The Insomniac Files: 'Gentle Whispering' into that good night
Anything on the internet can be turned into something pervy, and 5 percent of her viewers are looking for arousal, but Maria says her ASMR videos have helped many people deal with depression and anxiety.
While looking for good sleep, I found fear of commitment.
Watching every episode of every “Law & Order” incarnation there is, lying on the couch, too anxious to face the bed (Why don’t I just marry it?!), lulled by the cadence of the dun-duns, I’d end up eating ramen noodles and watching TV until my brain cried “uncle.”
When she isn't whispering for others, Maria said she stretches to relax before bed. "It’s not something that is online necessarily, but I like to do stretches or yoga and put on meditation music or videos," Maria told Metro.
Imagine a delicate voice, kissed by an Eastern European accent, telling you, “I sense that something could be troubling you and I would like to provide you with the comfort if you allow me.”
The voice belongs to Maria (surname withheld for privacy reasons), who started listening and watching autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) videos in 2010 to overcome her anxiety. Eventually, Maria started making her own videos under the name “Gentle Whispering” and is now the godmother— the OG, if you will — of ASMR videos.
ASMRgives the listenera tingly, euphoric sensation created by positive feelings, visual stimuli and acoustic triggers.
“Some people listen to music and are uplifted and inspired— we like to say it’s the same sensation but instead of excitement, it relaxes you,” Maria explained.
There are people who can fall asleep to sounds of the rainforest, but Maria said the human element is what makes ASMR special. “People of an older age, like kids, like to be put to bed by our parents or loved ones,” she added. “As an adult, you don’t get to feel that anymore.”
I tried ASMR a few years ago, but it didn’t seem to stick with me. For starters, I’m terrible at keeping a routine. Also, ASMR just didn’t knock me out cold and I’m a “I want it now” kind of person.
After speaking to Maria, I gave ASMR another shot.
Maria whispered in my ear and that familiar scalp tingle returned and I relaxed, but my brain seemed too interested in what this pretty lady was doing on screen and what was going to happen next (the same reason I can’t read before bed).
There isn't a lot of research done on ASMR, Maria said, but she gets comments on her videos from all walks of life.
“Almost 80 percent see a real change in mood, levels of anxiety levels or depression,” Maria said of her followers. “They feel like they are being taken care of and helped.”
Be sure to check back on Tuesdays to see what I try next. Until then, stay away from the ramen! It doesn’t work.