The excitement of Christmas often makes it difficult to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. You can overcome holiday excitement and have a restive night of sleep by following a few tips guaranteed to get little ones to bed and Santa on his way.
General Tips for Christmas Eve Sleep
Some things you can do to promote a relaxing evening are very simple to achieve.
You can change bright lighting to restive lighting.
- If you have lights on a dimmer switch, turn the setting to low.
- You can create a calming ambience in the den with candles. Be sure you don't leave burning candles unattended.
- Turn on the Christmas tree lights so your family can enjoy its beauty. You may prefer to turn off all other lights to let the tree lights fill the room.
Studies show aromatherapy has many benefits, including its effects on the mind and emotions. Take advantage of this valuable relaxation tool with lavender and other scents known to promote relaxation and sleep.
- You can also place a lavender sachet inside a pillowcase.
- If you prefer incense, choose pine or cedarwood to set a calming mood. Incorporate the Christmas story with the lighting of frankincense and myrrh incense.
Calming Music Playlist
Create a Christmas playlist of your favorite carols and songs. Select vocal and instrumental arrangements that are soothing, such as Nat King Cole's The Christmas Song.
Add Frank Sinatra's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas to your playlist.
Michael Bublé's Silent Night is a must for your Christmas Eve music.
You can continue to play these softly in the background as you prepare for bedtime.
Tips for Adults
Since Christmas Eve can be a very stressful night, it's important to pre-plan how you will spend the day and night in preparation for Christmas Day.
Christmas Eve Day to Do List
Plan Christmas Eve Day so that by the time night rolls around, you've accomplished everything and can relax with your family. Some things you may need to include on your list:
- Plan ahead and don't load Christmas Eve day with chores.
- Wrap presents when you get home from shopping or opt for in-store and online wrapping services.
- Deliver presents to friends and family.
- Take frequent breaks and brew a holiday flavored tea to enjoy in solitude.
- Consider an early evening drive with the kids through a Christmas light display, which can be relaxing.
- Take a long bubble bath before retiring for the night.
- Give your spouse a foot massage with aromatherapy oil. You just might get one in return.
Tips for Kids
Take your children on physical outings Christmas Eve day to expend pent up energies. Go ice skating and finish the outing with hot chocolate, or walk around the neighborhood singing Christmas carols. Other ideas to help keep kids' energies focused include:
- Bake cookies with your family and decorate cookies for Santa.
- Make Christmas tree ornaments with your children.
- Play a board game with your family.
- Carve out time for a family movie.
- Allow kids to open one present on Christmas Eve to diffuse some of their excitement and anticipation.
Two hours before bedtime, start the winding down process. This is a subtle process done in increments. Don't interrupt the bedtime routine you've established for your child. For example, carry on the normal bath time, snack time, brushing teeth, laying out clothes for next day, saying goodnight and bedtime story.
- A lazy warm bath is a great muscle relaxer.
- Older children should be reminded that hot chocolate and a snack await them after bath time.
Read a Bedtime Story
Many parents and children have a nightly bedtime story tradition. There is an art to reading a bedtime story so that your little ones end up falling asleep before the story is finished or soon after.
- Choose a seasonal story, such as the classic The Night Before Christmas.
- Avoid reading any story that depicts high emotion, conflict or drama. Keep it light and easy.
- Don't raise your voice while reading. Talk to your child in a soothing, comforting voice.
- Give lots of hugs and kisses. This parent contact imbues a sense of security, protection and calmness.
The Art of Rocking
Nothing lulls you to sleep faster than continuous repetitive motion, especially the motion of a rocking chair. If your children are still small, take advantage of this way to nurture them as well as help them fall asleep on this exciting night. Humming has a reassuring and calming effect. You can combine this with reading the bedtime story.
Getting a Good Night's Sleep on Christmas Eve
There are many things you can do to ensure your family can fall asleep on Christmas Eve without it becoming a major challenge. By planning ahead and knowing how your evening will unfold, you can maintain control over bedtime and allow Santa plenty of time to relax while delivering his presents.