Tips for Overcoming Seasickness
Seasickness can make anyone who’s ever experienced it never want to set foot on a boat again. Who can blame them? It takes all the fun out of boating!
Seasickness is caused by the movement of a boat affecting the inner ear. The brain isn’t used to the new movement and has trouble interpreting it, leading to the symptoms associated with seasickness: headache, nausea and vomiting.
It would be a shame to have to leave someone who gets seasick behind while you and the rest of your crew set sail for a fun day of boating. The good news is that several trips on a boat might be enough for a person to permanently conquer their seasickness. The trick is to overcome it during those interim trips. Here are some tips for preventing and overcoming sea sickness.
Prepare Your Mind & Body Before You Set Sail
A good way to approach seasickness is to convince yourself that you’re not actually sick. It sounds ridiculous, but it may help ease the anxiety that could otherwise aggravate the symptoms.
Get plenty of sleep the night before a trip because when you’re well-rested, you feel happier, healthier and more relaxed. Fatigue and anxiety exacerbate seasickness symptoms, so a good night’s sleep helps.
Eating light foods the day before you plan to go boating is another way to prevent seasickness, particularly the nausea associated with it. Avoid eating anything that could make you feel nauseous, such as fried, greasy or spicy foods, or meals that leave you feeling bloated. Steer clear of carbs and don’t eat large meals, but instead graze on salads, seafood and fruit.
Use Seasickness Prevention Aids
Get a motion sickness wristband, which is worn over the wrist and applies acupressure to specific pressure points. This helps alleviate seasickness, and there are many affordable motion sickness wristbands to choose from.
If acupressure is not your thing, take motion sickness medication instead. This should be a last-ditch option, but if all else has failed, why not? Popular over-the-counter seasickness meds such as Dramamine and Bonine are antihistamines that counteract the body’s messages to the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting. Some marine first-aid kits also include motion sickness pills.
NOTE: Antihistamines work best for protecting against seasickness if they’re already in your system, so take them the day before you go boating.
Prevent Seasickness While Onboard
After taking precautions before embarking on your boating trip, there are several steps you can take to combat seasickness once you’ve set sail.
Take regular glances toward the horizon without fixating on it for too long. Looking at the horizon helps your brain reconcile the conflicting signals it’s getting from the sensory mechanism of your eyes and inner ears. Avoid reading for extended periods of time and if you start feeling seasick, close your eyes completely. Always sit facing toward the direction you’re traveling and sit as far forward in the boat as you can.
An overheating body can provoke seasickness, so avoid direct sunlight as much as possible and if you get too hot, cool down by taking a dip or laying under a wet towel.
Dehydration also triggers seasickness, so drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol, a diuretic that speeds up dehydration. Alcohol reduces the body’s resistance to seasickness, as does an empty stomach. Vomiting can happen even on an empty stomach, and you’re less likely to feel nauseous if you eat something. As mentioned before, stick to light snacks and don’t eat a huge amount of food in one go while onboard.
What to Do if You Get Seasick
Even with preventive measures, you might still get seasick before getting a few boating trips under your belt and given your body time to fully adjust to being out at sea.
If you get seasick, take some ginger, which has been used to cure seasickness for hundreds of years. You can eat it raw or as candied ginger, swallow it in capsule form, or drink ginger tea or ale. Peppermint is also renowned for its stomach-soothing properties, so bring some onboard. Finally, any food in your stomach is better than nothing when you feel nauseous, so make sure to pack and eat some bland foods such as plain crackers, and wash them down with water.
If you’re prone to getting seasickness or motion sickness, following these tips should help make your boating experiences much more enjoyable and hopefully get rid of your seasickness for good!