How to get to sleep… the Night before Christmas!

05 Dec How to get to sleep… the Night before Christmas!

From Dr Andrew Scott and the team here at the Wesley Hospital Sleep Disorders Centre and Lung Function Laboratory we would like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy Christmas!


The team and recently posted a series of helpful sleep tips for Christmas eve.


Do you get excited that its Christmas? Find it hard to sleep, while waiting for Santa to arrive? Are you, or your family members likely to get up really early to open presents? Perhaps you may need to share this article with them!

Part 1

Distracting and Tiring Yourself on Christmas Eve Day

  1. Wake up extra early Christmas Eve morning.Doing this will make you more tired when you want to go to bed.
    1. The night before Christmas Eve stay awake as long as you can. Set your alarm clock for a very early time like 6 o’clock. When you wake up you will be very tired and want to go back to sleep, but resist the urge. When you have to go to sleep on Christmas Eve, you will fall asleep easily because you are so tired.
    2. If you have a calendar in your bedroom, turn it back to a different month and pretend it’s that month during the night. Make a playlist on your iPod of songs you liked listening to in that time to capture the feeling even more.
  2. Exercise regularly throughout the day.Do some jumping jacks, go for a walk or do some cycling. If it’s too snowy outside to exercise, play an exercising game, such as Wii Fit.
  3. Make up a long song, and try to memorize it.This will wear out your brain and make you tired.
  4. Help your family, friends, and even neighbors to prepare for Christmas Day.Keeping busy and being helpful will take your mind off the excitement but will still help you to feel involved and happy.
  5. Track Santa.Tracking Santa’s progress around the world is always a great way to get you excited for Christmas on Christmas Eve! Use websites such as NORAD Tracks Santa or Google Santa Tracker.


 Part 2

Preparing for Bedtime

  1. Think of it as a normal night.Tell yourself that tonight is not Christmas Eve. Do the same things you always do in your bedtime routine: brush your teeth, read a book, chat with your friends, etc..
    1. Say to yourself: “What am I gonna do tomorrow?” — like it’s any normal day: “Oh, hey, tomorrow maybe I will hang out with my ‘bud’, ______”.
  2. Play a game with someone.A technique that, strange as it sounds, works well is to play a quiet game you can play alone (or with another hyper and excited friend or sibling), such as Mad Libs, while in bed. This will help take away your energy and help you fall fast asleep. Santa come a lot quicker than you thought!
  3. Although this may seem counterintuitive, exercise can help to calm you down. A couple hours before you go to bed, see how many push-ups, crunches, or jumping jacks you can do in your room. Exercise only for thirty minutes, though; you don’t want to stay up too late. Exercising is a great way to help you feel physically tired so that your body will want to sleep. Better still, it will take your mind off Christmas for a little while.
  4. Take a warm bath.Having a warm bath will relax your muscles and make it easier to fall asleep. Squirt bath toys at imaginary targets, submerge yourself in bubbles, and relax your muscles. Try scented bubbles and soap.
  5. Don’t peek at the Christmas tree.This might spoil any surprises and will keep you very excited and awake! Remember, Santa Claus knows when you are sleeping and when you are awake. He won’t come if you are peeking.
  6. Drink warm milk.The milk provides calcium, magnesium, and L-tryptophan, which can help you sleep. You can also try hot herbal tea; it is very soothing and calming to drink Just make sure it’s decaffeinated!
    1. When you’re setting up a cookie plate for Santa is a great time to have some warm milk.
    2. Or, drink hot chocolate after you are in your pajamas. This will also help you to relax and keep warm! Don’t drink coffee. The caffeine in it can keep you awake.
  7. If you are just jumping up and down and feeling hyperactive, you need to calm down; you’re only feeding a buildup of excitement that it’ll be hard to come down from. Read a book. Listen to music. Whatever makes you calm down and relax.
    1. Read a book. It can be about Christmas, although it doesn’t really matter. Try reading a school textbook, a really boring one from your least favorite class. Read a boring book to induce sleepiness; read an exciting one to get lost in and to help take away the urgency of thinking about Christmas things. Some good non-Christmas books are Harry Potter, Twilight, School of Fear, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. They are fairly long and can keep you occupied for a while.
    2. Burn a sweet scented candle for a little while in a safe place in your room. The scent will help you to relax, particularly if you choose a scent like lavender or jasmine. Just make sure to extinguish it before you fall asleep!


