Insomnia isn’t just a bad night’s sleep; it’s a sleep disorder, where sufferers may go days or weeks without a full night of rest. There are numerous prescription and over-the-counter solutions for insomniacs, but they all come with a lengthy list of side effects. Rather than trying the latest pill, you could try one of the many herbal insomnia remedies, or a phenomenon gaining traction online known as autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR).
ASMR is “designed to evoke a tingling sensation that travels over the scalp or other parts of the body in response to auditory, olfactory, or visual forms of stimulation,” as described by The New York Times. It’s the sights and sounds that can lull you into relaxation and ultimately into a sound sleep.
Fingernails tapping a hard surface, the sound of turning pages, a whispering voice, or someone repeating tasks like shuffling cards or folding towels—all of these (and more) are examples of the stimuli used in ASMR and can easily be found on YouTube.
Apparently, some people are just “wired” to respond to ASMR while others are not.
“People who have insomnia are in a hyper state of arousal,” said Dr. Carl W. Bazil, explaining ASMR. “Behavioral treatments — guided imagery, progressive relaxation, hypnosis and meditation — are meant to try to trick your unconscious into doing what you want it to do. A.S.M.R. videos seem to be a variation on finding ways to shut your brain down.”
It may seem like an odd approach to insomnia treatment, and it is, but it could be the answer for many people out there who have yet to solve their sleep problems.
Other Solutions for Insomnia
For others that prefer herbs or natural food remedies, there are these 7 substances that may provide a solution to sleepless nights:
- Cherry juice
- Brazil nuts
Cherry juice in particular has been shown to increase sleep time by almost 90 minutes a night in some research, indicating that tart cherry juice could be another answer for sleep deprivation.
Conventional treatments like over-the-counter sleeping pills and prescription drugs contain many risks. One study found taking as little as 18 such pills every year could even increase your risk of premature death. That research and more like it make drinking cherry juice and listening to whispered stories seem like a common sense solution.
While millions of people struggle to get a good night’s rest, natural solutions may be around the corner. Soothing music, a cup of chamomile tea, a warm bath—all of these have been tried and tried again by those unfortunate enough to suffer from insomnia. And sometimes they work, but in case they don’t, the options above may prove useful.