But what time does the average child wake up on 25 December? Well, the results of a new survey on the topic might just surprise you.
Despite us predicting it would be nearer the 5am mark, Happy Beds surveyed 2,000 parents across the country and found the overall average wake-up time on Christmas morning is actually 6.44am.
And in what will come as no surprise to anyone, parents of younger children (aged two to six) will be up earliest – with most wide awake by 6.45am.
Meanwhile teens are the least likely to be up before their parents, with just 15% waking up before 7am.
For more specific wake-up times tailored to your child’s age and where you’re based, you can try this Christmas Wake Up Calculator.
Going to the extremes to get kids to bed on Christmas Eve
With all the excitement bubbling around, it’s no wonder parents are pulling out all the stops to get their kids calm and relaxed ahead of bedtime.
To tire out their children, one in five parents said they will stop them from eating any sugary treats a few hours before bed, while almost a quarter (22%) will limit the amount of time their kids spend on their phones and devices.
One in six admitted they’ll intentionally put on a boring Christmas movie to help get everyone calm before bedtime.
Sometimes a desperate situation calls for desperate measures. Half of parents have resorted to scare tactics for kids who won’t go to sleep, warning that “Santa won’t come if you’re still awake”.
And 16% said their child would get added to Santa’s “Naughty List” if they didn’t go to bed.
How to get kids to sleep on Christmas Eve
Here’s what the folks at Happy Beds suggest to get kids down for the night.
1. Stick to your normal routine
Although Christmas Eve is special, your child’s bedtime routine is equally as important.
A study from JoJo Maman Bébé revealed that three-quarters (74%) of British parents struggle to stick to a regular routine with their children during the festive season. And two-fifths (38%) deviate from the usual bedtime routine with 41% admitting they allow a later bedtime.
Despite the activities and excitement of the night before Christmas, try sticking to your child’s regular bedtime and schedule.
If you’re hosting or attending a party, make sure you’re home in time to settle down as you would any other night.
Perform the same ritualistic behaviours including bath time, reading them a story, and tucking them in. By sticking to their normal routine, you’re helping their brain and body recognise it’s time for bed.
2. Have an active day
In short, you’ll need to wear them out. Keep your kids active and engaged during the day to help burn off excess energy and ensure they’re tired come bedtime.
3. Avoid sugar before bed
Yes, the contents of your £5 Christmas chocolate tub are delicious, but having too much of the sugary stuff close to bedtime will leave your child potentially hyperactive and far from sleep.
After setting out the milk and cookies for Santa, give your child a healthy, light snack to help fill their bellies before bed – a banana is a great choice.
4. Provide a countdown
Children respond well to routines. In addition to performing your normal night-time routine on Christmas Eve, provide your child with a timeline of the night’s events.
Give them a warning an hour before bed and have them turn off all screens and digital devices. Then, give a second warning around 30 minutes before bedtime and again at the 10-minute mark.
5. Tell a classic Christmas story
Bedtime stories are a popular tool for helping children calm down and relax. Just avoid stories that focus too much on the excitement of Christmas morning, as this may have the opposite effect.
Here’s to a relatively fuss-free Christmas Eve!