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Dan Walker chatted to us about how waking up later has affected his day-to-day.
Dan Walker and his *new sleep routine* at 5 News

Life has changed quite a bit since I changed jobs. 

I miss all the people at BBC Breakfast. The 3 am alarm didn’t bother me too much because I loved the job, but it’s nice to see my family in the mornings. 

I do feel a lot more alive nowadays. I used to be a little bit like a zombie by a Wednesday, and I don’t have that anymore. I still wake up early but not at 3 am - I’m normally up and about by 6:30 am (even on a lazy day).

I did wake up crazy early a few times for the first week at 5 News.

I quite enjoyed waking up at 3 am knowing I didn’t actually have to get up. But I’m pretty settled into my new routine now. 

I texted Sally Nugent on the first Monday after I left Breakfast and had a laugh about not needing to be up at stupid o’clock. It makes the weekends a lot more fun because you don’t have to manage things around the Monday morning madness.


When it comes to my bedtime routine, I try not to think about it too much. 

I do the normal teeth brushing business and then just crawl under the covers. I sometimes watch a bit of golf in bed if they’re playing in the US. I do check my phone too, which probably isn’t a good thing. 

Someone gave me some of that lavender pillow spray once. I used it for about 2 nights and then lost it down the back of the bed in a hotel. No idea if it helped or not…


I’m a two pillow man. 

I like to have a pillow for my head and one to wrestle with or grab. I have no idea when that started, but if I can’t find a second pillow when I’m away a cushion will do. I’ve even used a bag and a coat in the past. 

I also close the blinds if there are any. I know I tend to sleep better when it’s really dark. I realised that when I went to visit a friend in France and he had those pitch black shutters - I didn’t wake up until 10 am!


I’ve never really needed much sleep. 

I’ve always got up early and gone to bed late. Even when I was up at 3 am I wouldn’t be asleep until 10:30 pm or 11 pm. That’s why it’s important for me to have a decent bed. When I’m in it, I’m asleep.

I did get called a ‘deluded mutant’ by a well-known TV doctor recently for my sleep schedule, but I think he meant it in a nice way. I told him that during Strictly Come Dancing, because I was still doing all my normal work and learning to dance at the same time, there were 2 weeks when I slept for fewer than 24 hours. I would not recommend that to anyone.


My sleep advice is try not to worry about it too much. 

I think that the people who tend to worry about how little they sleep or how much they have to get are the ones who continue to struggle with a good night's kip. 

I think if I need to sleep more, I will. And I very rarely tend to go back to bed. Once I’m up, I’m up.


Want to read more about Dan’s 3 am wake up routine back when he worked at BBC Breakfast? Head over to his start fresh article.