Neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart Shares Top 10 Tips on How to Beat Jetlag

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With the peak business and holiday travel season upon us, Corinthia Hotel London's Neuroscientist in Residence shared her top 10 tips for how to beat jetlag. In a three-phase approach: pre-trip; in-flight; and on arrival, Dr. Tara Swart said the following 10 tips will help travelers overcome jetlag: 

Pre-trip

  • Shift your internal rhythms before you fly. Depending on where you are flying (east or west), exposure to additional light in the morning or afternoon for a number of days before departure will help the body make the necessary adjustments 
  • Only use prescribed sleeping tablets for a maximum of two days on either side of a trip that involves more than a four-hour time difference

In-Flight

  • Fasting until breakfast time in the new time one will help to re-anchor the body's rhythms
  • Drink at least 16 ounces for every 33 pounds of body weight. This will help to limit the dehydrating effects of high altitude 

On Arrival 

  • Do some aerobic exercise upon arrival – this will help to wake the body up and boost mental performance
  • Expose yourself to as much daylight as possible during the day
  • Adjust your sleep routine to the local time zone 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 your bloodstream when it gets dark 
  • Avoid alcohol before bed as it does not induce a natural sleep that will allow your body to recover
  • Avoid drinking coffee after 2 p.m. to mitigate its impact on the quality of your sleep
  • Limit the use of blue light-emitting devices, like smartphones, an hour or so before bed; they trick the pineal gland into thinking it's day time and so inhibit melatonin production

Dr. Tara Swart is Cortinthia Hotel London's Neuroscientist in Residence – a partnership that is a world first for any hotel group. As part of her year-long residency, Tara is giving talks at the hotel and researching the mental resilience of people across various business sectors. Her studies will lend themselves to a Brain Power Study to be published in summer 2017.

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