by Zareen Afridi | 01St October, 2018
ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is defined as a tingling or shivering sensation when someone sees or hears unusual scenes or sounds, respectively. It is a technique used to relax impatient minds. The feeling of ASMR is triggered by seeing placid sights or hearing whispers or crackles (short, sharp sounds). It initially begins at the scalp and moves down the spine and limbs.
For some people, even the sound of tapping or chewing may also hit ASMR sensation. These brain tingles cause a calm and relaxed feeling. However, the same sounds may instigate feeling of anger and anxiety in some others. For them, this becomes sound of hatred and leads to a disorder named misophonia.
ASMR is an emotional trigger that makes different people feel differently. Those who are highly susceptible to ASMR feel goosebumps or shiver down the spine feeling. These generally arouse when people listen to calming music or watch enthralling videos. The tingling sensation may begin in the crown of the head and may spread to the rest of the body. It may happen in the form of waves and pulses.
ASMR Promotes Sleep
From last couple of years, ASM has become quite popular especially on social media. People are now busy watching ASMR videos online to induce peace and reduce stress. This eventually leads to good night's sleep and produces a calming effect on the body. Videos that have been trending regularly regarding ASMR are that of a haircut, massages and even towel folding tutorials. These videos have been found to create a relaxing vibe, thus causing sound sleep.
To further study this mechanism of ASMR, British researchers conducted studies to investigate this theory further. The first study was an online one on a large scale and the other was a lab oriented one. The studies concentrated on human behavioral changes, both emotional and psychological when exposed to ASMR. The results of the research were published recently in PLOS One.
The online research included 1002 participants who were made to watch varying ASMR videos. After watching the videos, participants were asked if they felt tingling or shivering sensation. A whopping 81% persons reported in the affirmative. People showed signs of tingling, excitement, calmness and reduced level of stress and sadness.
The offline or lab based activity consisted of 112 participants in which 56 were ASMR experiencers and remaining 56 were novice. These participants were shown 3 videos. First video was chosen by a ASMR experiences as the highest ASMR inducing video. Second was a non- ASMR or control video and a third video was chosen by the researchers as the least ASMR inducing video in the first study. ASMR experiencers obviously felt tingling and shivering sensations as compared to non-ASMR experiencers.
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