‘What’s ASMR?’ I hear you scream.
ASMR stands for ‘Autonomous sensory meridian response’ and refers to the experience that people get when hearing certain sounds or seeing certain things in a picture or a video. It usually refers to specific sounds and moving visuals, like for example seeing someone turn the pages of a book, and hearing the sound it makes.
It’s an experience that can be likened to mild euphoria, and it can be used to induce a lucid dream if you know how. There’s a fair bit of information surrounding this idea, and we’re going to explain everything here for you. I even made a video for you guys.
Wait, so what is ASMR?
Some people, (a fairly large number of people in fact) find that when they listen to certain noises, they get a response in their body.
This response is something that you can’t really control. As the name suggests, (autonomous sensory meridian response) it’s not something you can force or stop.
The feeling or experience can be described as a tingling sensation in the back of your head, like bubbles moving down your spine towards your lower back. The feeling this gives you is a mild euphoria, sort of like a low level ‘high’ that you could get from drugs or drinking alcohol.
It’s not addictive in any way, and it’s not dangerous. It’s a natural response but we’re not quite sure WHY it happens. Some other names for this phenomenon include; brain orgasm, brain tingles, tingle sensation, brain bubbling, spine tingles, and attention induced orgasm.
NOT EVERYONE experiences this, and even if you watch the ‘trigger videos’ and hear the trigger sounds, there’s no guarantee you’ll get this response in your body. It’s something you have to try out for yourself.
Here’s a video I made to explain a little bit more about the ASMR response and how it’s linked to lucid dreaming and hypnosis.
The link between ASMR and lucid dreaming
Does ASMR help with lucid dreaming?
Yes and no. ASMR DOES help you relax, and it is good to at least try this to see if you’re one of the people if affects. I’ll explain the way it works in a moment, but for now let’s just say that you CAN use it to induce lucid dreams.
The way it works is that by triggering this response, you activate the SAME sort of parts of your brain that you do when you meditate. The same stress centers are shut down, meaning you can relax deeper and stay focused for longer.
It’s also similar to meditation in the sense that you’re sitting down (or lying down) and focusing on just one thing. You’re relaxing and letting your mind ‘switch off’ which is great for lucid dreaming, stress, and mental energy throughout the day.
There ARE lots of videos on YouTube claiming that they can induce a lucid dream with ASMR videos. These videos are almost always people whispering (a legit ASMR trigger) and telling you things like ‘you will lucid dream tonight’ or ‘tonight you’ll know that you’re dreaming’.
This sounds a LOT like the lucid techniques we know so well, which involve repetition and positive reinforcement. The techniques like the MILD, and using Mantras. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, I’m just saying that there are two things going on here.
1 – Someone whispering ANYTHING is going to trigger the ASMR in the people who can experience it, and it doesn’t really matter WHAT the people in the video say.
2 – In order to induce a lucid dream, it’s a good practice to repeat things to yourself throughout the day like ‘I will lucid dream’ and so for that reason, the videos would probably work.
But it’s not the ASMR element of the video that’s giving people the lucid dream. It’s just the fact that they’re relaxed while watching, so they’re more likely to remember it.
Is it dangerous?
ASMR isn’t dangerous, but it’s also worth noting that there is NO scientific evidence showing that it’s dangerous, OR that there are any benefits. I don’t doubt that it WORKS, as there are thousands of reports of it working for people, but there’s no EVIDENCE as to what it does for you.
It seems like it’s good for you, but we don’t know for sure. It’s very similar to meditation, and in that sense I’d advise that if it works for you, and it feels good? Keep doing it. It can only be a good thing and it will probably improve your lucid dreaming experience in the process.
ASMR triggers and how they work
There are LOTS of triggers for this experience. You can find your own triggers simply by watching a load of ASMR videos on YouTube and seeing what you react to. Everyone’s different, and we’ll go over some common triggers here in a minute but first, think of it like sexual preferences..
What do I mean?
Well, with sexual stuff, everyone has their own unique turn ons, and also things that turn them off. Things they like, and that trigger arousal, and things they don’t like that could kill the mood. ASMR is very much like that. There are triggers that will turn you ‘on’ in terms of getting you to experience the response, and things that will turn you off.
Intentional and unintentional triggers
There are different TYPES of triggers. You’ll notice that lots of people have made videos on YouTube about this. Lots of people whispering, or dragging a pencil through coffee beans etc. The thing is, NOT ALL of those videos were made specifically to induce the ASMR response.
Some videos were just made randomly, before the whole ASMR thing was really popular. These videos were then brought to light by people saying ‘hey this is a great video for this stuff’.
Here are some example triggers that you can try using:
– Listening to someone whisper. The sound of a whisper, particularly when it’s a female voice (they’re softer)
– Watching someone do something slowly. Things like stroking fur, dragging a pencil across coffee beans or crackling a bit of paper slowly
– Scalp massage or head massage good way to test the feeling. You can do this to yourself. Start very slowly massaging your scalp with your fingers
– Smacking of lips and crackling sounds
Using it to sleep better
You can use this strange experience to get better sleep. When you sleep, you’re going to have a better nights rest if you’re relaxed before you try to fall asleep. This means that by practicing meditation using ASMR trigger videos, (if you’re one of the people if affects) you can relax deeper, and therefore sleep better.
This is not for everyone as like I said, it doesn’t affect everyone. The only way to know for sure is to try it yourself. Get some stereo headphones, load up some YouTube videos and see what happens. This works BETTER with stereo headphones, because much like binaural beats, it revolves around sound and the quality of that sound.
Because this is very much an auditory thing, the sound quality is important. People say that when experimenting with ASMR, it’s best to use stereo headphones so that it sounds like you’re ACTUALLY there and it’s a more 3D experience.
The ‘autonomous sensory meridian response’ and insomnia
The ASMR should not be used as a cure for insomnia. You might be reading this thinking that it sounds great, and you can use ti to stop having trouble sleeping. You COULD, but I woulnd’t suggest it.
Why? Because much like using a white noise ‘background’ machine, you’ll get dependent on it and find it difficult to sleep without it. It creates an unhealthy balance of things in your brain and makes it hard to break free form the habit of using it.
You’ll find that you won’t be able to sleep WITHOUT using ASMR trigger videos, and this means that whenever you’re not near a phone or computer, you won’t be able to sleep cause you won’t have the trigger videos.
It’s better to treat insomnia another way, if you suffer with it. Try looking at my guide to getting a better nights sleep or something like that.