IT’S HARD enough on a normal day to get the kids off to bed at a reasonable time, without the excitement of Santa coming to visit.
Luckily, one sleep expert is on hand with some some top tips to help bedtime go smoothly this Christmas Eve.
Head outside for some fresh air
Founder of company Kally Sleep, Ori Leslau recommends getting outside for some fresh air during the day, as this helps to tire kids out.
The winter weather also means we’re more likely to keep moving and burn more energy.
Whether you’re on a walk or out at a local park, being outside also causes the body to release serotonin, which makes us feel relaxed, Ori Leslau adds.
Stick to a routine
Leslau‘s second tip is to try to maintain some of your normal routine on Christmas Eve – as much as is possible.
He suggests telling your children what to expect from Christmas Day and how it will be different to keep kids feeling calm.
Mind the sugar
The sleep expert also advises deciding on a cut off point for sugary snacks for the kids, a few hours before bedtime.
“Sugar can stimulate the body (we’ve all heard of “sugar highs”) which can then have a negative effect on quality of sleep. Too much sugar can also make it hard to get to sleep in the first place”, he says.
Try a bedtime distraction
Another way to help calm the kids down ready for bed on Christmas Eve is the good old distraction technique.
He suggests trying an audiobook, a podcast for kids, or relaxing music.
“It might well help them to focus their minds on something, rather than laying there attempting to sleep before Santa arrives.
“Once they’re calm and settled they’re much more likely to nod off naturally – and not still be wide-eyed at midnight,” he adds.
Take time to relax
He also suggests taking some time to relax as a family, ahead of the chaos of Christmas Day full of presents, food and festivities.
“Set aside some time away from the internet or mobile phones and you’ll be amazed at how everyone relaxes and the kids calm down a lot too”, he says.
Another tip is to hold younger kids, cuddling them while breathing deeply, to make both parent and child feel calmer.
DECS ARE DOWN
I take ALL my decorations down at 9pm on Xmas Day, I just hate the clutter
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