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9 Easy Ways To Prevent Car Sickness

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Whether you’re travelling for work or are going on a road trip with friends, it can be tough to have a great time when you’re feeling dizzy and nauseous all the time. While some people suffer from motion sickness as a condition, others feel sick occasionally due to a variety of reasons. Fortunately though, there are several simple ways in which you can prevent motion sickness so that your trips are filled more with great memories than headaches.


1. Get Behind The Wheel

9 Ways To Prevent Car Sickness

The worst seat in a car for a person suffering from car sickness is the back seat. That’s where you would be most affected by the movements of the car and are more likely to develop sickness. This can easily be avoided by hopping on to the driver’s seat. If you can’t drive, the next best seat is the one next to the driver. So the next time you’re off on a long drive, either drive or call dibs on the passenger seat.


2. Gaze At The Horizonc

9 Ways To Prevent Car Sickness

The American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery recommends that people who experience motion sickness should be seated facing forward and avoid reading while travelling.1 A good way to avoid feeling dizzy would be look at distant object or at the horizon. This can trick your brain to believing that you’re not really moving. Alternatively, you could just close your eyes.


3. Watch What You Eat

9 Ways To Prevent Car Sickness

If you know you have a long drive coming up, one of the ways you can avoid car sickness is by being careful about what you eat. Stay away from foods that your know will make you feel heavy or bloated. Also, alcohol and smoking are a big no. Foods that are greasy and/or spicy could also cause nauseous, so it’s best to avoid them. Eat light and make sure you’re well hydrated before your start your trip.


4. Keep Nibbling

9 Ways To Prevent Car Sickness

Don’t let nausea scare you into travelling with an empty stomach. This could worsen your condition. Long hours with an empty stomach could lead to acidity and you could end up feeling more nauseous. While it’s important to eat light before beginning your travel, it’s also good to have light snacks along the way to make sure your stomach is not completely empty. Just take care that the food you eat is low on fat and not too spicy. Here’s a list of 7 foods that can relieve you from motion sickness.


5. Try Talking Yourself Out

9 Ways To Prevent Car Sickness

The voice in your head can act as a powerful tool to stop yourself from getting car sick. A study conducted on naval cadets found that telling sailors that they will not get seasick actually resulted in them not getting seasick.2 Words can act as a ‘verbal placebo’ to help you when you’re feeling car sick. So talk to yourself. Telling yourself that you’re not going to be car sick could help you feel better.


6. Focus On Your Breath

9 Ways To Prevent Car Sickness

If you’re stuck in a situation where nothing works, it’s time to turn inwards and focus on your breath. A study of 46 people with motion sickness found that those who took slow, deep breaths had fewer symptoms than those who breathed normally or counted their breaths.3 If you’re feeling dizzy while travelling, try to remain still and focus on your breath. Focusing your mind on the your breath can help create balance and calm.


7. Have Some Ginger

9 Ways To Prevent Car Sickness

There have been many studies that have shown ginger as an effective remedy against motion sickness.4 Having ginger is a preventive measure and hence works best when you take it before starting your travel. You could sip on ginger tea, have lozenge, or take a ginger root capsule. It’s a natural and easy cure for motion sickness.


8. Get Some Fresh Air

9 Ways To Prevent Car Sickness

Travelling in a car with the windows up can get stuffy. Also, experiencing motion sickness makes you feel sweaty and uncomfortable. Sometimes, a little bit of air help you feel fresh and relaxed, especially on long drives. To feel better, you also take frequent short breaks to stop the car, splash some water, and walk for a bit before you start again.


9. Pop A Pill

9 Ways To Prevent Car Sickness

If you have severe motion sickness, you could opt for over-the-counter medications for motion sickness. It’s best to take the medication 30 min to an hour before when you think you might feel sick. Most of these medications also have sedative effects making you feel sleepy. So avoid them if you need to take the wheel. If you’re already on medications, consult your doctor before you take any motion sickness pills.

Not all these remedies will work for everyone. If you suffer from motion sickness regularly, it’s a process of trial and error to figure out what works for you. However, if your symptoms are severe, see a doctor to find the underlying cause of the sickness.

References   [ + ]

1. Dizziness and Motion Sickness. The American Academy of Otolaryngology.
2. Eden, Dov, and Yaakov Zuk. “Seasickness as a self-fulfilling prophecy: raising self-efficacy to boost performance at sea.” Journal of Applied Psychology 80, no. 5 (1995): 628.
3. Motion Sickness. University of Maryland Medical Center.
4. Lien, Han-Chung, Wei Ming Sun, Yen-Hsueh Chen, Hyerang Kim, William Hasler, and Chung Owyang. “Effects of ginger on motion sickness and gastric slow-wave dysrhythmias induced by circular vection.” American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 284, no. 3 (2003): G481-G489.