A MAN with Asperger syndrome has used his own experiences of growing up with the condition to create a book to help parents get their children to sleep.

Dan Jones hopes Sleepy Bedtime Tales will put an end to the difficulties families can face in helping youngsters nod off.

Mr Jones struggled with communication when he was growing up, particularly in social situations.

Asperger's is a condition similar to autism and can affect a person's social and communication skills.

At the age of 14 he saw hypnotist Paul McKenna, on TV which triggered a deep fascination with hypnosis and how people communicate.

This led to him making observations about how humans interact with each other.

The 37-year-old, from Chichester, said: “It was like people were dancing. People would interact and start to copy each other, from breathing patterns to body posture.

“There always seemed to be someone leading the dance. When the lead person changed their breathing, the other person altered their breathing moments later."

In the early 2000's, Mr Jones took what he had learnt and developed his 'sleepy bedtime' approach while working with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Mr Jones, who works as a parenting coach, taught the approach to other professionals and parents.

The key elements include reading the stories slowly and with a relaxed voice in time with the child's breathing and to imagine yourself becoming sleepy and yawn occasionally while you read.

Mr Jones’ top tips in helping children drop off include "putting the house to sleep" a few hours before your child is due to go to bed, start making the house quieter and more relaxed; turn down the lights, draw the curtains, and make everything quiet (like the TV).

He suggests having a relaxing time before bed - a few hours before bed, start to focus on relaxation; have children do only relaxing and calm activities. This includes not having emotionally arousing TV or computer games on.

And he recommends stroking your child on the arm or head in time with their breathing as they fall asleep - stroke up as your child breathes in, and down as they breathe out. After a while the stroking and the child's breathing will be in rapport with each other. At this point start slowing down the stroking and the child's breathing will slow down and they will drift deeper asleep.

Sleepy Bedtime Tales is made up of 11 stories tailored around Mr Jones’ approach to get children to sleep.

All the stories follow a similar structure but are totally different tales, from the Rabbit Who Came to Tea and the Princess and the Magical Kitten to Adventure of a Time Travelling Worm.

For information and to get copies of the book, visit www.alt-solutions.org/sleepy-bedtime-tales.