Sound can have a powerful effect on us, helping shape our emotions and sculpt our feelings every day of our lives. Whether you are actively aware of it or not, sound influences how we perceive the world, and how we feel about our experiences within it, to a good degree.
In fact, it could be said that the sounds we hear throughout the day comprise a “Soundtrack” of sorts. Think of it like the sounds that accompany any movie, with the ability to influence your mood with a scene transition, a turn in the story. Leaving you with a lingering sentiment once the movie is over.
As you go about your day, your ears are picking up on a variety of noises and sounds around you. Your mind is constantly aware of those sounds, assessing and processing what it perceives as a type of data. This sound “data” can induce different physical responses. In this way, sound has the ability to have a tremendous effect on how your day will go. And that effect doesn’t just end when you go to bed. Your mind keeps going even as you sleep, and some of those sounds you have heard during the day, and the effects they had on your body, persist well into your rest time, affecting the quality of your sleep.
And while we are at it, we are not just talking about startling sounds either. Like, a gun going off or an explosion. Or even a car horn blaring in your ear. Because a noise doesn’t have to be loud, or abrupt, or even consciously recognized to have an effect on you. While these types of sounds may well have an impact on your mental state, little sounds, noises you may not even be consciously aware of, like the sound of a coffee being poured into a cup, the sound your clothes make on your skin when you dress in the morning; these sounds can affect you as well.
Noises, even brief ones so common that you don’t even notice them, can encourage feelings of sadness, or, in stark contrast, they can help you feel happy instead. Sounds can energize you, make you feel like moving. Music can make you feel like dancing or jogging. A bell going off can signal it’s time to quit, or to wake up. And of course, certain sounds can effectively calm you, and help you relax. Perhaps best of all for us insomniacs, it can help you sleep!
Not all sounds have the same effects on all people. While some sounds are known to have a similar effect on most people, the effects or degree of the effect of other sounds depends largely on our individual experiences. The effect of these sounds can be even more pronounced when listening to audios tailored to produce beneficial effects, such as ASMR.
And while we are discussing the beneficial effects sounds can have, we must also consider the types of sounds we experience. Because it’s not just music, tones or, “atmospheric” sounds that can affect us. It’s not just the sounds of a thunderstorm, gentle waves crashing on the beach, the sounds of chimes or Tibetan bowls that can influence us. Common sounds, especially those that imply human touch, such as back scratches, hair brushing, face brushing, or the sounds of a scalp massage, can have an effect on us as well. These sounds, along with a host of others, can have effects in their own right, and can also trigger automatic recall of personal feelings and emotions. This includes the ability to impart a general feeling of being cared for and loved. It all just depends on the sound, or sounds, and your own personal experience and preference.
Take for instance, words. Just as they can when you hear people speak them in person, words can also have a massive effect on us. Depending on their tone, a lot of words can make us feel better, and improve our well-being. Of course, they could have an adverse effect if those words are spoken with a negative tone, or spoken loudly and harshly.
But regardless of whether it’s a tone, a storm, or the spoken word, all sounds can have emotional, and even physical effects on the body as well. And these effects are known to millions of YouTube listeners as “ASMR”.
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response
ASMR is described by many as a wonderfully soothing, tingling sensation on the head, neck and shoulders. Studies have indicated that it can also help reduce heart rate, promote better breathing and reduce blood pressure. But, as with everything else, the sensation and effect can differ from person to person.
Sounds like some really complicated technical thing right? Or maybe it sounds like pure nonsense to you. Yeah but, the thing is, it’s not. Granted, not everyone gets ASMR; scientific studies indicate that only about 50% of the population experiences it.
I describe it as the sensation of warm honey running down the back of your head and neck, spreading out over your shoulders, down your back and arms. I would also rate it as the single most relaxing thing I’ve ever heard, the most soothing experience to ever reach my ears.
And I’m apparently not alone; for those of us who can experience ASMR, it can be an amazingly effective aid in calming the mind, soothing anxiety, and helping your body to relax. In fact, a lot of people who experience ASMR say it’s become the only way they can get to sleep, reaching for their headphones and the comfort of ASMR Audios to still their incessantly meandering minds for some much needed shut eye each and every night.
