Dave Gibson


Winter sleep tips

How To Help Your Kids Sleep On Christmas Eve

Getting your children to sleep can be stressful with the excitement of Santa coming. This often leaves them exhausted and grumpy on the big day itself. Here are ten top tips on how to help your kids get to sleep on Christmas Eve so you can have a wide awake Christmas Day

Top Sleep tips for Christmas Eve

1) Agree on a plan for Christmas Eve
Set out and agree a plan for the whole day. Make the morning active, to tire out your children. Start to wind them down in the late afternoon. Then after the evening meal make things slower and more relaxing to prepare your children for bedtime. Set bed and wake times which everyone agrees with. If you are going away or changing sleeping arrangements agree who is sleeping where and in what bed too.

2) Start Christmas Eve morning early
If you plan to wake up earlier than normal on Christmas Day, stagger the change starting on Christmas Eve.  For example, if you are planning to allow your children to get up at 7.00am on Christmas Day and their normal wake up time is 8am then set the alarm for 7.30am on Christmas Eve. This helps the body clock make an easier adjustment. This in turn helps them to fall to sleep a lot easier that evening.

Equally if your children wake early on Christmas Eve go with the flow. An early rise will also give your children longer to tire themselves out during the day.

3) Make the morning active
Get them exercising outside. This burns off energy and provides a deeper and more refreshing night’s sleep. A long family walk is great and playing energetic sport even better.

4) Have boisterous games in the afternoon not the evening
Plan all the more boisterous indoor games into the afternoon rather than the evening. Loud music is better in the afternoon than the evening too. Then the evening wind-down can be calmer and more conducive to sleep.

5) Cut out the sweets early
A sugar load late on any afternoon can affect sleep. Added to the excitement of Christmas your children may well finder it harder to get to sleep. Make sure relatives and friends who you may be seeing in the evening also know not to offer treats late on too.

6) Wind down as bedtime approaches
Keep all the normal tech curfews. Ideally all technology should be switched off at least an hour before bedtime and preferably two hours. Play family games instead such as board games or card games.

7) Do a bedtime countdown
Give your children plenty of notice with 30, 20 and 10-minute warnings to the agreed bedtime.

8) Keep the routine going
Our brains like habits. Therefore stick with their usual bedtime routine, i.e. warm bath, brush teeth and story. Also, If you are away, try to make the bedtime routine as familiar as possible – and bring toys, books, and even bedding and their favourite pillow to make your child feel secure and ‘at home’. This also avoids something called the first night affect where we tend to stay more alert in a strange bed.

9) Allow extra time to wind down
If you think it’s going to take them longer to get to sleep, get them into bed ½ hour earlier to allow for the additional excitement. Remind little ones that Santa won’t come until they are sound asleep.

10) Set a good example.

Children tend to copy what we do. They also ‘buy into rules’ if they think they are fair. Therefore, always set a good example by going to bed on time too. This helps your children understand that they won’t be missing out on any more fun. For more tips on kids sleep see our post https://thesleepsite.co.uk/how-to-help-your-children-sleep-better/

I hope these tips help Get Your children to sleep easily on Christmas.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I’ll be returning with new blog posts in 2019.