Virtuoso Life - July/August 2017 - 71
SCIENCE - AND HOTELS - TO THE RESCUE FOR A BETTER NIGHT'S SLEEP.
DR. TARA SWART,
NEUROSCIENTIST IN RESIDENCE, CORINTHIA HOTEL LONDON
HERE'S MORE TO A GOOD
night's rest than counting
sheep. As part of the Corinthia
Hotel London's new Neuroscientist in Residence initiative, Dr.
Tara Swart worked with housekeeping, restaurant, and spa
staff to develop programs and
amenities designed to provide
guests with a more restorative
and mindful stay. The initiative
goes deeper than pillow talk:
Over the course of a year, Swart,
an MIT lecturer, leadership coach,
and former practicing psychiatrist, is also conducting a study of
the mental resilience of 40 hotel
staff members. We lay down on
her virtual couch to find out how
to sleep better on our next trip -
and return more relaxed.
ANY HACKS WE CAN STEAL FROM YOUR
WORK AT THE CORINTHIA? "As part
of the Brain Power Package, we
provide cashmere bed socks to
keep your extremities warm; lavender pillow spray, which helps
regulate mood and induce sleep;
and a warm drink at bedtime
to help travelers get the best
WHAT'S THE OPTIMUM AMOUNT OF
SLEEP? "Seven to nine hours of
good-quality sleep per night is
crucial for your brain's health,
both long- and short-term. While
we sleep, our glymphatic system
cleans our brains, removing
neurotoxins in a process that
takes between seven and eight
hours. There are people who say
they can survive on much less, but
they're a genetic anomaly - one
to two percent of the population."
TEXTING IN BED: YES OR NO? "No.
Darkness triggers the pineal gland
to release the sleep-inducing
hormone, melatonin. However, the
blue light from screens confuses
the gland into thinking it's natural
light, therefore preventing the
release of melatonin and making
it harder to fall asleep. I suggest
putting your phone away an hour
before bed and sleeping in complete darkness."
HOW CAN WE MINIMIZE JET LAG? "Fast
for up to 12 hours before arriving
in a time zone with a difference of
more than five hours. Sleep/wake
and hunger/thirst are basic drives
for the brain. Essentially starving
yourself encourages your brain to
stay alert until you find food."
WHEN IN SPAIN (OR A POOL CABANA),
SIESTA OR NO? "I absolutely think
naps are a good idea. A 30-minute
nap improves your learning and
memory. A 60- to 90-minute nap
will support the formation of new
neural connections, which aids
creativity and helps you retain information - this is why Google has
sleep pods for their employees.
My friend who is a sleep neuroscientist naps for 90 minutes a day."
Brain Power Package from
$1,298 for two, including a twohour massage and yoga nidra
session per person, and a threecourse neuro-nutrition meal.
J U LY | AU G U ST 2 0 17