By Bree Turner
Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin may have written the book of parents’ dreams: a book that claims, “I can make anyone fall asleep.” Ehrlin, a Swedish psychologist, self-published the children’s book, The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep as a tool for parents to guide children off to LaLaland.
The simple story is about Roger, a rabbit, who wants to sleep but can’t. But a story about sleeping is not all it takes to put a child to sleep. The book also includes instructions on how it should be read: certain words should be emphasized, phrases should be slowed down, and parents are encouraged to even drop in strategically placed yawns.
National Public Radio in the United States spoke to sleep expert Suzy Giordano on how to get the most out of the book. Her advice? Practice and repetition.
“Giordano says the book is meant to be hypnotic and may work better with older kids. She suggests parents practice reading the book a couple of times and then make it part of their routine. ‘You know, so the story can flow in the way that it’s intended to,’ she says, ‘with the understanding that, OK, I’m trying to relax my child to a state of complete calmness so they can fall asleep.’”
The book has become a bestseller and has its own dedicated Facebook page. But not everyone is a fan: Maria Guido, who writes the Scary Mommy blog, calls the book “creepy” and “boring.” She’s especially disturbed by the warnings that come with the book, including:
- “Warning! Never read this book out loud close to someone driving any type of vehicle.”
- “Make sure you are not disturbed while reading.”
- And: “Disclaimer: Even if this book is harmless to use, the author and the publisher takes no responsibility for the outcome.”
Nevertheless, Ehrlin may have hit the jackpot to with her simple formula to “make anyone fall asleep”: Repetition, a few extended words, a few yawns, and a rabbit.