Christmas Day can be exciting or stressful, but whether you are the designated chef and cooking up a feast, or plan to be busy opening presents, eating chocolates and watching favourite movies, you will benefit from a good sleep the night before. But what if you are struggling to sleep on Christmas Eve?
From simple, traditional solutions to celebrity-tested but non-endorsable methods, here are six ways to get to sleep on Christmas Eve.
The old lady’s trick of using the scent of lavender in bedsheets for a good night’s sleep is based on real science. The herb’s aroma has a relaxing effect, slowing heart rate and breathing. Lavender can even be used homoeopathically as a mood stabilizer or for pain relief.
Lavender was used as long ago as 2,500 years by ancient Greeks and Romans as a perfume. Now it is used in tinctures and lotions, but the simplest way to get to the smell is from lavender oil – a few drops in your bath or on your pillow, and you will be sleeping deeply in no time, without any distraction from Santa’s bells.
Listening to grandad’s stories of Christmas past
Grandads are a great source of stories and inappropriate jokes, back when there was no concern over political correctness, and a war was sure to be on.
Or perhaps your grandad can tell you how he met grandma, back in a day when family and marriage were presumed values. This is the most snore-inducing bet.
Stories and human voices are some of the most relaxing sounds. Audible is a happy alternative that you can also set to a timer. It has a vast selection of books on audio, from John Le Carre spy novels to the latest bestsellers.
Christmas tunes to lull you to sleep
Choose a two-hour Spotify playlist of Christmas pop and carols, plug in the headphones and put the volume on low. The third rendition of Michael Buble’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, if not the first or second, should set you snoozing.
Watch a series of Blackadder
Blackadder is a classic British TV series, which features Rowan Atkinson as Blackadder, the sarcastic leader in a series of historical settings, from World War Two to the Elizabethan era. Atkinson is a comic genius of deadpan humour and the easy stereotypes and school history storylines will relax you on the sofa and in front of the telly.
An alcohol and mince pie-induced coma
The trick to this sleep-inducing technique is to keep eating and not to prioritise alcohol over food, so if in doubt, keep eating and drinking in equal amounts.
Go for port or seasonal sherry, Irish whiskey is also an easy drink, try Sexton single malt from Bushmills, which is rich in hue, approachable in taste and memorable in flavour.
Side with a pre-Christmas feast that mixes all good food groups, including the carbohydrates and the sugars. It is Christmas after all. Try an anti-Christmas Chinese takeaway or a more conventional cheese platter, with chefs’ favourite this Christmas, Stilton. The following food coma is the tastiest way to snore yourself into Christmas Day.
Valium was the highest-selling medication in the 70s in the US and has been famously, or infamously, used by many of the rich, famous and stressed, including Elvis and Kurt Cobain, to name a few.
It is a particularly decadent, or desperate, depending on your viewpoint, way to enter the world of nod.
Disclaimer: improper or extreme use of diazepam can lead to dependence and people with a history of alcohol or drug abuse or dependence in general, are particularly at risk. Diazepam, as Valium is now known, increases cravings for alcohol in those with an alcohol problem and can increase the volume of alcohol consumed.