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.