Autonomy Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR): Taps and Tingles


I work retail. I’m tired, hungry, and sometimes cranky after a long day at work. I can’t get a massage or pedicure to nurse my almost-broken bones back to health because both places are closed for the evening, so I pull out my phone, drop my head on the pillow and listen to an hour-long video of leather tapping and carpet scratching.

It sounds strange, but in just a few minutes I’ll be sleeping like a baby. Both of these sounds provide a soft, tingling sensation to help me relax. And that’s exactly what ASMR is – a message sent to the brain through touch and sound to create a “tingle” that starts on top of the head all the way to the feet.

Leather and carpet are my favorite sounds because of the material. Carpet is rough and thick, and I listen to that just for the sound. Leather is light and crisp, and I listen to that to help me fall asleep faster. ASMR is not just for sleep, but just to unwind and relax.

School is approaching soon, which means papers will be due, but I don’t want you to stay up until three o’clock in the morning, trying to write the last page. I’ve done that. But then I turned to ASMR and forgot about every responsibility for a half hour. The purpose of an ASMR video will help you to relax and recharge your body. The sounds allow for comfort and tranquility.

I first learned about ASMR when I was sitting at the kitchen table and wanted a back scratch, but I heard that if you watch a video of someone getting one, the sounds make you believe you are feeling it too. And if you can imagine long, crisp nails grazing along on your skin, the feeling is unforgettable.

It starts with skin touching but can advance into much more such as a haircut, another personal favorite, because of the sharp sounds of the scissor. When you’re at the salon and you feel the scissor slightly glide up the nape of your neck, that’s the tingle you’re experiencing from watching the video.

I recommend listening to a few videos this semester as it will help with motivation, retention, and most importantly, a good night’s sleep.

For better results and clearer sounds, use headphones.