I pulled into the bay of the multistorey car park and turned off the ignition. I leaned my head back and closed my eyes for a moment. It was Monday. I was so not ready to rock up to the office just yet. I had a few minutes before I was expected so I flipped open my phone hoping for a worthwhile distraction. I scanned the messages in my inbox.
“Slow Lit”. It had caught my eye.
“Cool band name,” I thought expecting the email to be from a tour booking company and Slow Lit were some incredibly hip new band of twenty-somethings out of Melbourne. But no, it was from a boutique linen company called Bed Threads that I’d been following for a while because I’m kind of maybe in the market for new sheets and waiting for just the right sale to come along.
I kept reading: “Slow Lit is a new podcast genre that has garnered more than 15 million downloads for its sleep-inducing abilities. (And, you know, they can't all be wrong.)”
Interest officially piqued.
The article goes on to explain the importance of sound in getting a good night’s rest and how there’s an entire genre of stories written by authors who have designed them specifically with sleep in mind. They touch on author Phoebe Smith who penned the sleep story Blue Gold, which has now been downloaded via the Calm app more than 15 million times apparently. Partly attributed, of course, to the soothing and rhythmic narration by famed British actor and presenter Stephen Fry.
They go on to discuss a podcast series entitled Sleep With Me by Drew Ackerman which gets downloaded 1.3 million times per month but no one has actually ever made it to the end of an episode.
“Well…. duh,” I’m thinking, “It’s ASMR.”
Slow Lit is just a more mainstream term for ASMR because the masses aren’t quite ready for it yet. Have you ever read some of the comments on classic and widely watched ASMR videos on Youtube by people who aren’t ASMR sensitive? I’ve seen things like “cringey” and “I can’t watch this, I’m too embarrassed for them,” which makes me a bit sad. I mean I get it of course. It’s unusual to people who don’t understand. It’s why I’m still hesitant to explain Cellar Door ASMR Co. to 70% of the people I know, including my parents and some of my closest friends.
But I hope that as ASMR becomes more widely recognised, more and more people will discover its benefits and find that it’s just another way to chill out because I’m a bit tired of hiding in the shadows about it like some weird tingle vampire.
This is part of the reason I started this little shop. I want to bring ASMR out into the open as a completely valid form of self-care and even therapy, if you will. In a world where we’re so connected and yet often to starved for human connection, it’s a great way to tap into a feeling of closeness and intimacy with another human, and I think that’s really special.
You’re not supposed to over think this stuff, you just enjoy it for what it is - something that feels good. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Until next time, sleep well Tingle Friends.