ASMR videos, at first glance, are weird, awkward, and probably something close to soft porn. For me, however, ASMR is a nighttime essential.

"I just realized," my friend Jane said one night while we were studying for an exam, "11 p.m. is like 7 p.m. for you."

I laughed as I nodded and said, "And you must be exhausted." She laughed with me, and we kept studying for another hour before she left to go to bed.

I often make fun of her for going to sleep at 10 p.m. on the dot every night, like an adult with a bedtime.

Little does she know I'm quite jealous of that fact.

water, apple
Tara O'Connor

I realized I was a night owl around middle school when I couldn't sleep for the first time and decided to pace around my living room.

When everyone else started snoring a few minutes after closing their eyes, I was still wide awake, wondering when it was going to hit me.

"Well, if I can't sleep," I'd tell myself, "I might as well not waste time waiting."

I would get up after I heard my parents snoring and head to the living room with a flashlight and a journal.

If I'm being honest, I've fallen in love with the nighttime. There's a stillness in the dark that allows me to gently float away to the edges of my imagination.

vegetable, herb
Daniela Doncel

My life as a college student eventually became built around an idea I planted in my head: I can sleep when I'm dead.

My nighttime routine of writing and falling asleep at 1 a.m. turned into a routine of getting work done and falling asleep at 4 a.m.

I quickly learned that's an unhealthy way to live.

I tried the best remedies the internet has to offer: calming tea, warm baths before bed, shutting off all electronics an hour before bedtime, reading before sleeping. I've literally tried it all.

Unfortunately, I still can't manage to get to that sweet point of slumber until the clock turns to 3 a.m.

Jocelyn Hsu

Then, one day, when listening to relaxing music that only made me more feel awake, I found a suggested video that caught my eye. 

It was an ASMR video by one of my now favorite ASMR artists, ASMRrequests. It was a role-play video in which I was the subject of a photo-shoot. I was so intrigued by it.

At first, I thought it was so weird. She was speaking so softly, staring right at me, with no music in the background. It was nothing like your usual YouTube video.

I didn't realize the calming effect it had on me until I woke up the next morning. I felt so groggy, and when I looked at the time, I realized I had slept a full twelve hours. 

It was the longest I had slept in a very long time.

The next night, I went looking for another ASMR video in the hope that it would send me off to sleep in no time—just like the other one had.

It's been a year and I'm still watching these videos that have granted me a ticket to the land of sleep and dreams.

It was only recently that I started telling my friends about these videos, but like most who are first exposed to it, they just found them strange, and we never spoke of them again.

People often find these videos odd or sexual, so they shy away from them without fully understanding the power they hold.

ASMR gives me the chance to sleep without the need to fill my body up with medicine or drugs. ASMR gives me peace and serenity knowing that sleeping will not be a battle tonight. ASMR gives me hope that I will get to sleep the necessary seven to nine hours I need every night.

Although I'm still struggling to get out of my old habits of staying up late at night, I am slowly teaching myself to get to bed at a reasonable time, because I can now do so knowing that I'll be asleep in no time.

Those who struggle with sleep or anxiety or depression may find comfort in ASMR. So I suggest you take the time to try every ASMR trigger, because not all triggers work for everyone.

You never know if there's one waiting there for you. Just give it the chance it deserves.

At the end of the semester, the night before our final exam, in her usual fits of rage where she's lecturing me to get some sleep, my friend gave me a note.

"Good luck and get some f****** sleep. Love, Jane."

Don't worry, Jane. I will.