Surviving Long Flights: 10 tips to ease the discomfort

Consider using melatonin or a non-prescription sleeping aid such as Excedrin PM. Many veteran travelers claim they no longer suffered from major jet lag when they used melatonin. On either end of the trip take 2.5 milligrams for three nights. Check the caplets, as the dosage varies. Take the melatonin for three nights after you arrive at your destination to help you adjust to the new time zone and take it for three nights after you return home.

Airplane Stretches

Exercise and stretching are simple activities you can do to minimize the chances of suffering from Economy-Class Syndrome. If you're self-conscious about doing these stretches in your seat and worry that passengers around you may stare or think you're weird, then do them in the bathroom.

Shoulder shrug: Lift the top of your shoulders toward your ears until you feel mild tension in your shoulders and your neck. Hold your shoulders raised to your ears for 5 seconds then relax and resume your normal posture. Do this 2-3 times every two hours.

Back twist: Interlace your fingers behind your head and raise your elbows straight out parallel to the floor and level with your ears. Now pull your elbows backward and your shoulder blades toward each other. You'll feel a tension through your upper back and shoulder blades. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then relax. Do it several times. This is a particularly good exercise to do when you've been sitting immobile and your shoulders and upper back are tense or tight.

Head roll: Begin with your head in a comfortable, aligned position. Then slowly tilt your head to the left side to stretch the muscles on the side of your neck. Hold this stretch for 10-20 seconds. You should feel a good, even stretch. Don't overdo it! Then tilt your head to the right side and stretch. Repeat this exercise 2-3 times on each side.

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