Christmas is days away and everyone is busy finishing their Christmas shopping and working on their final holiday preparations. In all of the hustle and bustle of the season, it’s easy to forget the joy and excitement that children feel this time of year.

The story of a magical man from the North Pole coming to your home to leave you presents while you sleep is very thrilling for young children. This one magical time of year they can wish for something and see it come true. Once December 1st hits the countdown to Christmas begins and creates a large build-up of excitement. By the time Christmas Eve finally arrives, containing their excitement becomes nearly impossible, and it is safe to say that sleep is the last thing on their mind.

No, getting little ones to sleep on Christmas Eve is not an easy task. However, by trying out some of our useful tips, the challenge of getting them to sleep on Christmas Eve may be a little less daunting.

  1. Keep them active throughout the day
    Keep them active and moving. Encourage them to go outside, exercise and stay active. The more active they are during the day the more tired they will be at bedtime, making it easier for them to fall asleep.
  2. Encourage them to have a bath before bed
    A warm bath will drop their body temperature and will make them feel more sleepy naturally after.
  3. Glass of warm milk before bed
    Warm milk contains tryptophan, a sleep-inducing enzyme, and will help make the kids relaxed and sleepy.
  4. Keep sugar intake to a minimum through the day
    Avoid anything with too much sugar and caffeine after lunch. They will get too much energy from these things and won’t want to sleep.
  5. Turn off TVs, games and cell phones
    The lights will stop melatonin production – a hormone that gives your body clock its cues to sleep. Tell them that after a certain time everything must be turned off.
  6. Stick to their normal bedtime routine
    If you have an established bedtime routine you should try and stick to it on Christmas Eve. Their body is trained to know it is time to sleep, and they will drift off more quickly.
  7. Send them to bed early
    You can stick to your routine still, just start it earlier. Kids will naturally want to stay up later than normal when Santa is on his way. If you get them into bed even half an hour earlier it makes for more time trying to fall asleep and they will probably go to sleep a little earlier than they would have otherwise. This is great because they won’t miss out on as much sleep due to their excitement.
  8. Decide on a time for opening presents
    This will help you to get more sleep and hopefully they will as well. If they have a set time when they can get up and open their presents, they won’t be constantly waking you up asking if they can open them yet.
  9. Make sure their surroundings are as normal as possible
    If you travel for Christmas, try and make their surroundings as familiar as possible. Make their bedroom atmosphere as close to what they usually have at home, bring their favorite toy, book, blanket or pillow to help ease them off to sleep.

If all else fails…

  1. Remind them that Santa won’t come if they’re not asleep
    If they still cannot contain their excitement and refuse to fall asleep, remind them that unless they are asleep they will not get a visit from Santa. Santa is magical and it means that he cannot be seen, so remind them that until they are fast asleep they will not get a visit.

Happy Holidays from the staff at Valley Sleep Center!