Beat Jetlag with these Neuroscience Hacks

June 27, 2019


I fly a lot. My work often takes me across several time zones. I travel to see clients in the USA and Australia, both a long way from my home in the U.K. and on very different latitudes. Twice a year, I spend a significant amount of time at MIT Sloan where my body clock adjusts totally and then I return home to face the re-adjustment! I’m passionate about exploring in my spare time. I love to visit different places and experience new cultures. But I understand - perhaps too much - how flying long haul can be detrimental to brain and bodily function. My professional experience as a medical doctor, neuroscientist and also as an executive advisor (now “in residence at Annabel’s, Mayfair”*) has led me to think about the way long distance journeys impact on my own and my clients’ cognitive performance. In looking at the different effects of long-haul flights on sleep quality, physical function and hydration alongside our capacity for high-level thinking, problem solving and mood, I have devised some tried-and-tested jetlag offset strategies that will help you adjust quickly to a change in time zone and ensure you don’t start or finish your business trip or your holiday with compromised brain function. A word of advance warning, the ideal combination of strategies equates to sensory deprivation but you will thank me for it!


I’ve used various hydrating face masks but one that was recommended to me by a flight attendant is Patchology and I buy it from Anthropologie. For years, I relied on facial spritzes – always traveling with a mini one in my handbag, but the evaporating action of the spray means they could make you lose moisture rather than locking it in. The ultimate antidote to dry cabin air is an in-depth treatment such as a sheet mask followed up with regular moisturizing cream. This isn’t simply about vanity. Arriving for an important client meeting looking tired and drawn reduces your impact, presence and authority compared to being fresh-faced and energetic.