5 Halloween Sleep Tips for Parents

5 Halloween Sleep Tips for Parents

Halloween is a big deal for kids. Second perhaps only to Christmas in the excitement stakes. But the spooky season means costume parties, extended bedtimes, and, inevitably, sugary treats, making sleep tricky.

As your kids load up on all things sweet and fizzy, the likelihood of overtired (and overstimulated) little ones can risk ruining the frightful festivities.

So, with that in mind, we’ve pulled together some handy Halloween sleep tips for parents, ensuring your All Hallows’ Eve celebrations are all treat, no trick.

Ghostly child standing in bedroom doorway

Sleep Tricks for Halloween

If you’re eager to avoid the zombie-like image of the sugar-crashed child (and the tantrums that often follow), not to mention maintain a reasonable bedtime, you’ll need to have a tight game plan.

You can’t plan for every eventuality, but with a little foresight – and a lot of coaxing – you can ensure that your Halloween sleeping arrangements run smoothly, leaving you the headspace to conjure up ghoulish games and other fiendish fun.

1. Set a Sweet Limit

If your child’s trick-or-treating activities are successful, they’ll return home loaded with sugary booty. And, of course, they’re going to want to dive straight in, surfacing only for air and bathroom breaks – but you must stay strong.

By setting a sweet limit, you’ll be acting in everyone’s best interests as tummies are spared and sleep is preserved.

But you don’t have to style yourself as a Halloween killjoy to encourage sensible amounts of confectionary consumption. In fact, if you frame it correctly – perhaps by hinting at the tastebud tantalising prospect of a week’s worth of chocolate – you can keep your lil’ fiends on-side and protect their sleep in the process.

2.Plan a Light (and Easy) Dinner

Let’s face it, no matter what culinary masterpiece you serve up on Halloween, the kids’ stomachs will already be daydreaming of the choc-o-thon to come.

So, plan a meal that requires little in the way of preparation as it’s likely that you’ll be drafted in for 11th-hour costume tweaks. Moreover, it’ll dramatically lower the risk of aching tummies (or worse, full-blown, um…queasiness) later.

Plus, you’ll be increasing everyone’s Halloween sleeping prospects as there will be a least a little less to digest come bedtime.

3. Try to Sneak in a Nap

We, uh… mean for the kids, but who knows, maybe the planets will align, and you’ll get some shut-eye, too? (Just be sure not to snooze after 3 pm as it’ll damage your sleep schedule.)

In all seriousness, coaxing your little monsters into their crypts for a daytime nap (if possible) will pay dividends at bedtime.

Whether it’s sugar-induced excitement, the post-trick-or-treat blues, or shifting start times for Halloween parties, bedtime will likely be postponed, so it’s wise to support their sleep with a strategic nap. Ideally, no longer than twenty minutes, and as early in the day as possible.

4. Be Flexible with Bedtimes

As excitement levels rise, the chance of maintaining a regular bedtime dwindles. As such, many experts recommend planning for slightly later bedtimes on nights such as Halloween, Christmas, and Bonfire Night.

It makes perfect sense, too. Why risk a volatile bedtime that’ll only delay sleep even further? Instead, steer into the excitement by reminding your ghouls and goblins that they’re being allowed to stay up as a treat, and agreeing (in theory, at least) on a bedtime.

That said, don’t allow bedtime to become too elastic as a so-called ‘sleep hangover’ will have a negative impact on school the next day, not to mention the approximately 3 – 4 days it’ll take to properly catch up on the missed shuteye.

5. Soothe Worried Minds Before Bedtime

For the most part, you’ll be able to tailor your child’s Halloween experience to their individual fears and sensitivities, ensuring that they’re always titillated but never terrified.

You can’t, however, protect them from what they might see elsewhere during the evening. Whether it’s your neighbour’s petrifying party decorations, TV adverts that dial up the scare levels a tad too high, or even other kids’ costumes, it’s possible that your little be carrying some potentially nightmare-triggering anxiety.

So, as the evening winds down, take a break from all things spooky and reassure your little one with a soothing bath, a comforting story, or even a favourite stuffed toy. If they’re visibly scared at bedtime, consider leaving a nightlight on or the door open ajar.

However you approach bedtime, be sure to investigate and alleviate any fears they’re clinging on to for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Child sleeping soundly in Halloween-themed bedroom

Halloween sleep schedules are easily disrupted, but if you plan ahead, you’ll be able to preserve your little monsters’ bedtime and ensure everyone has a frightfully fantastic evening.

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