Exhausted after Christmas and the new year? Are you craving a few more hours in bed? Are you a parent whose sleepless children are leaving you a sleep-starved wreck?

These days in early January are claimed as the darkest days for sleep deprivation.

The modern barometer for such moments – the number of Google searches – shows “child won’t sleep” as reaching a worldwide peak of searches at this time of year.

You can just imagine those weary fingers tapping out the words, slumped over a mobile phone in the middle of the night, hoping for an answer.

Children are more wired than Maplin’s shop window. They’ve been living on late nights, red-eyed computer games and party food and the chances of falling asleep are pretty much zero.

Then they have to go back to school, like zombies heading into the mid-winter gloom.

Adults as well as children are suffering. Early January is also the peak time for searches for “sleep” and the more plaintive “I need sleep”.

But desperate times require desperate measures. And parents, struggling with their children’s lack of sleep, develop their own emergency tactics.

Research for sleep apps, Moshi Twilight Sleep Stories and calm.com, recently identified some of the most eccentric ideas.

They are all claimed as having been tried somewhere. Although you can only imagine how bad things must have become.

And none of them are likely to appear in those unbearably smug parenting books for the perfect family.

13 weird ways to get children to fall asleep

  • Explaining to your child the infrastructure plans of China’s leader, Xi Jinping
  • Play a recording of a chapter from an 18th Century Scottish economics book, read by a really boring teacher
  • Watch a video of a crossword puzzle tournament
  • Listen to an hour-long recording of people yawning
  • Running a vacuum cleaner
  • Watch a slow-motion film about sheep grazing

– Sean Coughlan

Read more: 13 Weird Ways to Get Children to Sleep

Photo source – Flickr.com