Coffee, for starters.
If you thought living life as a TV star was all free clothes and glamorous soirees, you’d be sadly mistaken, as Sunrise’s Natalie Barr can attest.
The top-rating brekkie show has seen her up at 3am for 14 years – but the early mornings never get easier.
“It’s like dealing with a newborn. You kind of get used to being tired and dealing with a lack of sleep. You plan ahead and book daytime naps in your diary a couple of times a week but you never, ever really quite get enough. After nearly 15 years of getting up at 3am, I am now officially a terrible sleeper. I go to bed around 7:30pm, but I’m often wide awake by around 1:45am. But after all these years I still really love my job, I love the thrill of nearly four hours of live TV each day so I’m not complaining.”
We quizzed the 49-year-old mum of two on her top advice for getting in and getting it done.
Stick with the one coffee
“My alarm goes at 2:45am and after a shower and quick hair wash (yes every day) I make my one and only coffee at home (my husband has a great machine) and I drink it in my little cup as I drive to work listening to the radio each day. It is a strong one though!”
Get the kids on-board
“When I started this job, I had one 18-month-old baby. He’s now about to turn 16. And my other son is 12. So, their whole life I’ve been on Sunrise. It’s not a regular job – the routine affects the whole family. When they were little, it was a bloody nightmare frankly. Getting them to bed, getting to work when they’d been up all night for the million reasons that kids don’t sleep, being strung out and tired and hating parenting like we all do sometimes, then fronting up to work, like all parents have to do. But now it’s much easier. They know I have to go to bed before them and they have to be quiet. I’m the only school mum who does that.”
Prep the night before
“I have my clothes in the bathroom the night before so when my alarm goes off I’m straight up, no snooze button, ever. Then it’s into the shower, out, coffee made, and into the car. No messing around. The exact same thing every day. I hardly go out mid-week because everything is on after 7:30pm. I miss parent-teacher nights, school events, social events. I get slightly frustrated by footy training nights because I’m standing there in the middle of winter willing the coach to wrap it up!”
Leave a margin for error
“I’m the earliest in to the office and I build in extra time because my motto is ‘if you’re on time, you’re late!’ Last time it happened, I raced into the shower, skipped the hair wash (not the coffee) and still made it. The hardest thing is not panicking on the drive in because you feel all out of whack and that can be dangerous.”
Barr has partnered with the Federal Government’s Return of Unwanted Medicinescampaign to educate Australians on how to dispose of old medicines responsibly.
Why? In 2015, 5580 children were hospitalised due to medicine poisonings, but the issue could be alleviated by taking unwanted medicines to a pharmacy for safe disposal.