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Chilli, Chocolate on Qantas' Recipe for Beating Jet Lag

Qantas, in collaboration with the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre, conducted a groundbreaking research project to minimise the effects of jet lag on long-haul flights. Passengers participating in this study were subject to a carefully designed travel experience, which included adjusted lighting, sleep schedules and meals with specific ingredients like chilli and chocolate. Yes, you read that right! 


Chilli, chocolate, dairy products, comforting soups, fast-acting carbohydrates, and proteins like fish and chicken are known to boost the production of Tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes sleep.  


Twenty-three passengers volunteered for the experience, and researchers monitored them on the 20-hour flight using wearable technology, which tracked their sleep, movement, and light exposure. They were also required to complete a test to ascertain reaction time and attentiveness, as well as keep a daily log for a week prior to the flight, during the flight and two weeks after the flight to document their experience.   


All the passengers who adhered to this well-tailored experience experienced less severe jet lag and improved sleep quality while onboard their flight. In the days following the flight, passengers also showed enhanced cognitive performance and general well-being. 


Peter Cistulli, Professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Sydney, said, "The early results are promising, and it's given us great momentum to look to the next stage of customer research to support Project Sunrise product and service design." 


The ten-member team comprised multi-disciplinary experts from medicine, science, and engineering backgrounds, including sleep researchers, circadian experts, nutrition experts, and movement experts, to monitor and log the progress of Project Sunrise. 


The new A350s for Project Sunrise flights will also feature a dedicated Wellbeing Zone to offer Economy passengers a space for stretching and guided exercise routines to ensure further passenger comfort. 


Brookfield Aviation International commends Qantas' commitment to revolutionising long-distance travel by enhancing customer experience and well-being and looks forward to jet lag-free travel in the upcoming years. 


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