You’ve probably seen or heard an ASMR recording, which produce a strangely pleasant feeling. These Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos can depict simple tasks, like people quietly and neatly folding clothes, magazine pages flipping, or someone speaking softly into a microphone.
According to those who swear by ASMR, the pleasant sensations associated with it — described as an initial tingling feeling on your neck that travels all the way down to your toes — leave you feeling relaxed and sleepy, depending on the situation.
There are not a lot of studies explaining ASMR, but the movement has gained a large following, even making it onto a Zoe Kravitz beer commercial:
People can experience ASMR via meditation or by watching a video or listening to an audio file. Sleep.org reports that although no one understands how the phenomenon works, there are a few theories as to why it makes people feel safe.
Explains the website:
It could be that the videos remind you of your childhood (perhaps, for example, you watched your mom do the same action as a kid, so it’s comforting) or that the simple sounds lull you into a relaxed state.
There are hundreds of ASMR Instagram accounts and even podcasts devised to help insomniacs sleep. It may be a fad, but there’s nothing risky about giving it a shot. Even if the videos don’t help you sleep, they’re always pleasant and distracting.