By James Frew
Between work, social events, and catching up on the latest season of our favorite show, it can be hard to get enough sleep each night. But even if we head to bed with plenty of time to rest, getting high-quality shuteye might still evade us as thoughts rattle around our minds.
Consequently, waking up the following day is a real struggle, which is why so many of us rely on our phones – or perhaps the best sunrise alarm clocks – to get us out of bed. Sunrise clocks work by shining artificial sunlight while playing a more soothing alarm tone than you're used to on your phone. While that works in the short term, it's better to find a way to sleep restfully instead, so wake up refreshed and ready to go instead of groggy.
Thankfully, there are plenty of free sleep aids out there, including some of the videos posted on the popular YouTube channel, ASMR Glow. One newly-released video, 'ASMR You will sleep in 10 minutes', is designed to help you relax and slip into the early moments of rest.
Sharon Dubois, the YouTuber behind the videos, practices the art of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), soft noises which cause pleasant tingles on your scalp, neck, and back.
Across the 10 minutes, Dubois uses breathy, whispered words to help you drift off, but also other ASMR techniques, like echos, hand movements, and tapping. Similarly, she intermittently strokes the fluffy microphone cover to create a delicate sound.
As the audio is such an essential part of ASMR videos, it's worth investing in a set of the best workout earbuds for high-quality sound in various environments.
Watch (or listen) to the ASMR video here:
Does ASMR really work?
Critics of the form used to suggest this was a bit unscientific, but a study published in 2018 found that people affected by ASMR had significantly lower heart rates while watching these videos. This is one of the critical reasons ASMR can help you sleep better.
According to Dr. Giulia Poerio, one of the authors, the reductions in heart rate were "comparable to other research findings on the physiological effects of stress-reduction techniques such as music and mindfulness."
Alongside this physical response, the participants noted increases in positive emotions, including relaxation and feelings of social connection. While this is a great way to relax for some, not everyone experiences ASMR. As there's not much scientific research into the phenomenon to date, it's hard to tell how many people do feel the tell-tale tingles, but there are other ways to unwind for sleep as well.
As we know that the benefits of ASMR overlap with many mindfulness techniques, it's worth learning how to meditate. Besides, meditation can also reduce stress, lower anxiety levels, and bolster memory. There are health advantages too, like reduced blood pressure and less severe chronic pain.
If you awake each morning feeling groggy, likely, you aren't getting enough high-quality sleep. This can be difficult to judge by yourself, so consider wearing one of the best fitness trackers overnight to gather data on your nighttime habits.
James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2013 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.
In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.
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