News & Blog

How To Get To Sleep On Christmas Eve

Dec 13, 2019

With Santamania set to strike out any hope of a silent night on Christmas Eve, help is at hand for young families wondering how to get little ones off to sleep on the most exciting night of the year.

For many parents, the night before Christmas is one of the hardest bedtimes to deal with. Small children – especially those who ‘still believe’ – are on such a high, that getting them off to sleep can be harder than usual. But it’s important to ensure everyone manages some quality sleep as no one wants tired, grumpy children – or their parents – on Christmas Day!

Here are our Sleep Secrets:

  1. First up: tire them out! Nothing like a spot of fresh air and healthy exercise to have little ones worn out and sleep-primed for the festive Eve. Christmas and Boxing Day walks have long been a family favourite, but more and more local groups are organising walks, rambles and even themed treasure hunts on Christmas Eve too – so look up what’s happening locally.
  2. In the excitement leading up to bedtime, along with the extra sweet festive goodies around the home, try to make sure young children don’t over-indulge in sugary cakes, snacks and mince pies. The ensuing sugar rush could keep them bouncing long into the night!
  3. As part of the Christmas Eve sit-down and calm-down regime, curl up quietly together and take a look at Santa’s worldwide parcel delivery progress on one of the Christmas tracker apps. After that, anything that remotely smacks of electronic gaming or wizardry needs to be banished for the night – and certainly from the bedroom.
  4. Encourage youngsters to leave a festive milky drink for Santa (and carrots for the reindeer) – and to have one themselves too. Give it a little ‘added Noel’ by making a Snowman Smoothie with bananas, oats, milk and plain yoghurt (healthy, sleep inducing and one to Google).
  5. Now for bath time – but keep it quiet/ low key not splashy/noisy. As well as helping them wind down, a bath can be a great chance to chat calmly about what the night might bring – and what they should do if they wake up in the night. Be mindful to represent Santa & Co as a friendly rather than scary proposition. Young children are more sensitive and easily scared than we realise.
  6. And so to bed. Cue the cutesy Christmas PJs and, as they get comfortable, a quick check that the room is at Goldilocks standard (not too hot, not too cold, ideally 16 – 18 degrees Celsius). Blackout curtains will help keep wakeful light out for as long as possible; and slightly opening a top-light window, if you have one, will ensure the room is well ventilated.
  7. Now to check the bedroom appears suitably restful. While it may look as if a bomb has hit it within a few short hours, it’s a fact that a cluttered room with the floor covered in toys presents a stimulating environment to children rather than one which is conducive to sleep.
  8. All sorted? Then bring on story time. Perhaps that perennial favourite, The Night Before Christmas? One for you as much as them and followed by – depending on your child’s musical tolerance levels – a soft rendition of their favourite carol?
  9. Later, and once you’re sure they’ve drifted off, it’s time to place a stocking at the bottom of the bed: the traditional parental ploy to buy some extra time in the morning when they first wake up.
  10. Finally, if, as you read that story, your child’s bed felt a bit lumpy, sounded a bit creaky or looked too small for them, don’t forget the Christmas holidays are full of New Year sales ads .