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5 ways to help your children fall asleep on Christmas Eve

Ho ho ho, Santa's on his way!

christmas eve
Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
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Christmas Eve is just about the most exciting night of the year for children as they await Santa Claus' arrival and all those presents!

MORE: Christmas Eve box ideas for kids and adults this festive season

Parents across the country will be doing a similar evening routine: dinner, PJs, put a snack and drink out for Santa and his reindeer, then up to bed. Unfortunately though, excited kids do not fall asleep easily! So what do you do?

WATCH: The Christmas tree at Windsor Castle

The sleep experts at have shared their tips on helping parents settle their children before Santa makes his way down that chimney (or however he gets into your home).

How to help your children fall asleep on Christmas Eve

 1) Do something active as a family on Christmas Eve

Walton Holcomb from says: "Having a family outing pre-Christmas is a fantastic way to bond and get in the spirit before the busy day. After an action-packed day of fun, your children are sure to be sleepier than usual when the time comes to tuck them into bed."

family snow

Get outdoors and wear them out!

MORE: 15 best last-minute Christmas stocking fillers for kids for under £15

LOOK: 9 times royal children looked so cute in cosy winter outfits

2) Something nice to drink before bedtime

Did you know that cherry juice is currently being trialled as a cure for insomnia due to the presence of melatonin and tryptophan which helps people sleep?

Walton reveals: "Cherry Juice is a great option for children as they tend to have a sweet tooth, meaning it'll be more enticing, not to mention the festive red colour is sure to help make this a suitable Christmas treat’.

Hot chocolate is another good option. "The sleep benefits from a nice warm mug of hot chocolate are mostly psychological - a lovely relaxing warm drink can really put you in the right mental state to drift off," he recommends. "Although not something you should give your children regularly, as a treat at Christmas it could be the perfect way to help your child sleep."


A hot drink will hopefully make them sleepy

3) Lead by example

It's tempting to stay up, have a drink and watch a festive movie, but if you want your kids to fall asleep then this tip may be a good idea.

Walton suggests: "Children will be a lot more inclined to go to bed on time if they see their parents have also gone to bed. It also helps to alleviate the feeling they are missing out on fun if you’re also in bed."

Or simply pretend to go to bed then get up again when they're asleep!

4) Take their mind off Christmas

Walton says: "Taking your child’s mind away from the festivities and onto something else can have a soothing effect. The traditional and timeless way of doing this is through a bedtime story. This distraction and slowing down of pace should help your little one drop off."


A bedtime story always does the trick (here's hoping!)

5) Wake them up early on Christmas Eve

If you're lucky enough to have a child that lies in, you could try waking them up earlier on Christmas Eve morning.

"Changing your child’s schedule to wake up earlier on Christmas day can ensure your child is ready to get to bed earlier," says Walton.

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