How I Found ASMR
I know, believe me, even though I’ve always understood the power sound can have on one’s mind and body, that certain sounds can help you feel relaxed and bring about a drowsy, sleep-inducing state, I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical the first time I came across ASMR on YouTube.
I remember I was searching for something to help me sleep. I had become a relaxation soundscape junkie at the time. You know, rain and thunder, the sounds of the forest with happy little birds singing in the distance, or waves crashing upon the beach. Tones, chimes, crystal being softly struck. These sounds seemed to help calm me, still my ever-wandering mind.
With or without the wind chimes or some ambient music, I didn’t care, this had become my way of coping with insomnia. I’d had a near to impossible time trying to get to sleep all my life and, at least to some degree anyway, listening to these sounds helped.
Of course, as every insomniac knows, the chance to avoid lying in bed tossing and turning, going practically mad trying to stop those rampant thoughts from plaguing your mind for even just a precious few hours of rest, is far better than no chance at all.
I can’t really remember why I went looking that morning for something new to try to soothe my mind into a peaceful slumber. I’m not even sure what I thought I would find but, I’m pretty sure I had become desensitized to my latest favorite ambient soundtrack. Perhaps you can relate; you listen to a relaxation audio for about so long and it becomes… not boring but, somehow, the sleep support affect just wears off over time.
Mind you, this can happen with ASMR too, you can actually lose the ability to enjoy the effect of it even if you are one of that lucky 50% who does get it, but I digress. More on that in a future post. Suffice to say it can unfortunately happen with anything you listen to, hence why you find yourself always on the lookout for something new, something hopefully as soothing and beneficial to getting some good rest as your last obsession… the ultimate new soundscape or ambient music, any sound or sounds that will help you put your mind and body at rest, just long enough to rejuvenate a bit.
So, I guess I was looking for something to hopefully salvage what was going to be yet another otherwise horrible night without sleep. My mind has always been jam packed with thoughts, one after the other, a rapid succession of meaningful and infinitely interesting, yet often stressful and agitating, mind numbingly persistent waves of notions, reflections, contemplations… an endless parade of thoughts always flowing through my mind, seemingly perfectly designed to keep me from sleeping until I had no choice but to go comatose. Which is why I was always hunting for something to quiet things down in my head long enough to drift off for a few hours of respite. Ah yes, insomnia…
Did I remember to pay that bill? What was that thing I had to do this Thursday again? Am I going to catch that flu bug again this January? Because, man that sucked last year. What’s going to happen if I get sick? Did I make sure to save that work project I was slaving over before I went to bed? Did I remember to feed the dog? I wonder if I can still get a hold of another pair of those jeans I love so much, most of the ones I have are getting worn too far to wear. Speaking of worn too far, work has been so stressful lately. Why do I always seem to be late to every damn appointment? Maybe I could help make sure I’m on time if I would just get to sleep earlier… damn it! Why the hell can’t I just stop all this nonsense and get some damn sleep? Oh to hell with it, I need to go check and see if Yogi has food, if I saved that project, I can’t sleep anyway; I’m getting up!
Yes, Insomnia SUCKS!
Anyway, on this particular morning, as dawn had just barely begun to softly light up the horizon, I was once again still tossing and turning. Sleep had eluded me for yet another night. Big surprise. But I could not rest, my regular fare of ambient music and soundscapes was not working. So, I was searching… and then I came across something called “ASMR”. Better yet, it said “ASMR Scalp Massage”, and “ASMR Hair Brushing”. And right there in the description of the first audio I listened too, the definition of “ASMR”. I’ll spare you the repeat on that and move on…
The instant the sound began to play, as I read the brief information on the term “ASMR” in the description of the video, an image appeared in my mind. One that came with a wonderfully delightful sensation I had not felt in what seemed like ages; my grandma brushing my hair as a child. So soothing, so relaxing. A calm, wonderful feeling the likes of which I had not experienced in years washed over me as I sat, riveted to the sounds coming from my headset. It felt safe, it felt like… home.
And then, much to my surprise… I started to relax.
The tension in my muscles all over my body started to give way to a peaceful sensation. My mind, finally focused on something far more fulfilling than all of those stressful thoughts, started to feel… still. Still and at ease.
