So how do you not just survive this week, but make the most of it and thrive? Let's start with the big one: Sleep. Even in normal circumstances, most people don't get enough of it. Too many, including plenty at Davos, still buy into the delusion that sleep deprivation is a kind of badge of honor, or at least the price we have to pay to get ahead. But the science tells us – conclusively – the opposite: We're more productive, creative, make better decisions and perform better cognitively when we're well-rested.
But sleep is even more challenging when you're traveling across several time zones. Jet-lag can wreak real havoc, leading to depression, faulty memory and impaired judgment – not exactly the recipe for a productive week.
There are proven ways to mitigate jet-lag. First tip: Put down that food. Researchers have found that when food is plentiful, our circadian rhythms are strongly linked to cycles of light and dark. But when food is scarce, our system uncouples from the light-dark cycle to allow for more time to find food, helping you adjust more quickly to your new time zone. Research suggests that not eating at all for around 16 hours can trigger this response. So, for a 10-hour flight, you should stop eating six hours before and then refrain from those in-fight goodies during the flight itself.
Or, there's actually something called the Anti-Jet-Lag-Diet, created by the biologist Charles Ehret. Four days before your flying, alternate two cycles of feasting and fasting, switching every two days, making sure to sync the last fasting day with your travel day.
Though one of the best jet-lag tips is this: Don't start off already lagging! Getting ready for any work trip can be nearly as hectic as being there, so don't forget to get enough sleep where it's easiest: In your own bed.
So, now you've touched down, and, however jet-lagged, you need to get some sleep while you're in Davos. Even when you're not at a bustling conference, sleep in any new venue is challenging. And scientists know why. It's called the "first night-effect." What happens is that on our first night in a new environment, parts of our brains stay active and alert for threats (which at the WEF might mean someone breaking into your room and disrupting your sleep to talk about disruption).
So because you can't control being in a new environment, you should control what you can. Along with your winter boots -- and, if you're adventurous, your ski gear -- make sure to bring your regular nighttime routine with you (it takes up no space in your carry-on). Sleep in your regular nighttime clothes, drink the same tea, read the same book. Whatever your routine is, keep it…routine. And, very important – don't sleep with your phone on or near your bed. Our devices are our repositories of everything we need to distance ourselves from to go to sleep – our work, to-do-lists, worries and anxieties. So physically distancing yourself from your phone will help you sleep, and ensure you both wake up fully charged.