Motion sickness appears because your brain and your inner ear don't agree when it comes to motion. Your inner ear – where your balance centre is located – is sure that you are moving (because you are feeling the motion), but your brain thinks that you are not (because your eyes are telling your brain that everything is still). There are many theories as to why we experience such a bad reaction to this conflict, but the most common one is that your body starts with a defence mechanism against neurotoxins.
So, the solution for getting rid of motion sickness (or travel sickness) is to make peace with your brains. Here are some easy solutions for doing just that.
As we said, carsickness appears because your inner ear and your brain are arguing. To make your brain and inner ear get in sync, just focus on an object outside the vehicle. Don’t stare on the dashboard but look at the road and the buildings in the distance. Which leads us to our second tip:
Do this whenever it’s possible. Why? This makes easier for you to focus on a fixed point. Sitting in the front seat also help you resisting the temptation to look out the side window, which often causes nausea.
If you are driving, you are more focused on the driving than you are on feeling carsick.
We don’t need to emphasize that fresh and cool air is always a good idea.
You should take frequent breaks especially during long journeys. Stretch your legs, take some deep breaths and try to relax.
Ginger has been shown to help with motion sickness. There are many ways to eat it, from lollipops to tea, soda, cookies or chewing gum. Choose the one form that suits you most.
Overeating is not a good idea, especially when you are about to sit in a car for couple of hours. Don’t eat fatty, greasy or spicy meals and remember to drink plenty of water. You should also avoid excessive alcohol (no need to emphasize the fact that too much alcohol can make you sick even if you’re not on a road).
Drinking any sweet juice during the ride can increase your nausea, because acute hyperglycaemia is related to gastrointestinal symptoms in motion sickness. If you’re going to eat on the road, try to stabilize your glucose levels, and avoid pastries, donuts and greasy sandwiches. Opt-in for oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta with vegetables or salad with lean cuts, fish or white beans with some rye bread on the side. If you drink coffee, avoid sugar and try to ad a little bit of cinnamon.
Although you may expect this kind of activity to take your mind off the motion sickness, it can actually make things worse, because you increase the dissonance between your brain and inner ear. In other words, concentrating on visual object inside the car really makes motion sickness even worse. The best way to be entertained without reading is to listen audio books.
Night travelling can be more difficult, because the head lights and street lights can be disorientating. If you can’t avoid traveling after dark, choose the passenger seat and try to close your eyes or take a nap.
Do everything to keep your mind off sickness. Try to sing, talk and laugh. Do some meditation, imagine yourself anywhere else except driving in a car. Stay positive!