Sleep offers sweet surrender from the day, rejuvenating our minds and bodies so we can be healthy and vibrant. But not everyone benefits from the pleasures of snoozing. In fact, our fast-paced modern lifestyles and overwhelming responsibilities have led millions of people to rely on relaxing techniques, such as ASMR in order to wind down.
ASMR is an acronym that describes the sensation of tingles cascading down the spine or body when watching videos that are relaxing, soothing, and comforting. The main reason ASMR has swept the world is that it offers people some meditative time to slow down and relax. There are also many people who use ASMR to cope with anxiety or depression.
The world of ASMR is diverse with so many different kinds of videos and “triggers.” Triggers are ways that ASMR artists give their viewers goosebumps or feelings of euphoria. ASMR videos can be found on apps such as Tingles and even on the website Twitch. You can even try ASMR in person through an immersive sensory experience known as Whisperlodge. But the largest community of “ASMR artists” and viewers is on YouTube, and while this phenomenon is now mainstream, ASMR artists have been lulling sleepy heads since 2010.
There are many ways to create ASMR videos such as roleplays, videos focused on experimental sounds, and nature images and sounds. Of course, there is also a relaxing act of reading and bedtime stories. As poetry has long been considered self-care for readers, it makes sense that ASMR artists use this trigger for their videos.
Here are three ASMR poetry videos for a cozy night of dozing.
Grab a cup of chai tea and sweeten it with milk and honey while you watch this bedtime reading of Rupi Kaur’s poetry. Sonia Elsie ASMR begins the video with a classic trigger: tapping with long fingernails. The rest of the video has tranquil and effective triggers: “soft-spoken” and speaking slowly. “Soft-spoken” is an ASMR trigger that many people find calming because they can learn about a subject while at the same time relaxing with the sounds of words.
For soft-spoken, the volume and tone of the voice are not as quiet as whispering into the microphone (another classic trigger), but it’s also not loud enough to disrupt the listener. As many people wear headphones while listening, ASMR artists try to keep everything they do as quiet as possible: Some even turn off their air conditioners. The professional condenser microphones that they use pick up almost any sound and amplify it, so ASMR artists must be still and gentle when they speak.
Listen to the beautiful, gentle whispers of NeonIndieGirl as she reads Lang Leav’s The Universe of Us. The entire video is lovely, and her voice is so peaceful, like the sound a soft breeze would make if it could speak.
The most soothing part of the video is when NeonIndieGirl reads Lang’s romantic poem, “Procession.” The poem is about the long-term relationship between a couple who have gone from lovers to friends over the years. The unnamed man in the relationship is worried about the woman and constantly wonders if she’s okay. Towards the end of the poem, it is revealed that his worry is indicative of his romantic feelings for her: feelings that are not lost even with the passage of time. The best moment is when NeonIndieGirl leans down and slowly whispers the ending of the poem as if the words were silent thoughts in a lover’s mind: “Are you okay; because I love you. / Are you okay; because I need you. / Are you okay; because I don’t know how to live without you.”
Let go of your worries with this restorative video by the well-known ASMR artist Gibi. From Shakespeare to Dr. Seuss, Gibi whispers close to the camera and offers her caring presence. Like vloggers, ASMR artists talk directly to the viewer, which creates the sensation of intimacy and offers “personal attention” (another trigger). Viewers respond with thousands of comments on Gibi’s videos which in turn creates a community of healing and self-care.
Last but not least, I want to share my favorite ASMR artists with you. As I’ve been watching ASMR every night since 2016, I’ve recommended videos to all my family and friends, and now it’s time to share the love on Read Poetry.
Here is a short list you can check out tonight. I hope these ASMR videos become a comforting part of your bedtime routine, and I hope they bring you sweet and pleasant dreams.