This month, Platinum columnist and Loose Women presenter Jane Moore tells us what’s on her mind at 3am when sleep is evading her.

Sleep has never been an issue for me. All my life, I have been able to drop off any time, any place, anywhere and get the recommended eight hours. But not anymore.

Getting to sleep is still relatively easy, but staying asleep is trickier and I now find myself wide awake at 3am most mornings, my brain whirring with all manner of petty problems that rarely trouble me during the day but, infuriatingly, become magnified in the dark. The other night, I spent from 2.30am to 3.30am fretting about whether I should have metal railings or a wooden fence for a garden project. I know… hardly a matter of world importance.

Sometimes, I just give in to the insomnia and get up to do some work. As a writer, it’s sometimes easier to feel inspired when the rest of the world is sleeping and your surroundings are silent. Other times, I stay in bed and read a book in the hope that sleepiness will return.

On the rare occasions that it does, I have those wonderfully crazy dreams that shallow sleep often brings. But most of the time, I’m surviving on around five hours sleep a night, and by 3pm in the afternoon, I get that jet-lag feeling and yearn for a power nap. Which is fine if you’re at home and having a quiet day, but not so great if you have a day of meetings and plans in the evening.

Although Margaret Thatcher famously said she could easily survive on four hours sleep and still run the country, I struggle to even run a bath effectively if I don’t feel rested. According to Dr Michael Mosley, who has written a book about sleep (4 Weeks To Better Sleep, £14.99), it’s not necessarily the quantity you get, but the quality that matters. He says there are four stages.

Light sleep, from which you can easily be woken, then you go slightly deeper, and then, hopefully, you enter what he describes as the “really critical” deep sleep phase, which is when “memories accumulated during the day get shifted from short-term storage into long-term storage”. Which probably explains why, on days when I’m tired, I struggle to retain information because it feels like my short-term memory is full.

Deep sleep also causes your lymphatic system to open up and wash away the day’s accumulated toxins. The fourth phase is REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is when you have the intense dreams that Dr Mosley reckons are so important for emotional regulation.


We all know about “sleep hygiene”, of course, where we’re supposed to heighten the chances of a good night’s kip by going to bed at a regular time, making sure the bedroom is dark and not too hot, and removing the temptation of any electronic devices that stimulate the brain. But I have tried all that and, although I’m sometimes rewarded with seven hours straight (utter heaven), for the most part I’m still counting sheep at 3am.

‘Once upon a time, we all just went to bed, went to sleep and didn’t think about it. We have to rediscover the joy of that,’ says Dr Mosley. Indeed. But that was the time before computers and smart phones, when we mostly went about our lives in a bubble of blissful mental solitude, uninterrupted by external forces such as rolling news, emails coming in 24/7 and the pings of various WhatsApp groups.

I know that the internet has made our lives easier in many ways, but it also means people can get in touch with you immediately with trivial issues they might otherwise have solved themselves in the days when they had to write to you or catch you at home on a landline. And with just about every big company “moving online”, it has become harder, not easier, to deal with life’s bureaucracy.

My to-do list is the longest it’s ever been, and most of it involves trying to get hold of a human being to sort out an issue about an appointment or a utility bill. Women in particular pride themselves on the ability to multi-task, but if this tips over into what’s known as a “hyperactive hive mind” then it’s harder to switch it off at bedtime.

Luckily for me, I’m a dab hand at a power nap and can easily grab 10 minutes between meetings. It recharges my batteries in the short term. But long term? Charles Dickens once said: ‘I find the nights long, for I sleep but little, and think much.’ So hey, I’m in good company.

Jane’s Diary

It has always been a dream of mine to see the gorillas in Rwanda, and here I am doing just that. To be so close to these incredible creatures in their natural habitat was mind-blowing.

Look of the month

With Barbie fever showing no signs of abating, check out this fun and free way to see yourself as the plastic princess. All you do is upload a photo on and voilà. Here I am looking hilariously Baywatch!

Buy of the month

Fresh flowers are lovely, but expensive if you buy them regularly. So I have brightened up my hallway with this fake bouquet from Dunelm. It cost £40 but lasts forever.

Look out for Jane’s regular column in each issue of Platinum, or read her previous column here!

Words: Jane Moore, Images: Shutterstock, Jane Moore & Various brands