A New and Improved Bedtime Story

'The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep' children's book uses psychological tricks to lull children to sleep

Getting your little one to drift off to dreamland can be a nightmare for many parents, but not to worry! A new children's book is here to help.

“The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep” is a children’s bedtime story by Swedish author Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin. The book uses positive reinforcement to promote relaxation and sleep, reports CBS News.

This self-published picture book is currently topping Amazon’s Best Sellers List.

The story follows Roger the Rabbit and his mother on a quest to find sleep. Along the way, the companions ask for sleep advice from successful sleepers, such as Sleepy Snail, Heavy-Eyed Owl and Uncle Yawn.

The journey itself makes Roger the Rabbit tired, but a magical sleeping powder from Uncle Yawn seals the deal.

On his website, Ehrlin claims that there is no secret science behind the book.

"If you analyze the language and the structure of sentences you will soon see a pattern emerge," Ehrlin wrote. "It’s all about giving the right suggestions to the child, to help it focus on relaxation and falling to sleep.”

Umakanth Khatwa, MD, director of sleep laboratories at Boston Children's Hospital, told CBS News how this pattern works.

"The author uses the words, the patterns and the story in a way to induce a kind of hypnosis," Dr. Khatwa said. "The characters' names even sound like sleep initiation."

The book also offers written cues to help parents read the story more effectively, such as encouraging them to yawn at the end of a sentence.

Regarding sleep manipulation, Ehrlin wrote, "As a parent you always have to help the child do things with the help of imagination and some positive reinforcements to create a new behavior. This book is just like that, a help to the child to focus on sleep and relaxation with the help of imagination."

According to his website, Ehrlin has received so many notes and stories of gratitude so far for “The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep” that he is now offering the e-book for free download.