The sensation begins at the base of my skull. It radiates up to my scalp, behind my ears, and across my forehead. It creeps down my spine and out to my fingertips like a faint, slow-moving spark along a fuse. This mysterious and wonderful feeling has a name and over the past decade awareness of it has spread worldwide.

Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is the term given to that tingling feeling felt in the head, spine and extremities. It is triggered by visual or auditory stimuli, such as whispering, tapping or repetitive movements. Feelings of calm and well-being often accompany the physical sensation.

Those who enjoy such ASMR experiences often search online for "trigger" videos in hopes of finding more frequent and reliable sources to ignite that sparkly sensation. They seek out soft, whispered words, the sounds of brushing, dusting, tapping or crinkling, and meticulous attention to detail. Some turn to ASMR videos to induce a state of extreme and sustained relaxation, one resembling the luxuriously calm state that precedes sleep. Others use the videos as effective relief for insomnia.