The 12 Most Common ASMR Triggers

The 12 Most Common ASMR Triggers

October 20, 2020

ASMR, which stands for the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a growing trend that has taken the internet by storm, helping millions of people worldwide relax and fall asleep. ASMR is a term used to describe the mildly euphoric experience of being stimulated by certain visual or auditory stimuli, called triggers, and is described as a tingling sensation that begins in the head and works its way down the body. With an endless amount of ASMR videos being available on the internet, there is no limit to the number of possible tingle-inducing triggers, but here is a list of 12 of the most common ones.


Whispering is easily the most common ASMR trigger and is featured in most ASMR videos. Some ASMR creators speak softly rather than whisper, but regardless, a soft voice is tingle-inducing for almost anyone. Sometimes, certain words or sounds are emphasized or repeated due to their particularly relaxing effect. These can be especially effective for bed time relaxation. While you can certainly play such sounds through speakers, you may want to consider something like this headband with bluetooth speakers built in.


This trigger can include tapping surfaces with long fingernails or with the tips of the fingers for a softer sound. Many get creative with the surfaces that they tap to vary the different sounds that can be made by tapping.

Physical touch

Most ASMR videos feature some type of physical touch. If you have ever felt relaxed while getting a haircut or a simple doctor’s examination, you may have experienced this ASMR trigger. The most common use of physical touch in ASMR videos includes simulating hair playing or face touching. Try a basic scalp massager, or something more advanced for an at-home experience.

Personal attention

While personal attention intersects with physical touch, it falls into a broader category. Sometimes, just having someone look at and speak to you with unbroken attention can trigger ASMR tingles.

Page turning

Some ASMR videos feature someone reading a book, with emphasis on the sounds made when turning a page. Reading is a relaxing activity for many, and to watch and listen to someone else do it can bring about feelings of ASMR.
Hand movements: Not all ASMR focuses on sound. Some ASMR videos feature someone moving his or her hands in front of the camera, and the visuals of this alone can trigger ASMR for many people. Need some book recommendations? Try these for a mystery, romance, nonfiction, or a cookbook that reads like a novel.


Similar to hand movements, light ASMR focuses on visual stimuli. This trigger involves someone waving a gentle flashlight in front of the camera. You can recreate this experience at home with a simple bed side light projector, which is especially useful for winding down at night.


Many ASMR videos feature the creator roleplaying certain scenarios, such as a doctor’s visit, a haircut, or even a zombie apocalypse. This can make for a more personal and engaging experience for viewers that creates an intensified tingling sensation.


While many people are disgusted by watching people eat, others experience ASMR from it. Sounds associated with eating that can be triggers include chewing or slurping. Cooking sounds can also be pleasing for more people and falls in a similar category as eating.


Watching someone concentrate on a task can be relaxing for many ASMR viewers. A popular example of this is Bob Ross’ “The Joy of Painting”, which features artist Bob Ross softly speaking while painting beautiful landscapes. If painting is your thing, consider trying your hand with a table-top painting kit. You may just discover other pleasing ASMR sounds in the process.


Massages are the ultimate relaxing activity. Even if you can’t afford one on yourself, it can be relaxing to watch someone else give or receive a massage, a trigger that combines personal attention, physical touch, and soft speaking. A great way to do this at home is through a gentle massage on the face, where there's a high density of nerve endings. A high quality moisturizer and/or a facial roller can further elevate the sensation.


This trigger involves crinkling or squishing a variety of materials, including plastic wrappers, aluminum foil, or bubble wrap. More popular these days are kinetic sands and those water absorbing beads (often referred to as Orbeez.) While some of these items are generally marketed towards children, people of all ages can enjoy them just the same!

In Conclusion

ASMR is a relaxing way to unwind after a long day of work or to help you fall asleep before bed, and most anyone can benefit from it. If you are unsure about which ASMR triggers you enjoy, you may want to try watching a trigger assortment video. With a wide variety of ASMR triggers available, you are bound to find what’s right for you.

Want to learn more? Read our ASMR Meaning article. Also be sure to check out the "ASMR: The Sleep Revolution" book for an in-depth exploration on the subject.

We've also hand-picked some items that will help facilitate your ASMR adventures. Take a look below!

Tools to Help With Your ASMR Adventures

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