In order to avoid difficulties to fall asleep and stay asleep on Christmas eve, here are a few tips to support the most sensitive children:
  • Keep timing consistency: Do not divert from your usual night timings: If your child’s body clock is set to fall asleep at a certain time and miss that window, you might end up with a child awake for another few hours, until the next “sleepy stage comes along”. Choose an early mass if your child does not cope with change well.
  • Make the bedroom a secure place: It is ok for us adults to rationalise the concept of Santa, but put yourself in child’s shoes. Would you relax and fall asleep easily if you knew a fat old stranger with a huge white beard dressed in red would later come in your bedroom whilst you are asleep? Keep your child’s stocking outside their room if they show any sign of uneasiness or if they ask if Santa is going to come in their bedroom at night. Also it will give you better access to the stocking to fill in later.
  • Keep the atmosphere calm: One of the necessities to fall asleep is the lowering of the heart rate. If You start jiggling bells around the house saying “Santa is coming!, quick quick, go to bed!”. The chance is your child is going to be so excited that he will not fall asleep for ages and might get up regularly, finding it hard to cope with high levels of adrenalin.
  • No pressure. One of the most dramatic mistakes made by parents on Christmas eve is to put pressure on their children or even threaten them that Santa might not come if they don’t behave / go to bed / fall asleep. This technique can only instigate fears or at least negative feelings in your child. This can only have a counteractive effect.
  • Be all packed and ready a few days ahead: Children are emotional sponges. If you feel nervous, they will feel nervous. If you fear that they will get up and see you wrapping presents, they are more likely to feel your nerves and not settle easily. You can pretend all you want, your child senses how you feel.
  • Avoid sugars / TV and screens after 5pm
  • Go for an afternoon walk or to the park for the children to release their surplus of energy and excitement.
  • Prepare Santa’s mince pies and rein-dears carrots in the afternoon, not at bedtime to avoid excessive excitement.
  • Mix in a few drops of Lavender and Camomile essential oils in their bath before bed time.
There are so many ways to safeguard your child’s sleep… Try to be extra vigilant on Christmas eve in keeping bed time as normal as possible.