep some nights. I’d say at least once a week, I lie in my bed staring at the ceiling for hours. It doesn’t matter how early I woke up that morning or how tired I am at the end of the day, I just can’t fall asleep.
Usually I opt for just lying there, telling myself that I’ll fall asleep at any moment, or completely giving up and Googling random stuff for an hour, falling into Wikipedia holes or late night talk show binges.
If you’ve ever sought out advice for falling asleep, or heard of Arianna Huffington, you know that you should never look at your phone before falling asleep. Or any technology, for that matter. If I had a dollar for every time someone suggested I stop watching Netflix before bed, they’d have to convince me to stop falling asleep to Hulu too. No, wait… ad-free Hulu. Ugh. A girl can dream, okay?
Except I can’t dream because I can’t fall asleep (whoa, smooth transition alert). But one day, my favorite YouTuber, Jenna Marbles – who is my spirit animal – made a video where she makes fun of a bunch of different YouTube trends, including ASMR.
I had never heard of ASMR and decided to look it up. In case you don’t know, ASMR stands for “autonomous sensory meridian response” and is basically the act of doing activities very softly, and on camera, to help relax the listener. It’s “noise you can feel” according to Wikipedia – a super reliable source – and usually causes tingling on your skin. Some videos are specifically designed with “triggers” to help the listener fall asleep.
I decided to try using ASMR to help me fall asleep during the week! On Monday night, I had a headache, so falling asleep was not easy. I started with ASMR Darling’s “10 Triggers to Help You Sleep.” It was extremely relaxing and I got major chills, but I didn’t end up falling asleep. So, next I turned on Cosmic Tingles ASMR’s “ASMR Curing Your Headache For Sleep,” which didn’t help me in any way, and I ended up turning it off.
Tuesday night, I tried The UKASMR’s video, “The Ultimate ASMR Sleep Clinic.” I wasn’t a huge fan of the person’s voice, but I did fall asleep during it, so it was either really good, or I was very tired.
Wednesday, I tried about a dozen videos created by six different people, but absolutely nothing worked.
Thursday, after another video failed to help me, I remembered that I actually enjoyed ASMR Darling from the first night. I turned on another video she had created and fell asleep to that.
The thing is, there are so many different kinds of ASMR videos out there, and each one has its own audience. Some people like role-plays or only whispering or only tapping. Some people’s voices will relax you more than others. Many videos I couldn’t stand had millions of views and tons of adoring comments. Not all of them are going to be for you. ASMR might not even be for you.
I personally really enjoyed the tingling feeling I got on my scalp and back when I listen to ASMR Darling’s videos. It was extremely calming and helped me sleep. The downside to using ASMR for help with sleep is that they’re videos, and you want to try and get away from screens when going to bed. It can be hard not to watch what’s going on.
Overall, I’m glad I did this project; it may not get me away from screens, but it definitely helped me to relax (once I found the right ones).