How to Get to Sleep on Christmas Eve

How to Get to Sleep on Christmas Eve

Finding it hard to get to sleep on Christmas Eve? Well, you're not alone. It's a hard night to fall asleep, as excitement and eagerness accumulate. Santa is coming and you cannot stand how long it takes for the time to pass. Here are some suggestions that might help you to overcome excitement and get some much-needed sleep before the big day.


[Edit]Distracting and Tiring Yourself on Christmas Eve Day

  1. Wake up earlier than normal on Christmas Eve morning. Doing this will make you more tired when you want to go to bed later that day.
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    • The night before Christmas Eve, stay awake as long as possible. Set your alarm for an early time like 6 am. When you wake up, you will be very tired and will want to go back to sleep, but resist the urge. When you have to go to sleep later that day, you will fall asleep easier because you are exhausted.
      • If you use your phone as an alarm, change it to a sound you hate so you want to get out of bed. Put your alarm across the room so you must get out of bed to turn it off. When you get out of bed, you will be "awake" for the day.
    • 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 of songs you liked listening to at 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.[1] If it's too snowy outside to exercise, play an exercising game, such as Wii Fit.
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  3. Make up a long song and try to memorize it. This will wear out your brain and make you tired.
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  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.
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  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.
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    • Tracking Santa, in some cases, actually may do the opposite of what you want to happen. It may make you more excited so it's harder to sleep. The blue light from your electronic device may keep you awake as well.

[Edit]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.
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    • 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.[2] Santa came a lot quicker than you thought!
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  3. Exercise. Although this may seem counterintuitive, exercise can help to calm you down. A couple of hours before you go to bed[3], 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.
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  4. Take a warm bath. Having a warm bath will relax your muscles and make it easier to fall asleep.[4] Squirt bath toys at imaginary targets, submerge yourself in bubbles, and relax your muscles. Try scented bubbles and soap.
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  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.
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  6. Drink warm milk. In addition to providing you with nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and L-tryptophan, warm milk can be a soothing, comforting drink that lulls you to sleep.[5] You can also try hot herbal tea; it is soothing to drink. Just make sure it doesn’t contain caffeine!
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    • When you're setting up a cookie plate for Santa is a great time to have some warm milk.
    • Or, drink hot chocolate after you are in your pajamas. This will also help you to relax and stay warm! Don't drink coffee. The caffeine in it can keep you awake.
    • If warm milk disgusts you on its own, add some honey. It will make for a relaxing treat.
  7. Relax. 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.[6]
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    • 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.
    • 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!

[Edit]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!
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  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 anytime you try to get to sleep, but relax and close your eyes.
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    • 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.
    • 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.
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  4. Make sure you're warm or cool enough, depending on where you live. If it’s 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 take yourself too hot, or it will be just as hard to fall asleep as it is when you're cold. If it’s too hot, turn on the air conditioning, or open a window and sleep with just a sheet on you.
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  5. Count sheep or even reindeer. 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 away from the idea of Christmas and will help you fall asleep.
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  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.[7] 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!
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  7. Listen to slow Christmas music and think about the real reason why you celebrate Christmas.
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    • Make a playlist on your iPod "sleep songs." Soothing music will definitely help take your mind off Santa, and lull you to sleep.
  8. 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.[8]
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    • 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.
  9. 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 Story, The Polar Express, Elf, Home Alone 1, 2, 3, and 4, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Carol, It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, The Santa Clause: 1, 2 and 3, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
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[Edit]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.
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    • 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!
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  • The sooner you fall asleep the sooner it will be Christmas, so make sure you fall asleep otherwise it will feel like forever before Christmas comes.
  • If you keep your stocking on your bed or anywhere you can see it then, put it under the bed; If this isn't possible you could always find a big cushion and stuff it at the foot of your bed with the stocking behind it. Or, place it somewhere outside your room where, from your bed, you can't see it but whoever walks by it can put a gift or treat! That way, you won't be panicking that Santa won't be able to find the stocking!
  • Stay up late the night before Christmas Eve. It will make you tired on Christmas Eve if you stay up for the whole day.
  • Make sure your door is closed. It helps you feel more relaxed and you fall asleep. And it makes less light shining in your bedroom.
  • You might flex your toes, fingers, and shrug your shoulders. Then after a few seconds, stop, and your body will feel relieved and you can relax and go to sleep!
  • Think about how great the day ahead will be and this will make you drift off dreaming.
  • Clean your room before you go to bed it will be easier to sleep because you don't have to worry about a cluttered room.
  • If you like to keep a lamp on in your room while you sleep, keep it on low so it's easier to fall asleep.
  • Turn all of your lights off so it will be easier for you to get to sleep.
  • Keep your stockings downstairs and lock the door so that you won't be tempted to peek in your stocking.
  • If you’re worried about not getting to sleep, stop looking at the clock, take deep breaths, and remember, it’s very hard for the human body to stay awake for more than 18 hours at a time, so you’ll probably fall asleep eventually whether you want to or not. Not to mention, on Christmas Day, when all the excitement is over, you’ll catch up on any sleep you missed by going to bed early for a few nights.
  • If you're feeling restless and want to open the gifts ASAP, say this to yourself: "No one is going to take the gifts from me at any time. They will be there whether I open them at 4 a.m. or 9 a.m."
  • If you must, ask your parents if you can open one present on Christmas Eve. The satisfaction will calm you down for a while.
  • Try not to drink too much liquid an hour or two before bed. Just take a sip of water and empty your bladder before you go to bed. This will decrease your need to get up during the night.
  • Don't think about Santa Claus, that will make you feel excited and will take twice as long to fall asleep.
  • Stop exercising around 2 hours before you go to sleep.
  • Slowly change your bedsheets and put on your pajamas in slow motion, after your nice hot bath; this can make you feel bored and relaxed; so you can sleep.
  • If you really want to, leave your room about half an hour before everyone else wakes up and look at the presents and the tree. It may not sound like it, but it actually might calm you down a little bit. Be sure not to peek at the presents though! This will just ruin Christmas for you.


  • Once officially in bed, only get up for bathroom breaks, and if you do, try to get back into bed in the same comfy position you were in before.
  • Be sure to empty your bladder before you go to sleep. It's harder to fall asleep with a full bladder, and if you do manage to fall asleep, you don't want to wake up in the middle of the night having to go to the bathroom.
  • Don't unwrap any presents. Save the excitement so you can share it with everyone else.
  • As much as you may want to, peeking at gifts will ruin your Christmas. Sure, instant gratification is nice, but in the long run, it really isn't a good idea.
  • Don't leave your room; it will only make you more curious.
  • Don't drink any caffeine at least six hours before going to bed. If you go to bed at 10 p.m., don't drink any caffeine after 4 p.m.
  • Don't keep looking at the clock, as this will make it seem that Christmas Eve will never end.
  • If you do exercise, don't exceed 30 minutes and make sure that it is at least one hour before you want to sleep. The endorphins you get from exercise can keep you buzzed and therefore awake, so leave some time to chill out. Leaving some time before bed gives you time to relax and maybe even try some other techniques!
  • Go to bed at the same time you do on a normal night. If you go normally go to bed at 10 p.m. and go to bed at 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve, it will not feel like a normal night.
  • When reading your book, keep an eye on the time. You want to be asleep by midnight, so try putting your book down and closing your eyes around 10 or 11 p.m.

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