Why Can’t I Sleep On Christmas Eve?

The night before Christmas day is full of excitement, which can be overwhelming. The sheer eagerness for the big day to come makes Christmas Eve a very hard night to fall asleep for children and adults alike.

Not sleeping well on Christmas Eve can make the next day a very exhausting one, especially if you still have a lot to do. This can take a little of the magical time that awaits us on Christmas. To help you overcome this anticipation, we’ll explain the many reasons why most people may have a hard time sleeping on Christmas Eve. We’ll then give you a few tips on how to manage to get a good night’s sleep on this important night.

Why Is It Hard To Fall Asleep On Christmas Eve?

Christmas is a very exciting day that brings plenty of feelings to most people. We prepare by decorating the Christmas tree, getting tons of gifts, and feel the anticipation of the celebration the day before. The anticipation that comes with it overwhelms people of all ages and keeps their eyes wide open at night. There are many explanations for this universal phenomenon.  


Holidays are exciting, especially those that come with great festivities. They can help us take forget the daily stresses of life and enjoy some quality time with our family, friends, and loved ones by bringing them together at our house. Christmas is a joyous day that is awaited by most people for months. It turns one of the coldest nights of the year into a heart-warming celebration. This sheer excitement and overwhelming happiness make it almost impossible to sleep because you feel like a child again.

The scientific explanation is that excitement causes your body to release adrenaline and cortisol, which increases your heart rate and your blood pressure. This hyper-activity makes it very hard to sleep because it is the exact opposite of what goes on inside your body when you’re about to fall asleep.

Read also: Ways to get to sleep when you are too excited to sleep.


Stress and excitement before such a big holiday often go hand in hand. Think of it this way: you’ll toss and turn in bed for eternity and stay awake all night. Eventually, you’ll start imagining how exhausting tomorrow is going to be when you don’t get a good night’s sleep. This will cause you to stress out. Your body will continue to release more adrenaline, making it even harder to sleep.

Stress can stem directly from excitement, but it can also be caused by many other things. For instance, the pressure to plan a perfect Christmas can be quite the challenge. Christmas involves a lot of preparation and a lot of people. It stands to reason that you’d want everything to go smoothly and perfectly, exactly the way you planned it.

In addition, there may still be plenty of tasks and chores to do the next day, which can cause you to feel anxious. You may also have little ones and want this year’s Christmas to be their best one yet. Assuming you try to achieve that every year, it can sometimes be hard to outdo yourself. Very stressful! 

How Can You Get a Good Night’s Sleep On Christmas Eve?

Christmas can already be tiring as it is. All the preparations and socializing will take up much of your energy. To help you get much-needed sleep for hours on this exciting night, we’ll suggest a couple of ideas.


There’s nothing that can put you to bed early than tiring your body. On the day before Christmas, we recommend that you give yourself no rest. You can do some jogging, cycling, or even mountain climbing if you feel like it. Put at a least an hour in. At home, you can also do some exercises. If you’re used to all this, this may be a good day to work out a little harder. It’s only a reasonable sacrifice to help you get through the next day.

If you have children, you may want to run and play with them. This will give you bonus points as the kids will be able to fall asleep at night, too. Eventually, your body’s energy will be depleted. You can get excited all you want, but you will sleep at night.

Don’t Drink Coffee

Caffeine is a stimulant that can significantly disrupt your sleep. So, try not to consume caffeine products if you can help it. Tea, coffee, chocolate, soda, and energy drinks are best avoided on this day. If you have to, drink no more than a single coffee. Do it in the morning.

It’s crucial that you stay away from caffeine, especially in the afternoon and in the evening. Caffeine can block the adenosine receptors in your body, the main part responsible for sleep. It will put you in a state of alertness all the time. Coupled with the excitement and stress that you might be feeling, falling asleep can be very hard.

Plan Everything Ahead of Time for Christmas Day

Even if you’re extremely tired, being stressed out about something can make your brain go nuts, preventing you from sleeping. A valuable piece of advice is to make sure you plan everything in advance and sleep knowing that everything is all right. Once you’ve done all you need to do, you can finally relax and spend some time with your family before going to bed.

Bedtime Routine

Your bedtime routine is especially important on this special night. Dim the lights, make sure everyone has a warm bath and some warm milk, put on the white noise machine, and get to bed early so you can have a good night, get more sleep and wake up fresh. On Christmas morning, try to wake up a little earlier than usual. You can also put your smartphone or alarm clock far from your reach. However, you should resist the urge to sleep in, and go have a nice breakfast. Soon enough, you will have enough energy to survive the day. Stay away from taking naps in the middle of the day, no matter how tired you are.


The human mind can be really tricky. Now that Christmas is near, the excitement can sometimes overcome your physical state and prevent you from having a good sleep because you simply feel excited.

If you’ve done all of the above, your energy will be depleted. However, it can be hard to come down from a state of sheer excitement. To overcome that, try to calm down and relax. For example, you can do yoga, read a book, or watch a nice but slow-paced movie to get your mind off things. If you get easily hooked, do something super boring, like read a boring book or watch a boring movie.

When your body is exhausted and your mind is at rest, you will fall asleep in no time.

Final Thoughts

Even the best of us can have a hard time falling asleep on Christmas Eve. Most people are likely to be too excited, stressed, and anxious whenever this holiday comes around. Since you know well how exhausting Christmas can be, you’ll reasonably look for ways to sleep well at night. The good news is that this can be done in many ways. No matter how excited or stressed you are, with the right attitude and preparation, you can sleep like a baby and wake up full of energy on the day of Christmas. Now that you know what you need to do, it’s time to get some rest and wait for jolly old saint nick to visit tonight, so get to bed!