The excitement of Christmas Eve can make it hard to fall asleep. My kids are so excited they don’t even want to go to bed, and I feel like I need another hour or two before hitting the hay. No matter your age, getting a good night’s sleep is important for enjoying the holiday and having enough energy for all your festivities. Here are my tips for kids and adults on how to fall asleep on Christmas Eve!
Tips for Kids to Fall Asleep on Christmas Eve
A Good Bedtime Routine
A good bedtime routine for kids on Christmas Eve can involve taking an extra-long bath, listening to slow Christmas music, and reading a festive Christmas story.
Before or after the bath, allow the kids to pick out their favorite pajamas and snuggle up with their favorite stuffed animal.
Next, dim the lights in the room or turn on some LED Christmas lights to create a soothing atmosphere.
To further reduce distraction from any anticipation of Santa Claus coming down the chimney, hang up stockings away from where the kids sleep, so they don’t have to worry about what could be inside them.
Making warm milk or a hot chocolate beforehand can make the regular bedtime routine feel extra special and provides warmth and comfort. However, try to avoid too much sugar.
Read Holiday Stories Before Bed
Reading Christmas bedtime stories is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit and help kids relax and drift off into dreamland. Pick out stories that feature a beloved character or one with a moral lesson to impart. Reading classic tales like ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ or ‘The Gift of the Magi’ can be an enjoyable way to spend time together as a family, but there are many other options available.
Look for stories tailored specifically for Christmas that feature Santa Claus, elves, snowmen, and reindeer. There are also books about traditions from around the world, such as ‘The Kwanzaa Story’ or ‘The Tale of Three Trees.’ For young readers who may prefer more modern tales, try something like ‘Snowmen at Night’ or ‘How Murray Saved Christmas.’
Reading with your children can create special memories that will last through the years and help build strong bonds for years to come. You could even create your own versions of traditional fairy tales by adding in characters and elements from popular movies or television shows they enjoy! Sitting down for some quiet reading on Christmas Eve can be just the thing to help them wind down and relax after a day of excitement and anticipation.
Exercise During the Day
Exercise helps the body feel tired and relaxed, which makes it easier to go to sleep at night. It also helps clear the mind of worries and distractions that might make it harder to fall asleep.
Encourage your kids to get some physical activity, like playing a game of tag in the backyard or going for a bike ride around the neighborhood. If they’re feeling too excited to do something active, try taking them for a walk and pointing out all the festive decorations that you pass along the way. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, any amount of exercise can help calm their minds and bodies before bedtime.
Create a Cozy and Comfortable Sleep Environment
Creating a cozy and comfortable sleep environment is important for helping kids settle down and get some rest. Start by dimming the lights in the bedroom or turning on some soft, Christmas-themed lighting. Hang up festive decorations around the room with items like snowflakes or string lights that they can look at and admire before bed.
Use warm blankets and comforters to give your kids a sense of comfort and security as they drift off to sleep. If your children like stuffed animals, add some of their favorites to the mix. Place them around their bed or lay them across their pillow so that they have something comforting to hug when they drift off into dreamland.
I sometimes use essential oils like lavender or chamomile scents in a diffuser or a wax warmer. These aromas have been scientifically proven to help promote relaxation, reduce stress levels, and even improve sleep quality—making them an ideal choice for helping my kids fall asleep on Christmas Eve (and any other night!).
Talk About the Excitement
- the exciting things that will happen on Christmas day
- what presents they might get or what fun activities they’ll do can be calming and make them feel sleepy
- the fun things that will happen on Christmas day
can help to take their mind off the present moment and instead focus on all of the wonderful possibilities that are ahead.
This is also a great opportunity for me to talk with my kids about managing expectations. Remind them that Santa won’t be able to bring everything they asked for, but he will do his best to make sure they have an amazing day. By talking openly about these topics, you can help your children feel comforted and secure in knowing that no matter what happens—Christmas morning will be special no matter what!
Tips for Adults to Fall Asleep on Christmas Eve
Avoid Caffeine Late in the Day
A day without coffee is like something without something! However, caffeine is a stimulant that can make it harder for adults to sleep. To ensure a good sleep, try to avoid drinking coffee or tea late in the day. If you do need a pick-me-up, opt for decaf instead.
Take Time for Yourself
Taking time for yourself is essential to help relax and drift off into a peaceful sleep. Meditation can be an effective tool to clear your mind of stress and distractions and allow you to find inner peace. Sitting in a comfortable position, take slow deep breaths while focusing on the present moment. Allow all worries, fears, and thoughts to pass through your mind without judgment or attachment. If you’re having difficulty concentrating on your breath, use visualization techniques such as picturing a calming landscape or your favorite place.
Although meditation may help many to unwind, I prefer reading a good book as a distraction-free relaxation. Choose something that will help take your mind off the hustle and bustle of the holidays yet still keep you interested enough to focus before dozing off. Whether it’s a classic novel or a self-help book with inspiring stories, reading can offer an escape when needed most during this busy time of year.
Other mindfulness activities I recommend are coloring books or puzzles, which can help ease these difficult emotions. Taking breaks throughout the day for brief moments of mindfulness can help break up stressful activities while giving yourself a chance to relax and refocus both mentally and physically.
Finally, draw yourself a warm bath with soothing essential oils like lavender or chamomile before bedtime to further ease any tension in the body while allowing both body and mind to become deeply relaxed from head to toe, providing an excellent way to unwind before sleep!
Write Down Your Worries or Thoughts
If you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, writing down your worries and thoughts can help to ease any tension. Take a few minutes before bed to write out your feelings so they don’t interfere with getting some restful sleep. Writing can also be a great outlet to express your emotions in a healthy way and get any worries out of your system before bed.
Set Up an Ideal Sleeping Environment (Dark, Quiet, Cool Room Temperature)
Start by closing the blinds or curtains to make sure there’s not too much light coming into the room at night. I recently invested in some good noise-canceling headphones as I live in a noisy area. These help me to block any outside noises that don’t disturb me while sleeping.
Keep the temperature low but comfortable—around 65°F (18°C) is ideal for most adults—to ensure your body stays cool enough while falling asleep.
Put on some comfy pajamas and layer up with an extra blanket if needed. Adjusting your nighttime routine and setting up a calming bedroom atmosphere can be beneficial for sleep, and make sure you have a restful night on Christmas Eve.
Get Into Bed Early
For adults to get enough rest, it’s important to ensure you can fit in 7–8 hours of sleep. That means getting into bed early enough on Christmas Eve to allow yourself enough time to drift off and wake up feeling refreshed.
I also take some extra precautions before bedtime, such as turning off electronics or dimming the lights an hour or two before heading off to sleep. This helps to prepare my body for a restful night by helping it wind down from the day’s activities.
Why Is It Hard to Sleep on Christmas Eve?
Christmas is a time of anticipation. We’re all waiting for the big day and getting wrapped up in the magic of Christmas, which can make it hard to settle down at night. Kids are especially vulnerable to this excitement and may be filled with anticipation about what Santa might bring them under the tree.
Other reasons, such as too much food or high sugar intake during the festive season, could also contribute to difficulty in falling asleep.
Some people may experience stress about wanting things to go perfectly well during this time of year – leading to difficulty relaxing and sleeping at night.
Whatever the reason may be, one thing is certain: lack of sleep or irregular sleep schedules during these times can lead to fatigue and feelings of being overwhelmed come Christmas Day!