I closed my eyes to let the full effect of the ASMR sounds wash over me. Someone’s lovely voice was softly speaking caring words in my ear. The sounds of my scalp being massaged, noises like someone was brushing my hair filled my mind… I could swear I could literally feel it! It was so strong, it pushed back thoughts of work, of the bills, of the dog’s potentially empty food dish, of my fears of catching the flu again this year.
After just 5 minutes, I began to contemplate laying back against my pillow and sinking in for what promised to be an experience that may take me off to dream land in a matter of just a few minutes. The next thing I knew, I was laying there all comfy in my bed nearly ready to drift off, hardly without thinking. And then… I don’t really remember when it happened but, I slept!
Later on that day, as I’d fallen asleep around 5am, I awoke after a good 6 hours of sleep, rather than the 2-3 I had long grown accustomed to getting instead. I felt more rested, my mind felt refreshed, more rejuvenated than I’d felt in years. My muscles actually felt as if they’d had a break. And amazingly enough, so did my mind. And I was forever hooked on this fantastic thing called ASMR!
So, that’s how I came to know and love ASMR. Desperation I suppose. Yes, desperate for sleep. And to my amazement, to my wonder, I had come across something like a magic audio potion; the solution to my sleep issues. On YouTube no less!
ASMR made it suddenly easier for me to get to sleep than ever before.
And by easier I mean way easier. Practically effortless. Even more amazing yet, that sleep was more peaceful, more restful than ever before. Pretty much the most restful sleep of my life. I woke up feeling as if I’d gotten a good rest, rather than as if I had just been off my feet kicking back for a bit. You know, REAL sleep. The kind you are supposed to get, not just some shitty knock off facsimile of sleep. No, definitely not that false sleep you get where you are pretty much awake, just resting with your eyes closed. Real, solid sleep… a full REM cycle.
In fact, I was so happy with the rest, the relaxing tingles and soothing effects I was getting from listening to ASMR, that I started sharing it with friends and family. I told the people closest to me about my new-found and exceptionally successful sleep aid, sharing my favorite ASMR audios from YouTube with them. And of course, they loved ASMR too!
The next thing I knew, we were sharing our ASMR favorites with each other, and I was even discovering some new ones that I had not heard. A couple of those became favorites I still listen to, still to this day. And so, I came to rely on ASMR for calming my mind, for helping me sleep. Even to decompress after a long day or stressful event.
Skye Vibes Audio ASMR
Of course, I’ve since gone on to create my own ASMR audios and upload them to YouTube. I’ve recorded my own sounds. My own head scratches, scalp massages and even my own soundscapes. To be honest, my scalp massages even knock me out, making it extremely difficult to edit those particular audios lol So, I think I’ve done a fair job of contributing to the tingles and sleep inducing sounds of the ASMR community. I’m told my sounds are soothing. I hope so anyway.
The only little twist with my ASMR audios is that they are “girlfriend roleplays”. That pretty much means that my audios are designed to simulate or depict the experience of having a real girlfriend. But, not just any girlfriend; one who really cares about you. My goal with my ASMR Girlfriend Roleplay audios is to make my listener feel loved and appreciated, put a smile on their face. Maybe help them get some good sleep, some much deserved rest. That’s what most of my subs enjoy the most about my audios, or so I hear. And it’s always great to hear feedback via my Google feedback form, so I can make sure I’m creating audios everyone finds helpful, and makes them happy.
Dedicated To Audio Bliss
I’m proud to say that I’ve had an audio uploaded every day since my channel began, December 1st 2017. Yes, sometimes those audios are remixed from old ones but, a lot of my listeners tell me they like hearing their favorite role play and sounds with various soundscapes. It allows their favorite audio to fit just about every atmospheric condition they may experience I guess. And I just love to try new soundscapes, make adjustments and perfect my role plays so, it works for everyone. I’m happy if my community is happy.
As my ASMR journey is never over, I’m always happily planning new audios and thinking of new sounds to record. And of course, there’s always a steady supply of requests and suggestions from my Patrons, subs, listeners to keep me interested and busy. I try my best to record as many requests as I can, when I can. And I’ve always got a long list of sounds and role play stories I’m excited to get to record. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me in the future. And I’m excited to see you around my channel when you are looking for something to help you sleep!