What is ASMR?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past years, you’ve probably heard about ASMR.

ASMR exists primarily on video services like Youtube and Twitch but is starting to broaden out to podcasts, apps etc.. In mainstream media attention, the 2019 Superbowl featured Zoe Kravitz whispering, Apple put out a good stream of well-produced videos and even Cardi B couldn’t help herself having fun with the format. But what is the idea behind this relatively new discovery?

While some of the above examples were probably made from a hype-oriented goal, there are genuine reasons to consume ASMR in your daily life – that is – if you are susceptible to it. But we will come back to that later…


What makes ASMR tingle?

ASMR is short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and the term was coined in 2010 by Jennifer Allen, after she had been experiencing the, back then, unknown phenomenon. The “autonomous” part comes from experiencing this inside the body, while “sensory” simply explains the perception of an input. The “Meridian” keyword describes peaking and climatic energy. “Response” is finally to describe that this feeling is not constant, but rather a reaction to the stimuli. In other words, ASMR is the physical stimulation within your body


How does it work?

Like frisson, where most of us explore goosebumps and nice chills while listening to great music, ASMR provokes the body to make a tickling sensation in the upper body. This sensation feels like waves, vibrations, buzzing, or chills traveling down from the back of your head. During prolonged ASMR sessions, you might experience the sensation moving farther down the body, over the shoulders into the upper arms and torso.

Who are sensitive to ASMR?

Studies seem to suggest that about 20% of the population is quite susceptible to getting the tingles, with a further 40% somehow sensitive. While there’s a lack of evidence in this area, findings suggest that bonding behaviors during childhood increase the chance of being susceptible. Also, stress, insomnia, Anxiety, or Depression could potentially mean you would have a higher chance of getting the tingles.


Why listen to ASMR?

Obvious gains from consuming ASMR are multiple: The ability to elevate moods, decrease stress, relax, comfort, and induce sleepiness would indicate ASMR has a big potential going forward for and we’ve only just seen the tip of the iceberg.


Am I sensitive to ASMR?

…you might ask yourself. Check out the Somnia app that contains various ASMR triggers and find out for yourself. But remember; ASMR is a physical sensation that is felt on the body. So look out for any buzzing, waves, tingles when listening to whispers, slime, slicing, tapping, or scratching in the app.

Test your ASMR sensitivity

Find out how subceptible you are to feel the tingles. Download the Somnia app now and try for yourself