How to get your kids to sleep on Christmas Eve

For a kid, there’s nothing more exciting than Christmas. For weeks they’ve been counting down the days using their advent calendar to December 25th.

By Christmas Eve, they’re ready to explode with excitement. After all, this is the night they could see Santa! And, of course, get all the presents they’ve been wishing for.

Unfortunately, all the anticipation leaves one big problem for the parents… how on earth are you going to get your child to sleep and ready for the big day? Here at Bensons HQ we’ve been talking to all the parents in our team and managed to collect some useful tips, check them out!

Getting kids to sleep at Christmas

1. Get them exercising

Christmas is always a busy time. You’ve probably still got presents to wrap or you might have to nip to the shops for those finishing touches for Christmas Dinner. Whatever tasks have been thrown your way, don’t let them stop you taking the time out to exercise the little ones. Exercising will burn energy and make them sleepy later on!

Exercise ideas
Something as simple as a walk around the park will be a big help come bedtime, especially if there’s a play area to keep them entertained! However, if it’s snowing and getting around is difficult, use the white Christmas to your advantage. You could create snowmen with your child(ren), and the more effort and detail you add (clothes, carrots and hats etc), the more energy your kid(s) will use.

If you really are too busy, get a family member to help. They could take your child out from under your feet and help them burn off some energy – you’ll be grateful later!

2. Give your kid(s) a bath or shower before bedtime

Not only will they be nice and clean before getting into bed, hopefully a bath or shower will make them sleepy too. Remember, sticking to routines like bath time will help persuade your child(ren) that Christmas Eve isn’t too different to a normal day and might help keep them calmer.

3. Quieten things down near bedtime

Your living room is likely to come alive on Christmas Eve evening. Music, movies and games are likely to be present, but try to reduce the excitement an hour or so before your child(ren)’s bedtime.

That doesn’t mean being a Scrooge and putting everything away, but maybe put the board games to one side and turn the music down? Try to make sure everyone is winding down and relaxing.

4. Give your kid(s) some warm milk

An ideal bedtime snack is a combination of milk with a small amount of carbohydrates. Milk features tryptophan, an amino acid that is believed to bring on sleep (it’s in turkey too which explains a lot!), while carbohydrates produce insulin and that leads to the brain producing serotonin (a calming hormone).

5. Do a quiet activity with your kid(s) before they go to sleep

Keeping them occupied later on in the evening is more likely to keep your child(ren) in a calm state. An audio book is a good option as they last a while and take very little effort.

Do you know of any other good techniques to help get the kids to sleep on Christmas Eve? Share them with us on our Facebook page at or leave a comment below.

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Bensons for Beds

Bensons for Beds are the UK's largest bed retailer with over 270 stores. For over 50 years, we have been dedicated to ensuring customers get a great night's sleep.

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