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Parents desperately trying to find a way to get their children to fall asleep at night may soon have a new favorite author.
A self-published book called “The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep” by Swedish author Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin has shot to the top of best-seller lists as parents rave that it has helped quickly make their children conk out at night and for naps. It’s description on Amazon promises that with help from Roger the Rabbit and Uncle Yawn, the book “will help you accomplish the task of getting your child to have its beauty sleep and sleep well all night.”
Ehrlin is a psychologist and linguist at Sweden’s Jonkoping University who self-published the book in April 2014, using bold text to emphasize a word or sentence and italics to instruct parents to read the text in a slow or calm voice. The 26-page book prompts parents to yawn like they are sleepy and encourage their children to yawn with them, while also repeatedly mentioning their child’s name during the story for a soporific effect.
“Some of it is helping the child to focus on the goal, which is to relax and go to sleep,” Ehrlin told TODAY’s Keir Simmons, who tried it out on his own two daughters with mixed results.
The book has shot to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list, passing blockbusters like Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” to become the first self-published book to reach that rarefied air. Multiple Amazon reviewers also claim the audio version put them to sleep as well as their children.
“It’s mostly about creating a habit,” Ehrlin said. “Children are different. Some just want to listen one time to the story and then they fall asleep. Some others want to hear it a few evenings in a row.”