When I was a kid, Christmas Eve was always a sleepless night. I\u2019d lie there imagining my presents, trying to get inside Santa\u2019s head: Was I good enough for a bicycle? Could Santa afford that this year? Maybe I\u2019ll get a Nintendo because I put it on my list three times! Or, oh no, maybe that annoyed Santa! I knew the sooner I fell asleep, the sooner Christmas would come. But hard as I tried, squeezing my eyes shut, burying my head in my pillow, it just never happened. Then, of course, I\u2019d spend Christmas Day in a torpor, opening my gifts with bleary eyes and, eventually, falling asleep amidst a forest of wrapping paper. If only I\u2019d had some tricks for falling asleep! Here are some ideas for your over-excited Christmas tot.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nGive her a good, long slow-down. I think one of the things that made falling asleep so hard was partying right up until bedtime. We always had Christmas Eve dinner with family, and the house would be full of aunts, and uncles, and cousins. I\u2019d be playing games and running around right up until bedtime. Instead, start your child\u2019s bedtime ritual right on schedule, at the same time you usually do. Make sure there\u2019s no extra noise or, if noise is unavoidable, create some white noise with a fan. If you have an autistic or otherwise developmentally delayed child, this process can be even more difficult. Use the techniques you always use to calm and soothe your child and be extra diligent about blocking out noise and other stimulation. If your child needs extra attention on Christmas Eve, it's okay to leave the party. Kids come first.\r\n\r\nSave the sugar plums for Christmas Day. Sugar is every kid\u2019s worst nightmare on Christmas Eve night. And yet, holiday meals always have a robust dessert course. Save your kid some agony by serving him sugary foods early in the day so he has plenty of time to metabolize it before lights out.\r\n\r\nWarm milk really does help. It\u2019s an old wive\u2019s tale for a reason: it works. While it may not actually have to do with tryptophan, the notorious sleep chemical (it\u2019s not in turkey in large enough quantities to make you sleepy either), warm milk does tend to have a psychologically soothing effect, especially if it\u2019s a remedy you use frequently. The more the brain associates something with sleep, the more effective that thing will be. If you want to plan ahead, start giving your child warm milk at bedtime a few months before Christmas.\r\n\r\nMake sure your child has a natural, comfortable mattress. My mattress was thin and rather hard, a consequence of sharing a bunk bed with my little brother. I know a lush and luxurious natural latex mattress would have made drifting off into dreamland a whole lot easier.