With the peak
business and holiday season upon us, Corinthia Hotel London’s Neuroscientist in Residence explains her 10 Top Tips on how to beat jetlag, the one thing that
can often spoil any long-haul trip.
holiday is good for the brain,” says renowned neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart. “It
gives us the opportunity to rest and recalibrate and go on a digital detox from
our smartphones, laptops and tablets.
effect of long-haul flying on the brain can be extremely disruptive. Research
carried out by the University of California, Berkeley shows that acute
disruption of circadian rhythms (our biological clock), causes memory and
learning problems and long-term changes in brain anatomy, long after travellers
have returned to their regular schedule.”
In a three-phase
approach: pre-trip; in-flight; and on arrival, Tara has created 10 Top Tips to
your internal rhythms before you fly. Depending on whether you are flying east
or west, exposure to additional light in the morning or afternoon a number of
days before departure will help the body make the necessary adjustments
use prescribed sleeping tablets for a maximum of two days either side of a trip
that involves more than a four-hour time difference.
until breakfast time in the new time zone will help ‘un-stick’ and re-anchor
the body’s rhythms
at least 500ml of water for every 15kg of body weight. This will help to limit
the particularly dehydrating effects of high altitude.
and do some aerobic exercise once you arrive - this will help wake up the body
and boost mental performance
yourself to as much daylight as possible during the day
your sleep routine to the local time zone as quickly as possible by choosing
optimal travel times. Allow your eyes to observe the transition from light to
dark after arrival. Our internal body clock is controlled by the sleep-inducing
hormone melatonin, which is released by the pineal gland into our bloodstream
when it gets dark
alcohol before bed as it does not induce a natural sleep that allows your body
drinking coffee after 2pm to mitigate its impact on the quality of your sleep
your use of blue light-emitting devices, like smartphones, an hour or so before
bed; they trick the pineal gland into thinking it is day time and so inhibit
Dr Tara Swart
is Corinthia Hotel London’s Neuroscientist in Residence. The partnership is a
world first for any hotel group. As part of the year-long residency, Tara is
giving talks at the hotel and researching mental resilience of people across
various business sectors, including hotel staff, which will generate a Brain
Power Study to be published this summer.