 Part 3

Going to Sleep on Christmas Eve

  1. Remind yourself that the more you can relax and feel like falling asleep, the sooner it will be Christmas Day!
  2. Get into a comfortable sleeping position while in bed.Scrunch up really tightly—as tightly as you can. Hold that position for 30 seconds, then relax again, trying to stay still. You will become tired. This is important for anytime you try to get to sleep; but relax and close your eyes.
    1. See some of the related wikiHow links in this article for more ideas on helping you to fall asleep, or visit the whole category on better sleeping.
    2. Fluff your pillow. If you fluff your pillow, it will give you something more comfortable for your head to rest on and make it easier to fall asleep.
  3. Snuggle up with pets.If the pet is small enough to fit in your bed (or wherever you are sleeping), try to fall asleep with it. It helps you to sleep when you have someone else in the room with you. It will make you fall asleep a bit faster, although if it is a hamster or something of that size you may squish it.
  4. Make sure you’re warm or cool enough, depending on where you live.If cold, turn a heater on, put on some warm and comfortable clothes, or put some extra blankets on your bed. Just make sure you don’t make yourself too hot, or it will be just as hard to fall asleep as it is when you’re cold. If too hot, turn on the air conditioning, or open a window and sleep with just a sheet on you.
  5. Count sheep.Any of these methodical, centering and calming methods will help to move you out of being too excited into a calmer state, which may help you to feel sleepy. Try focusing on each of the sheep as they jump over the fence (or any other high platform). What do they look like? What type of fence are they jumping over? How high are they jumping?  Focusing on these details will let your mind trail way from the idea of Christmas and will help you fall asleep.
  6. Lie in bed and say this in your head:“Relax my toes.” (Wiggle them for a moment.) “Relax my arch. Relax my ankle. (Flex your ankle.)” It might sound corny but it really does work through the power of suggestion. Continue, working all the way up to your head. Even keeping up the effort of concentration on doing this is a great distraction from the night’s excitement. You may not even get up to your head before you’re snoozing away!
  7. Listen to slow Christmas music and think about the real reason why you celebrate Christmas.
    1. Make a playlist on your iPod “sleep songs.” Soothing music will definitely help take your mind off Santa, and lull you to sleep.
  1. Don’t sit at the computer, laptop, or iPad late at night, if you can’t sleep; this will only keep you awake. The light actually fools your body into thinking it’s not bedtime.
    1. If you watch TV before bed, try to turn off or down all the other lights, so the room is darkened. That will get your body ready to sleep.
  2. Watch a movie. If you still have trouble going to sleep, watch a movie. Some good Christmas movies that play a lot during Christmastime include: A Christmas StoryThe Polar ExpressElfHome Alone 1, 2, 3, and 4How The Grinch Stole ChristmasA Charlie Brown ChristmasA Christmas CarolIt’s A Wonderful LifeMiracle on 34th StreetThe Santa Clause: 1, 2 and 3Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


Part 4

Waking Up on Christmas Morning

  1. Set a time to wake up.Make sure that the whole family agrees with it. That way, when it turns (for example 7:00) everyone is prepared to get up. If you get up earlier than this, have some breakfast, go to the washroom, get ready so that you actually look OK on video.
    1. If you know you are going to be videotaped in the morning, prepare your best set of PJ’s. You don’t want everybody to remember you wearing that raggedy old t-shirt and a pair of shorts on Christmas morning, do you? Don’t forget to brush your hair in the morning before galloping downstairs!
  2. Have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


The original article can be found here: