Getting kids to sleep on Christmas Eve can sometimes feel like an impossible task, with 3 in 4 parents saying they find the festive season disruptive to their little one’s sleep schedule.

That’s why Mattress Online’s expert, ‘The Sleep Geek’ James Wilson, has put together his top 5 tips for parents on keeping a healthy sleep routine, despite Christmas Eve jitters.

 1. Plan ahead

 “Christmas Eve is about joy, and inevitably, children are going to be very excited for it. Spending the days up to Christmas Eve dreading the high energy and trouble sleeping only makes the festive season more stressful. Instead, face the reality that there may be difficulties getting kids to sleep, and put a plan together to make the evening a bit more manageable.”

2. Get ready for bed earlier 

“It could be tempting to try and keep children up later, in hopes of tiring them out and getting them to sleep easier when bedtime arrives. However, this is likely to just be more disruptive. Instead, get them ready for bed before settling down to relax. That means putting on pyjamas and getting comfy earlier, and minimising other activities that might get them more excited about Father Christmas coming before bed.” 

3. Watch something appropriate

“Watching a festive film on Christmas Eve is traditional for plenty of families, but some might not help calm kids before bed. Consider what they will be watching, and how they might react - a high-energy, or scarier movie like Home Alone or Gremlins is unlikely to soothe, whereas a gentler watch like The Snowman can help your young ones relax, while still building the Christmas spirit.”

4. Find the joy in it

 “While a good night’s sleep is very important, ultimately if your child is just that excited for Christmas, you should try to accept that waking up during the early hours may be unavoidable. Instead, remind yourself that it is just one day out of the year, and it is the highlight of a lot of people’s childhoods. Indulging in their excitement can be fun, and sometimes infectious, so if they are too giddy to wait for a reasonable hour, meeting them halfway could start the day right for everyone.”

 And, one just for the parents…

 5. Watch your alcohol intake

 “Having a drink on Christmas Eve can be calming, and a good excuse to over-indulge in sherry, but remember: alcohol is a sedative, and will not make for a more restful night of sleep. So, if you do live with young kids who might be up in the early hours, cutting down on how much alcohol you have the night before will mean you wake up feeling fresher, and more prepared for a fun, festive Christmas Day.”

For more info and tips, click here.