Make Sleep a Priority This Christmas
Christmas is looking a little different this year, and the run-up may well be less hectic for a lot of you. However, there will still be many reasons for your little one to get excited and lots of potential for missed sleep!
So, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on how tired everyone is getting and make or change plans accordingly. Of course, it’s perfectly fine for some routines to go a bit astray at this time of year and to have the odd late night, but it’s good also to be mindful of your little one’s sleep needs and try to accommodate these as much as possible.
Change in Routines
Some babies and children can cope well with a change in routine and stay up later and naturally catch up on their sleep themselves by sleeping later on the next day or having a longer nap. This is all down to temperament, though, and other children won’t adjust so well to changes in routine and getting less sleep. For example, many toddlers can seem to get a “second wind” and seem alert and hyperactive, especially if you’ve kept them up later than usual. This is a sign that they’re now overtired, and their body will have released the stress hormone cortisol into their system. This makes it more difficult for them to fall asleep. As a result, they will have more restless sleep and are more likely to wake more frequently and wake for the day earlier than usual. This effect can last up to 24 hours, meaning sleep becomes disrupted.
So, be aware of your little one’s temperament and their ability to deal with change and plan your days around them. For example, if they struggle with sleep, it’s good to try and keep them in their sleep pattern for much of the time if possible and avoid too many late nights or missed naps.
By making sleep a priority in the lead up to Christmas, I hope your whole family will be well-rested and able to enjoy the festivities all the more. December can often be a hectic month, so it’s especially important to watch your little one’s sleep needs and ensure that they are getting enough rest.
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Caro is a Senior Certified Sleepy Lambs Sleep Consultant® based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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