'Never more than two alarms.' A day in the life of a morning host who's up at 4AM.

Thanks to our brand partner, Nivea

What are you doing at 3.50am? If you're a human doing what a human usually does at this time, you're probably in a deep, calming sleep.

But not this one (sticks out thumbs and points in my direction) - I'm just starting out my day as the host of Mamamia's news podcast The Quicky.

Now I will start this with a disclaimer that I have been doing pre-4am wakeups for about 17 years now so I have lost all ability to stay awake at night or sleep in the morning.

So this 4am business is quite normal for me but that doesn’t mean I don't feel it.

To combat the early rising I have to make sure I stick to a pretty regimented routine and I can tell immediately when I'm straying from it or just being lazy because stuff starts to happen. 

Things like the skin on my heels will get super dry and start to crack, I'll get breakouts from not drinking enough water or eating badly because I'm tired, and I'll find myself struggling to stay awake anytime after 12pm.

I'm also the mum of a VERY active five-year-old so napping in the afternoon is not an option.

Hiding from the harsh light of day under my sunnies. Image: Supplied. 

Aside from school pickup and sport runs and homework, have you ever tried to fall asleep with a tiny human in the room? I once woke up on the couch after mine whacked me in the face because she wanted me to watch her. Her face was also approximately 12mm away from mine when I opened my eyes which, while cute, is also quite terrifying. 


So here are the five rules of the early riser, from my experience.

1. Never more than two alarms.

I've been told there are people out there who set 10 alarms to get themselves out of bed in the morning, which must leave you feeling horrendous for the first part of your day. Ten interruptions to sleep can't be good for you, so I set one to get me out of the deep sleep and the second, which is a different sound to the first, to tell me the get-out-of-bed deadline has arrived.

2. The skincare routine is non-negotiable.

I have pretty dry skin and it goes through a lot day by day, hour after hour. So any skipping of moisturising has consequences.

In some cases, if I leave it too long I'll get an eczema outbreak on my lower legs which take AGES to clear up. 

Besides my usual face skincare routine involving moisturisers, I've been starting a body routine. On my body, I've been using the new Nivea Aloe and Hydration body lotion. It's a 48-hour deep moisturiser that soothes for naturally beautiful soft skin. It smells divine too but doesn't set off any reaction, which is great for my skin.

Any skipping of moisturising has consequences! Image: Supplied. 

 3. Go to bed when you say you should.

It's very tempting to stay up late and binge watch all the things, especially if your bedtime almost coincides with your kid's. That time to yourself is just so good, but on this I cannot be more clear: GO TO BED!! Try a decent hour to give you enough time to fall asleep, and then get the hours you need to give your body the time it needs to rest and repair.


Remember too that going to bed can also be the best time to give your skin a boost. I keep a bottle of Nivea Rich Nourishing 48-hour intensive moisturising care on my bedside table to touch up those areas that need some extra love, like hands, elbows, knees and feet.

I regularly chuck on a soothing mask when I first lay down, letting that soak in as I read a trashy romance novel to get my mind off the serious news of the day, and if I'm having some breakout troubles I am obsessed with spot minimising patches. If you're like me and can't leave a pimple alone, they stop me from picking at those awful blind hormonal zits. 

 4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!

Drink all the water all throughout the day, especially as soon as you get up. Let that bod of yours know you're giving it the baseline thing it needs to survive regularly. Drinking water before tea or coffee so that you get hydrated before putting in something that dehydrates you helped me stop getting those niggly little headaches. You know, the ones that aren't really that bad but just sort of hang around. It helps.

5. You don't have to eat breakfast when you wake up.

I feel like we're told that if you skip breakfast you've set yourself up for a bad day ahead. But for those of us who get up before the sun, the thought of eating at 4 or 5am doesn't feel great. I tried for years to make breakfast a part of my routine but it just didn't work, so I now eat when my body tells me it needs to.

If that means breakfast at 10.30, then so be it. So from when I wake up to the first meal, I drink water and have a cup or two of green tea.

These are just my rules that have helped me get through all these years as an early riser but everyone is different.

My Quicky colleague Ian Camilleri has breakfast religiously each morning because his gut is on a different time schedule than mine. He also goes to bed way later than me - our clocks are definitely not synched! 

So I think the lesson is, be kind to yourself. Early mornings aren't for everyone and when you add in parenting responsibilities, life admin and all the rest, it can wear you down over time. So a nice shower, a lather up of your favourite moisturiser and good sleep is always a good way to hit the reset button.

What are your daily essentials? Are you an early riser too?

Your skin goes through a lot, day by day, hour after hour. Reward it with NIVEA Body Lotion’s deep moisture serum for 48h deep* moisture you can feel and see. *upper layer of the epidermis.