It is 9.30am and Susanna Reid is in her Good Morning Britain dressing room trying precisely the way you’d anticipate her to look: fuchsia bodycon frock, nude stiletto heels, extraordinarily un-January tan, full make-up and shiny blow-dry…

All this even supposing, for the previous twenty years, she has survived on only a few hours’ kip, being woken by a 3.45am alarm clock in order that she will seem on air at 6am within the high-pressure world of stay breakfast tv. Reid, it is secure to say, understands the significance of sleep higher than most.

Once we meet she’s simply wrapped right this moment’s instalment of ITV’s breakfast information present, her working day largely achieved as most of us are simply getting began. A clutch of uniformly vibrant attire hangs on the again of the door: her picks for this week’s exhibits. Reid sits in her desk swivel chair, straight-backed and alert, whereas I chill out into the couch. She has been identified to seize 40 winks the place I am at present plonked. ‘There aren’t any home windows, so as soon as the sunshine’s off it’s blackout darkish and simple to drop off,’ she says.

Napping is essential. ‘I’ve no guilt round napping. Having a guilt-free nap is without doubt one of the huge pleasures of my day,’ she says; essential, too, if you solely get round 5 hours of sleep every night time.

Susanna Reid says: 'I have no guilt around napping. Having a guilt-free nap is one of the enormous pleasures of my day'

Susanna Reid says: ‘I’ve no guilt round napping. Having a guilt-free nap is without doubt one of the huge pleasures of my day’

Proper now although, the 52-year-old could not be extra stuffed with beans. She might, actually, be the perkiest particular person I’ve ever met. She begins speaking a couple of seconds earlier than I enter the room and barely attracts breath for an hour. She’s animated, laughs raucously and is participating firm. She is, although, guarded at occasions. ‘I am very, excellent with boundaries,’ she warns. Off-limit topics embody: romantic relationships, what she worries about (‘I am not going to share that, am I?’ she says, fixing me with a glance) and whether or not menopause has impacted on her sleep patterns. ‘I will not discuss menopause, it is non-public,’ she shoots again. This makes her the one midlife lady I’ve interviewed in recent times who would not need to discuss it; I’ve to say it is fairly refreshing.

Reid is sipping a peppermint tea as a result of she’s now on ‘wind-down’ mode. ‘The caffeine begins at 4.30am. After I arrive right here there is a espresso on my desk they usually preserve coming each quarter-hour till 9am. The cups seem wherever I’m within the constructing. I’ve about eight however then no extra caffeine for the remainder of the day.’ Eight! No surprise she’s chatty.

Having grown up in Croydon and studied broadcast journalism, Reid had her big break presenting on BBC Breakfast from 2003 to 2014

Having grown up in Croydon and studied broadcast journalism, Reid had her huge break presenting on BBC Breakfast from 2003 to 2014

In relation to managing her sleep routine, Reid has an arsenal of ideas and methods up her sleeve (see panel, reverse) gleaned from knowledgeable company on her exhibits, issues she’s seen on TikTok and Instagram, in addition to old school trial and error. ‘I have been doing breakfast information for nearly 20 years,’ she says. ‘The early begins are baked into the job. From the skin it seems to be like a weird, unusual, unnatural time of the morning however for me it is simply work. You construct methods, habits and rituals for coping with it.’

Having grown up in Croydon and studied broadcast journalism, Reid had her huge break presenting on BBC Breakfast from 2003 to 2014, with the late Invoice Turnbull, earlier than shifting to Good Morning Britain in 2014. There she famously had the unenviable process of attempting to get a phrase in edgeways alongside Piers Morgan, till he left abruptly in March 2021 following feedback he made concerning the Duchess of Sussex. There’s been no everlasting male anchor since, somewhat a revolving forged together with Richard Madeley, Martin Lewis, Ed Balls and Rob Rinder.

Insomnia, she says, is just an issue the night time earlier than an enormous interview – for example, her latest forensic interrogation of then Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This was a serious deal for GMB as he’d refused to seem on the present for over 4 years, even hiding in a dairy farm’s fridge at one level to keep away from doing so. ‘At 1am, I awakened and instantly beginning studying by my notes till my alarm went off. So I solely received three hours’ sleep that night time. It wasn’t stress, extra being absolutely centered. I knew the adrenaline would get me by,’ she says. ‘However usually I rely my fortunate stars that I do not need to rely sheep.’ The secret’s being militant about these naps. ‘I’ve advised myself that, so long as I get seven hours inside a 24-hour interval, I mustn’t obsess about getting it multi function go. What relieves the anxiousness about sleep is that I do know if I solely get three or 4 hours in an evening, I can nonetheless relaxation throughout the day.’

