Andrew Smith is an undergraduate student at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design at The University of Dundee, Scotland.
He focused his final year dissertation project on ASMR to fulfill the requirements for his Bachelor of Design degree (with Honors).
Andrew’s completed dissertation was 47 pages (~10,000 words), was titled, “An investigation into the interconnected nature of aesthetics, sensory perception and sensory phenomena” and weaved together the following topics:
- The Golden Rectangle (a shape linked to art, design, and architecture)
- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (a therapy for trauma patients)
- Brain Wave States, Hypnosis, & REM, Sleep
- Brain Default Mode Network & Synaesthesia
- Interpersonal bonding
- Senses, Sensory Processing Disorder, & Autism
I’ve created a new page for the website titled, “Health Benefits of ASMR.”
The page has a list of conditions which may be improved by experiencing ASMR. Each condition includes supporting resources such as; published research, ongoing research, testimonials, and supportive articles.
Unfortunately, it will take a lot more research, especially clinical studies, before the potential clinical application of ASMR will be understood. This new page just highlights some of the initial support that will hopefully assist and inspire other researchers and clinicians to do more studies.
If ASMR has helped you somehow, you can share your experience at the Voices of ASMR project and it will automatically be included to this new page.
If you know of a resource which highlights how ASMR has helped someone, then please send a link to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add it the page.
A current list of the potential health benefits of ASMR (with links to supporting resources) is below.
Research has shown that the light emitted from mobile devices can interfere with sleep.
This is a concern for individuals who are watching ASMR videos to relax their minds and fall asleep more easily.
Yet there are still plenty of online reports that watching an ASMR video does help many people to fall asleep more easily than not watching an ASMR video.
A recent research study published in PLOS Biology may help to explain this conundrum.
It could still be a long time until ASMR is a clinician-recommended therapy for disorders like insomnia, anxiety, or depression.
How long? Hard to say but a recent publication about the therapeutic use of yoga gives a valuable perspective to this timeline for ASMR.
People often stumble across ASMR when searching for natural methods and products to help them sleep.
And on the flip side, some people who have temporarily lost their ability to experience ASMR or do not experience ASMR may seek out other natural methods and products to help them sleep.
One popular category of natural sleep products is ‘plant-based products’, which also may be referred to as ‘nutraceutical sleep therapeutics’, or ‘herbal sleep supplements’.
I recently came across a very well written review article on nutraceutical sleep therapeutics and I wanted to share it (a link to the article is provided below).
The products covered in the article include L-tryptophan, chamomile, cherries, kava kava, valerian, and marijuana.
A common question I have seen on the ASMR subreddit and at other places is, “What are the best headphones for ASMR?”
There is no unanimous decision, but there is one brand of headphones which I see the most often recommended, they are called ‘SleepPhones’.
I know my wife would agree because she borrowed my SleepPhones a month ago and has refused to give them back.
These headphones are a plush headband with flat speakers hidden inside – quite ideal for falling asleep while listening to ASMR trigger sounds or any other type of audio.
I have noticed that the company which creates these headphones, AcousticSheep LLC, seems quite aware of the ASMR community.
So I reached out to them to find out more about the people behind SleepPhones, the development of their products, and their thoughts about ASMR.
Getting an appropriate amount and quality of sleep has long been known to be important to good health.
In particular, scientists have shown that white blood cells, the cells which defend your body against germs, are strongest in people who get appropriate sleep.
In the latest issue of the journal, Trends in Neurosciences, scientists have gathered together lots of evidence to support that appropriate sleep not only helps your cells to fight germs but it also helps your cells to remember which germs to fight.
And remembering which germs to fight is the key to vaccination.
Let me highlight how this all works.
Two reasons some people watch lots of ASMR videos is to help them with sleep problems and/or depression.
And although this may be helpful to some who have these problems, the cause of their sleep problems and depression may still need to be diagnosed so the underlying disorder can be best treated.
Recent research in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine demonstrated that sleep problems and depression are both common symptoms in people with sleep apnea.
So what is sleep apnea?
I was searching online to see which sites were reporting about the first peer-reviewed publication on ASMR.
One site I came across was http://www.sleepsherpa.com. The website is run by Ben Trapskin out of Minneapolis, Minnesota and focuses on products for better sleep.
I was impressed that he reported on the ASMR publication and I found his site well organized and informative. He provides insight on mattresses, pillows, bedding, sleep aids, and even books that he feels can improve sleep.
Many individuals report that ASMR is helpful to them because it makes it easier for them to fall asleep. But for anyone, whether they utilize ASMR to fall asleep or not, it can be beneficial to know about additional products and suggestions helpful to a good night’s rest.
Ben shares his tips and experiences with improving his own sleep, information about a pillow that plays sounds which won’t wake your partner, the advantages of using a sleep tracking device, his thoughts about ASMR, and more.
Below are my questions in bold and his replies in italics.
One of the best compliments someone can give to a new discovery is, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
I just read about a new research tool which deserves that compliment.
A group of scientists have recently published a paper in the journal PLOS ONE which describes a simple way to measure sleep quality.
Their simple idea could make research studies on the influence of ASMR on sleep quality much easier than current research methods.
This new method is so simple that I can describe it in two words: