Are you familiar with ASMR? You might have heard of this sensory phenomenon, which has become wildly popular in the past several years. I have a number of patients who are using ASMR videos and audio to help them sleep better—and more patients who are interested in this cultural phenomenon.
Given the growing interest in ASMR, I thought I’d bring that discussion here, for a first look at ASMR: what it is, and whether it may have benefits for sleep.
What is ASMR?
ASMR—which stands for autonomous sensory meridian response—is sometimes referred to as a condition, and other times as a phenomenon or an experience. ASMR is a relatively newly identified phenomenon, that has been given its name (a non-clinical term) within just the past decade. People with ASMR experience feelings of intensely pleasurable and relaxing tingling, concentrated in the head and neck, in response to specific sounds or images. Audio and visual stimuli are the most common triggers of an ASMR response, but some people experience this relaxing tingling in response to touch or to smell, as