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Best worst choice: taking a red-eye

The gist: 

Red-eye flights are often the most efficient option if you want to make the most of your vacation days or a business trip. Certain strategies will help you feel energized when you land. 

Expert insight: 

If you’re not crossing time zones, eat dinner when you normally would, says Zach Moore, CSCS, a Precision Nutrition coach in Bloomington, Indiana. Otherwise, shift your meal time a little closer to that of your destination. (For example, when flying from LA to NYC, you might eat around 4 p.m. when it’s 7 p.m. on the East Coast.) Skip the onboard dinner if it’s served too early or too late. Eating right before dozing off or at an unusual time messes with your circadian rhythm. 

During the flight, take your joints through their full range of motion to avoid aches and stiffness, Moore adds. You don’t need to be too strict about frequency since you’ll likely sleep most of the time—just do a few moves, like leg swings and overhead reaches with shoulder circles, when you have to use the restroom. 

The bottom line: 

If it’s nighttime in your destination, make sleep a top priority on red-eye flights, Moore notes. Take melatonin an hour before you board to help you nod off.