For that matter, what foods would you recommend someone eat when suffering from sea-sickness and having difficulty keeping food down? What folk rememdies do you find useful in dealing with motion sickness generally?
Why not just take Dramamine half and hour before the boat trip starts? Worked for me. Other than that, flat 7UP was about all I could deal with.
I’ve heard that astronauts in training in the Vomit Comit swear by cherry Lifesavers.
Use a transdermal scopoloamine patch on the bony area just behind each ear. Works wonders.
And don’t drink Guinness on the boat, especially if it’s been overchilled. I speak from experience.
I took Dramamine once before a bumpy flight and it seriously messed with me. I was loopy and basically stoned for the entire flight and for several hours after we landed. If you haven’t taken Dramamine before, I’d recommend doing a test run to see how it affects you, particularly if you have something important to do after.
Ginger also settles the stomach – I’ve found ginger Altoids to do the trick, as well as ginger ale.
Ginger does wonders for settling an upset stomach. And I have heard good things about those wristbands that massage a pressure point on the wrist.
In all honesty, if you are going to get seasick, you are going to get seasick. No amount of drugs or lack of food will keep you from throwing up. I know that I threw up for several hours after the last bit of food was well and gone from my body. However, it seems that I had a bottomless supply of coffee grounds to puke (it wasn’t coffee grounds).
Um, if you’re puking coffee grounds that aren’t coffee grounds, go to the ER. It might be nothing, but often it’s blood in your stomach.
Hey, look, there’s even a wikipedia article named “Coffee ground vomiting”! How nice of them. [/PSA]
Not many doctors are available in the middle of the Mediterranean sea. And it goes to show how long I was physically ill, to cause the bleeding.
From a (scuba) diver who’s taken a good number of rough boat rides: here’s the trick with Dramamine - 1. get the “non-drowsy” version, 2. take one the night before the trip (12 hours before if possible), 3. take one the morning of the trip.
You will still be a bit drowsy, but not nearly as loopy as the non-drowsy stuff. Taking it the night before gets some into your system, and the morning of keeps enough in you for the day.
My diving instructor taught us this, and it has worked very well for me.
The Mythbusters guys did a test on sea sickness remedies. Ginger (as mentioned above) was the best for preventing sickness.
Ginger helps. What really matters is what you do once you get seasick. Do not go below. Stay on deck and keep your eyes on the horizon or some other stationary landmark (islands, etc.) Don’t look at all that heaving, churning liquid stuff.
I find that regular (not diet) soda or sugary hard candies help, though the key is to take them as soon as you start feeling a little “off”. The sugar does something to settle your stomach (AIUI, the effect is not well understood).
Don’t eat anything fatty, and don’t drink alcohol- those can make it worse.
I’ve found that having the air in the vehicle be absolutely still makes my motion sickness worse. So I feel better in a car if the fan is running and moving the air than I do if the fan is off and the air is still. I suspect this has to do with the cause of motion sickness- your eyes tell you you’re moving, but your other senses tell you you’re not. Moving air gives something other than your eyes that “you’re moving” cue. This may be part of why staying below decks is worse for seasickness than being on deck.
Don’t try to read a book or computer screen- that can make motion sickness worse.
If you get carsick:
Don’t look out a side window- look out through the windshield instead.
Don’t sit near the rear of a large vehicle like a bus- sit toward the front instead. The motion that causes carsickness tends to be worse toward the rear. Sitting in the front seat of a car instead of the back seat really helps, too.
Don’t sit on the top deck of a double-decker bus, especially if said bus is travelling on a bumpy cobblestone or brick road.
If you’re driving and you know you have a passenger who tends to get carsick, avoid bumpy cobblestone or brick roads or curvy, winding roads whenever possible. It probably is going to be better for all involved to stick to smooth, straight roads, even if you have to go several miles out of your way.
If you’re driving with a passenger who tends to get motion sick, and they ask you to pull over, do it as soon as possible. Don’t try to wait until you get to a gas station or rest area.
Take some plastic bags along, ideally large-size Ziplock-type freezer bags, and keep them with you at all times. Make sure they’re somewhere you can grab them at a second’s notice.
Take along something to clean yourself up with in case you do get sick. You’ll want moist towelettes if you don’t think you’ll have access to a sink. You’ll want plenty of napkins or paper towels regardless. A change of clothes or at least a clean shirt would be good, too. If you do have to clean up after throwing up, try to dispose of the napkins, towelettes, or paper towels in a Ziplock bag or a closed trash can. There are very few things worse than sitting around for several hours smelling old vomit on your face and clothes. The smell can make you (or other people around you) sick again.
Keep a full bottle of water with you, to rinse the taste out of your mouth if you get sick.
If you’ve got long hair, tie it back before you go, just in case you do get sick (Tying your hair back is a good idea in general for anyone with long hair who is going on a boat).
If you wear glasses, take them off before you get sick, if at all possible. This is especially important if you’re going to throw up over the side of a boat.
If you’re going to throw up over the side of a boat, do it over the leeward side (the side away from the wind). On a sailboat, this will usually be the lower side of the deck.
Actually, from what I understand, most motion sickness occurs because all your other senses tell you you are moving, but your eyes often don’t agree with them. Especially your inner ear, which has a lot to do with balance and motion sensing. It feels the ship list and move, but if you’re looking at something on the ship that’s moving with it, then your visual cues are telling your body you’re not moving. That’s why looking at a horizon or something else that’s not on the boat, it gives your eyes a reference that you are moving.
Foods to combat sea sickness:
Saltine crackers and tea.
Standing at the bow of the ships helps.
A particularly evil shipmate would eat sardines in front of queasy new crew members.
Be aware that classical conditioning can make people associate all kinds of stimuli with nausea and vomiting. All kinds of stuff can get associated with motion sickness, too- particular songs on the radio or things like that. If you have a passenger who tends to get motion sick, and they say something off-the-wall like that makes it worse, it very well might, because of conditioning. Believe them unless you’re damn sure they’re doing it to manipulate you.
If you get motion sick, don’t eat or drink anything that tastes or smells like being sick to you before or during a trip where you think you might be likely to get motion sick.
Correct. The thalamus is the main sensory relay in the brain. The eyes send their signal to the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus. The ears/vestibular system sent their signal to the medial geniculate nucleus of the thalamus. So, two adjacent parts of the brain, only a smear apart receive conflicting signals from to important sensory inputs, creating dizziness. The body is not equipped to deal with this discrepancy, and attempts to expel the agent causing the problem, thus vomiting.
Seconded - not only will saltines help settle your stomach, but if they don’t settle it, coming back up, they feel a Hell of a lot better than many other foods. And worlds better than the dry heaves.
And the award for Most Apposite Username Goes To…
(Sorry to mock the afflicted, but that’s just too perfect!)
Ginger does work. You can find ginger capsules at any health food store. I like to combine it with a half dose of Dramamine an hour or two before a boat trip.