When it comes to the sounds of rest and relaxation, it’s hard to top the gentle crash of ocean waves or the harmonious symphony of crickets, but not everyone can make it to the beach or remote campgrounds this summer. But there's hope: Artists have found a way to capture those cherished sounds that will calm your racing mind and help you drift off to sleep on hours-long tracks to bring the best in warm-weather audio into your own bedroom, wherever that may be, via ASMR.
The concept of triggering autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is nothing novel. In fact, it’s likely you’ve already experimented with a few videos of your own to help drift into deep, (hopefully) uninterrupted sleep, but we’ve found eight ASMR options that really excel at capturing the sounds of summer. They won’t just conjure vacation — they’ll also hopefully capture the calming childhood nostalgia of having zero responsibilities beyond relishing sunlight, attending camp, chasing the ice cream truck, and lazing away on family vacations.
“ASMR is a great tool to help reduce daily stress, and the sensory breaks throughout the day may have a therapeutic effect in reducing feelings of anxiety and stress,” says sleep-focused behavior analyst Nicole Shallow. “Just make sure blue light is off (from your phone, tablet, or computer) or you’re just listening to sound if using this as a pre-bed routine. You don’t want to activate the mind too much.”
Check out the best ASMR sounds for summer, all of which showcase different relaxing elements of these bright, carefree days.
Ocean Ambience ASMR
We’re not going to pretend that this would ever take the place of an actual trip to the Maldives, but hearing the inviting melody of the Indian Ocean’s current is a far better alternative to counting sheep or using a white noise machine (at least for most us!). This video is quintessential beach ASMR and a staple for anyone dreaming of an island escape.
Cool Summer Night ASMR
If you’re cool with a little dialogue, ASMR artist Latte (who has amassed an impressive 1.82 million subscribers) walks you through a summer spa treatment that feels as if she’s actually applying products and lotions to your face and scalp. And since nothing is more tingle-inducing than a scalp massage (the crown of your head is the source, after all), this more than delivers in making you feel as if you’ve splurged on a facial after a long day at the pool.
Lazy Summer Afternoon ASMR
“Everyone's sensory system is different and will relate to different forms of ASMR in a variety of ways,” reminds Shallow. “Finding one that works for you will be key.”
Bird chirping, for example, may be polarizing due to the sharper notes of our feathered friends, but we find the ones in this video to be particularly relaxing when set against the constant, repetitive stream of a river. If you’ve ever nodded off near an ever-so-peaceful babbling brook, this will be a video that inspires some major shut-eye.
Warm Summer Night ASMR
Not only do you get the hum of crickets and the buzz of cicadas, but this video actually incorporates dog barks in the distance and the sound of cars passing by on a highway over a hill. It’s as if you kept your suburban bedroom window ajar to take in the sounds and balmy breezes of summer, but you’re far enough away to not feel anxious or too involved in the hustle and bustle of nearby nightlife.
Summer Kitchen ASMR
Sometimes ASMR can conjure memories we’ve forgotten to dust off, which is the case with this summer kitchen video, complete with noises of a wood-burning stove, whipping cream, and baking. There are no promises of fresh-baked cookies in the a.m., but you can at least guarantee that you’ll wake up feeling refreshed (and maybe a little hungrier than usual).
Sunset Campfire ASMR
The sounds of a crackling fire may be more frequently attributed to fall and winter, but a summer campfire can induce the oh-so-coveted tingles associated with nights alone in the mountains with just a tent and the faint smells of chocolate from s’mores. What makes most campfire videos particularly sleep-inducing is that the flame and associated sound will begin to fade as you watch and naturally accommodate your brain cycle as it slips into REM. Think of it as the reverse version of the alarm clock that slowly gets brighter to emulate a sunrise and wake you up naturally.
Healing Summer Forest ASMR
The nature noises of this video are intricate and complex, which has the potential to overwhelm after a minute or two of listening. The reality is that these sounds seem to canopy and protect you like the forest bed they’re derived from, almost as if Mother Nature has gifted you with miles of plush greenery to simply take in and enjoy. Some people find comfort in feeling a sense of insignificance in the world (where you’re finally not the center of the universe), and this track does an excellent job of reminding anyone to breathe, slow down, and appreciate the fact that there is so much that happens around you at all times.
Cozy New York Bedroom With Heavy Rain ASMR
When it comes to relaxing noises, it’s hard to rival a thunderstorm. The bands of rain, arriving in almost choreographed levels of strength, are some of the easiest sounds to capture digitally for literal hours of summer shower bliss. When set to the sounds of city life, there is an added level of coziness knowing that mostly everyone is indoors enjoying the same weather and without the need to be anywhere but in a soft, warm bed.