I don't like to waste time sleeping: Susan de Muth in bed with Derrick Evans

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Derrick Evans, aka 'Mr Motivator', 42, is a fitness instructor. He appears on GMTV every weekday morning. He is a single parent and lives with his three children in London.

BED was always a pretty crowded place when I was growing up in Jamaica. My adoptive parents looked after other people's kids as well and there were usually four or five of us tucked up together - I go in for a bit more privacy these days]

We'd be told a bedtime story, which would either scare us to death or instruct us. My favourite was about a guy who went looking for a party when he heard phantom music in the night and ended up lost for three days. That's a warning I've taken to heart: I've never been one to dance the night away and if I do go out I'm ready for home by 12.

Equilibrium is a key word in my lifestyle and I steer clear of anything that disturbs it. I keep a regular sleep pattern and don't drink. Not that I don't have tremendous fun watching other people get drunk - it's lovely if you're out with a lady and you watch her steadily change with each glass of wine.

One thing I do like to do at night is walk around outdoors. In Jamaica it's great - the sky seems so close and you can hear the crickets chirping and the frogs croaking - but in London it's just too dangerous. Am I a good fighter? Hey, I'm a lover not a fighter. But I'm a very good runner]

My kids (Caroline, 22, Ebony, 17, and James, 10) all live with me and we're very close. I give them a lot of love and attention and that can cause conflicts when I've got a girlfriend. It's hard for a person to come into a situation that's already made. I'm seeing someone at the moment and this time I at least know the importance of talking it over before problems arise. But it's too early to start casting things in cement.

My bedroom is where I escape and I treasure those private moments. I just lie down and listen to music or read fitness magazines and try out some new moves. I sometimes work out exercises people could do in bed instead of getting up - I mean stretching and stomach work, not sex. Though sex is very good for you, too - your heart rate rises to 150 beats per minute, or 220 for you ladies.

I do a lot of thinking alone in my room. I look through books and find motivational quotes to keep in my head, like 'the price of success is perseverance'. I look in the mirror and say: 'You look good.' When it's time to go to sleep I put on my boxer shorts and take off my glasses - I know my way around my own bed. I never sleep more than five hours. I want to give my body time to repair itself but no more. I once worked out that if you sleep for eight hours a night, over three days, you've wasted a whole day sleeping.

I recently started waking myself up every time I have a dream and writing it down. I'm trying to confirm the feeling I often have that I've dreamt a person or a place before I've actually encountered them in real life. I want to be able to look it up in my dream records and prove it to myself. Apart from that I don't know how much I should bother with interpreting my dreams. A while back, when I was struggling and felt my life was out of my control, I used to have a lot of dreams about falling. Now they're more about getting on, travelling to new places.

Last week I had a horrible experience when I was asleep. It felt as though a massive weight was pushing down on my chest and I couldn't get up. I suppose this is to do with the restrictions in my life these days. Some I impose on myself, but some are imposed on me. That's the nature of being on television.

I don't need an alarm clock. At around 5am my limbs start twitching and throwing themselves all over the place and I know it's time to get up. I do stretching exercises before choosing what to wear, giving myself a few positive messages, and heading for the studio.

(Photograph omitted)

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