'At this age and stage, there's less partying and more "Do you want to go for a walk in the park?",' says Reid, pictured here taking part in Strictly Come Dancing 2013

‘At this age and stage, there’s much less partying and extra “Do you need to go for a stroll within the park?”,’ says Reid, pictured right here collaborating in Strictly Come Dancing 2013

To that finish, after every present, as soon as Reid is again on the South London home she shares along with her three sons – Sam, 20, Finn, 18 and Jack, 17 – by her ex-partner, Dominic Cotton, she will get again into her pyjamas, places on a watch masks and takes a daytime nap, which generally lasts someplace between half-hour and two hours. ‘I do not set an alarm,’ she says, ‘I simply see what my physique naturally wants.’

In a while, she would go to mattress ideally at 9pm. Nevertheless, being a mum, generally that is not attainable. ‘Clearly they’ll now take care of themselves to a sure extent however they nonetheless want issues. They may are available from a soccer match or keep up doing homework and want a meal. I am like a short-order cook dinner! Or they may want a late-night raise, or they may simply desire a chat.’

Reid is acutely aware that the empty-nest part is looming. ‘Youngsters do not essentially need to spend all their time hanging out with mum, so you are taking your alternatives [where you can]. There is likely to be a time within the night after they’re slumped on the couch, watching TV and also you simply sit with them,’ she smiles. As soon as they’ve all left dwelling, she is aware of she’ll have extra time on her fingers ‘however I strive not to consider it an excessive amount of. For any mum, it is exhausting imagining all of your kids having left.’ She stresses a number of occasions that she very a lot shares the load with Cotton, who lives shut by, and with whom the boys stay for half the week. It appears like an amicable setup.

She discovered balancing her work hours and residential life simpler when the youngsters have been infants. Having labored on the BBC’s rolling information channel, she returned from her first maternity go away to start out her high-profile job on the BBC Breakfast couch and, inside 4 and half years, had three kids. That will need to have been exhausting. She shakes her head. ‘You are usually up all night time anyway since you’re feeding the child. In order that’s the purpose at which your physique clock has modified for ever. And the alarm clock going off early for BBC Breakfast coincided. The boys’ dad was clearly there after I wasn’t, so I may go and do my job. And after I was on air they have been largely sleeping. We made it work.’

It wasn’t all the time plain crusing. When the boys have been youthful, the early night ‘witching hour’ of teatime, bathtime and bedtime would conflict with the second when she wanted to prep for the subsequent day’s present and discuss with colleagues. ‘I am positive there have been occasions in my profession after I’ve been careworn or unfocused on making the tea. I’ve all the time tried to make a meal for the boys however there have been nights after they’ve had beans on toast or I’ve referred to as a supply service,’ she says. ‘However we have muddled by they usually’ve survived.’

Journalists are usually obsessive about doing their analysis however there’s one topic about which Reid stays wilfully ignorant: sleep science. ‘It is as a result of I am scared. There was numerous huge books on sleep not too long ago and I make a degree of not studying them. I am fearful they’ll say that my sleep technique is nonsense, that napping would not rely and that I’ve achieved long-term harm to my well being by persistent sleep deprivation. I do not need to know!’

Susanna presenting Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan in 2017. The breakfast TV presenter has to set a 3.45am alarm clock

Susanna presenting Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan in 2017. The breakfast TV presenter has to set a 3.45am alarm clock

She takes a extra rigorous method to weight-reduction plan, although. ‘Lack of sleep can have a connection to weight and I crave energy after I’m drained.’ She’s aware of waking from her nap and ‘going hell for leather-based within the bread bin, bingeing on all of the carbs’ and acknowledges that getting up so early means her consuming window is lengthy. Three meals can simply flip into 4, plus snacks. She eats apple slices with sunflower-seed butter earlier than happening air, has lunch late morning after which dinner (she’s been vegetarian because the age of 13) by 6pm if attainable. She goes to the health club, does Peloton and walks as a lot as attainable, discovering that train boosts her vitality ranges. She additionally gave up consuming in 2018 primarily to banish ever-lengthening hangovers. However she additionally discovered it helped her get a greater night time’s sleep. She now has exactly one drink per 12 months: a glass of Buck’s Fizz on Christmas Day. ‘I’d not need to drink once more. I feel I might be worse as a result of I have been with out alcohol for therefore lengthy it will be dreadful now.’

I wonder if she will get fomo in relation to her social life. In any case, it turns into more durable to take care of friendships as we become old and life grows busier. Throw a 9pm bedtime into the combination and it have to be virtually unimaginable. This may increasingly have been the case when she was in her 20s however not now, she says. ‘At this age and stage, there’s much less partying and extra ‘Do you need to go for a stroll within the park?’ or ‘Shall we’ve a espresso?’ she says. ‘And the variety of folks you hear joking about turning down invites as a result of they’d have to remain up previous 9pm. So I really feel like I am in sync with most of my buddies proper now.’

Reid drains the final of her peppermint tea and appears on the clock over the couch. ‘I do really feel drained loads of the time,’ she admits. ‘However I feel you possibly can select to not let it have an effect on you.’

How drained is she now? ‘Nicely, proper now I must be napping,’ she says. That is me advised. I go away her to move dwelling for a nap. I belief she’ll sleep soundly.

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