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What is ASMR?

Meaning of ASMR

The Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR)  is a pleasant sensation that is achieved mainly through videos that combine noises of objects, mouth sounds, breathing and also low and calm voices.

Among the objectives of ASMR is to promote sleep, concentration and calm.

The effect of ASMR videos is related to the concentration they generate, since there is no evidence that they alter any brain mechanism.

In addition to object noises and low voices, there are ASMR videos that simulate potentially relaxing everyday situations. Going to the hairdresser, getting a tattoo or visiting the dentist are the most sought after simulations.

To generate more focus, most ASMR videos are set to just the YouTuber’s face, or sometimes just the mouth. These “ instructors ” also often gesture towards the camera to explore the sensation of physical and even emotional contact. There are reports that in addition to drowsiness and concentration, these videos give viewers a tingling sensation .

 

Do ASMR videos work?

Many people can relax with these videos , but neurologist Andrea Bacelar says that this effect is only due to the distraction it generates.

Outside the brain, there are also changes. When we fall asleep, the respiratory system calms down and the movements of the lung and diaphragm smooth out. Body temperature decreases and endogenous corticosteroid hormone decreases at night and increases in the morning.

This mechanism for falling asleep can be hindered by turbulent thoughts or other more serious problems, such as insomnia itself.

ASMR videos can work exactly by drowning out those inner voices and worries that prevent the body from resting. According to Andrea, the mechanism is the same as when we count sheep or read a book. However, there is no interference of videos in brain waves that provide sleep.

Benefits of ASMR videos

“ Any mechanism to relax or distract your connectivity with the environment, thoughts and concerns helps us to promote sleep ”, explains a neurologist.

However, ASMR videos cannot be applied for insomnia treatments , precisely because there are no scientific studies investigating the performance of these sounds on brain function.

The evidence that exists points to perceived benefits reported by those who are already proficient at ASMR videos , without any proof that they understand what is happening to them.

They are part of a study by Swansea University in the UK that questioned 475 people who watched ASMR videos . The survey results show the benefits felt by the majority of respondents:

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  • Relaxation (98%)
  • Sleep promotion (82%)
  • Stress reduction (70%).

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Only 5% agreed that they felt some sexual stimulation from the videos. Among those with chronic pain, 38% noted improvement after joining ASMR videos .

risks

According to neurologist Andrea Bacelar, there are no contraindications for ASMR videos . However, it is important to consult a doctor in case of persistent insomnia.

ASMR Video Types

There are “ triggers ” that activate the sensations felt by those who seek the technique. They are called by their English name, triggers , and they serve as a sort of categorization for these videos.

According to British research at Swansea University, fan-favorite triggers are:

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  • Whispers (75%)
  • Personal attention (69%)
  • Clear sounds (nail beating, scratching, etc.) (64%)
  • Slow sounds (53%)
  • Repetitive sounds (36%)
  • Smile (13%)
  • Aircraft noise (3%)
  • Vacuum cleaner noise (2%)
  • Laughter (2%).

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Also popular are so-called “ role-playing games ”, which are videos in which the presenter simulates a situation with speech and noise. The idea is to refer to situations where you have already had these involuntary feelings.

Binaural Effect

One of the techniques used in ASMR videos is recording sounds with binaural effects. This means that noises will have different perceptions in each of the headphones.

The purpose is to simulate ambient sound , in which we listen at different volumes on each side depending on where the noise is coming from. Therefore, ASMR videos get the touch of proximity that can help in concentration.

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