The Surprising Way Deepak Chopra Gets Over Jet Lag (Hint: It Has to Do with Taking Your Shoes Off)

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In the world of wellness, there are few figures who have made as great an impact as best-selling author, doctor and non-profit founder, Dr. Deepak Chopra. This past summer, PureWow hosted an intimate conversation and meditation with Dr. Chopra at Gallery Beach House in East Hampton, where guests learned about his sleep, nutrition and travel hacks. Since he’s a true jetsetter (Dr. Chopra often finds himself in multiple countries each month) we knew we had to get the inside scoop on how he beats jet lag before our next trip. Below, Dr. Chopra’s secret to not letting jet lag ruin an otherwise awesome travel experience: grounding. 

Meet the Expert

Dr. Deepak Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego, and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of more than 90 books translated into more than 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His Chopra app and non-profit foundation provide accessible well-being tools to all. 

Deepak Chopra Rob Kim PureWow
Deepak Chopra (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for We The Planet)

What Is Jet Lag, Anyway?

Defined as a temporary sleep disorder by the Mayo Clinic, jet lag is the disruption of your circadian rhythm due to quickly changing time zones. Symptoms like daytime fatigue, lack of alertness and irritability are feelings we can all relate to after a long day on the move. In addition to sleep, your circadian cycle also has an impact on regulating hormones, including your hunger hormones—so if you find yourself on vacation craving pancakes for dinner, don’t judge yourself! It’s simply your internal alarm clock that needs a reset. 

What Is Grounding?

Grounding, aka “earthing” is a technique that dates back to ancient civilizations relating to recognizing the healing properties of the earth. It’s often practiced by holistic wellness enthusiasts today. The concept is based on considering the Earth as a natural “battery” that, when reconnected with, can provide healing properties such as decreasing inflammation, stress and resetting our circadian rhythm, which is *key* to lessening the effects of jet lag. There are various ways to try grounding, from walking barefoot or lying on the ground outside to using grounding equipment, like this grounding mat that Amazon shoppers say helps them feel more calm and relaxed.

Although studies around grounding are limited, some studies, like this one by researchers in the Developmental and Cell Biology Department, University of California at Irvine, have shown that the practice can help with feelings of anxiety and improve mood. Another study published in the Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine found that, as a tool for post-exercise recovery, grounding can contribute to lower pain levels.

Ready to Beat Jet Lag? Try Dr. Chopra’s Grounding Technique 

“A well-kept secret to beat jet lag is to take off your shoes and walk in the grass, as soon as you arrive at your destination,” Dr. Chopra tells us. “Touch a tree, or walk on the beach without your shoes, if that’s available. By doing this, you immediately connect to the earth. This is a good reason to hug a tree!” Referencing the main tenet of grounding, he explains, “The earth is a battery, and so is your body. When you connect to the Earth, negative ions transfer to you, and neutralize accessory radicals. Inflammation goes down. In just half an hour, your body and the Earth’s circadian rhythm will sync, helping your sleep schedule get back on track.”

Although we’re intrigued by the idea that a simple walk on the beach can get rid of jet lag, we won’t be skipping our Venti vanilla latte ritual anytime soon…you know, just in case. 

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