If this sounds like you, we’ve got 8 pieces of advice to share with you that will help you out when you’re too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve:
1. Cosy Up
If there’s one thing guaranteed to make you sleepy it’s cosying up Christmas stylee. And the best way we can achieve that is by doing what the Danes do and follow the concept of hygge. Hygge is all about creating a warm comfortable environment, surrounded by loved ones, enjoying the simple pleasures in life. It could be sitting under a blanket on the sofa, reading a book, sharing some mulled wine or hot chocolate, or playing board games together. Anything that spreads joy and gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside, that’s hygge.
You might be wondering what hygge’s got to do with getting a good night’s sleep. Well, it’s simple really. When we’re relaxed, and happy, and focusing on the things that truly matter to us, we’re in a much better frame of mind to sleep. And if that involves buying a new pair of Christmas PJs and slipper socks every year as some kind of new tradition we’ve just invented, then heck we are all for it!
2. Dim The Lights
One element of getting cosy is creating a warm atmosphere in your home and one way you can do that is by playing around with the lighting. As it’s Christmas Eve you’ll no doubt have lots of twinkly Christmas lights up already, so make full use of them and switch off or turn down the dimmer on the main ceiling lights.
Bright lights are known to play havoc with your circadian rhythm, so it’s best to keep them turned down low. Plus, it makes the house look way more inviting, hides any cobwebs you might have missed, and a lit up Christmas tree… well, it just makes you smile doesn’t it?
And if you haven’t got any Christmas lights, why not light a few candles. Choose candles with a Christmas scent like pinecones, gingerbread, or mulled wine spices to really ramp up those cosy hygge vibes. Just remember to blow them out before going to bed and never leave a candle unattended, especially when there are young children and pets in the house.
3. Stay Away From Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant and so it goes without saying that if you want to get a decent night’s sleep on Christmas Eve you’re best off staying away from the coffee. Some people handle the caffeine better than others, but either way it runs through your system for about 6 to 8 hours. If you can’t bear the thought of going a day without caffeine, consider only having it up until midday, to improve your chances of better sleep later on.
4. Check Your Alcohol Levels
It’s Christmas Eve, of course you’re going to want to crack open the bubbly and enjoy a couple of drinks or so. But equally you don’t want to wake up with a hangover on Christmas day, so as much as it might sound a little bit boring it’s all about moderation.
Alcohol has been proven to affect the quality of your sleep. It dehydrates, it disrupts your sleep cycle, it increases snoring, and can bring on the night sweats, which all equates to a rubbish night’s sleep. Not what you need when you’ve got a big day the next day – and let’s face it, Christmas day is the biggest day of them all!
By all means have a mulled wine, enjoy an egg nog, but limit yourself a little to ensure you get a decent amount of sleep on Christmas Eve so that you can wake up feeling energised for the busy and joyous day ahead.
5. Keep Calm
OK, so keeping calm is easier said than done we know, but there are some things you can do to help get you into a much more relaxed state of mind to then encourage sleep a little later on in the evening.
It’s really important to take some time out for yourself. Once you’ve got your main jobs done for the day, the kids are settled in front of the telly, and the husband’s busy wrapping your presents (why do they always leave it until the last minute!?!) it’s time for you to have some much needed ‘me’ time.
Run yourself a deep bubble bath, pour in some relaxing aromatherapy oil (Chamomile, Lavender, or Sandalwood are good ones), get yourself a glass of fizz, play some Christmas carols on a low volume, pop on a face mask, and let yourself sink down into the warm waters. You’ll be calm in no time.
6. Bedroom Rituals
The room in which we sleep has a massive impact on the quality of sleep we get. And as a species, humans love consistency and habits too. It’s important to remember that Christmas Eve is just like any other day of the year and therefore getting to sleep on Christmas Eve should be approached in exactly the same way as you would usually – providing you sleep well of a night normally of course!
Here’s what you need for a perfect night’s sleep:
- Temperature of between 15 and 19 degrees C
- Noise free
- A comfortable mattress
- Clean bedding
- A clutter free room
You could also try things like spraying your pillow with lavender essence, reading in bed, meditating, breathing exercises, which all help promote feelings of sleepiness.
By doing all of the things that you would do on a normal night, you are tricking your brain into believing that this night is no different. And if you can pull that off, the gift of sleep awaits you.
7. Empty Your Brain
There’s a lot going on in the lead up to Christmas and it can all come to a bit of a head on Christmas Eve. Your brain can end up feeling well and truly frazzled as it gets jam packed full of things you’ve got to remember. Have you done that last minute wrapping? Did you fill the stockings up? Have you nibbled the carrot and scattered mince pie crumbs so the kids think Santa ate their treats? Have you cleaned the house? Peeled and chopped the veg? Decorated the table? Made sure the fancy glasses are clean? Worked out a plan for the day? The list seems never ending. And when you’ve got all that buzzing around your brain it is virtually impossible to switch off and go to sleep.
Start by writing down everything that you need to do. This will help you empty out what’s in your head and get it down onto paper, which will straight away make it feel much more achievable. Then divide the jobs out so that the rest of the household are helping out too. Remember, this shouldn’t just fall to you to sort out, they live there too!
If it gets to the evening and you haven’t managed to tick everything off of the list, don’t worry. Take another look and prioritise what needs doing and what doesn’t actually matter. Ultimately, Christmas isn’t about creating a perfect day, you’re not trying to impress anyone. It is about spending time with your family and friends. They won’t care that you haven’t put the napkins out, or that you’ve not had chance to make bread sauce, or that the present you give them isn’t as well wrapped as you would have liked. They just want to spend the day in your company. That is all that matters.
8. Repeat Sleep Mantras
Repeating sleep mantras can help calm you down and refocus your energy so that your mind can shift into night time sleep mode. It’s a bit like counting sheep, in that the repetition is soothing and places you into a state of relaxation, which then aids sleep. You can either repeat a phrase in your head, or say it aloud, although if you share a bed with someone they might not be best pleased if you wake them up with your mutterings!
Examples of sleep mantras that you can repeat to yourself include:
- I am enough
- I have done enough
- There are no expectations
- My family love me
- Everything will be fine
- I am calm
This should be enough to settle your mind so that before long you drift off into a restful slumber.
Getting to sleep on Christmas Eve is tricky, there’s no getting away from that. But hopefully, the advice above has given you something to think about and encourage you to try something different if you have previously struggled with sleep on the most exciting night of the year.