Motion sickness? Bah! What motion sickness?

We don’t own a car. Which is not such a bad thing with the rather excellent public transport in Israel.

Unfortunately, I get rather motion sick when I am a passenger.

When I started working (5 months ago!) I mentioned on Twitter that I suffer from motion sickness and asked if anyone had tips to minimise it.

Ben Shemen Forest. We drive past this every day.  *Photo by Paul
Ben Shemen Forest. We drive past this every day. *Photo by Paul

Don’t travel on an empty stomach, look at the horizon and tilt your head back were some of the suggestions I received. I put them all to use and added a few of my own and 5 months down the line I’m happy to inform you that I very, very rarely get motion sick on the bus anymore. In fact I can now read on my iPad without wanting to throw myself under the wheels!

Here are a few of the tips and tricks I use.

  • Don’t travel on an empty stomach. Even if its a slice of bread or a handful of pretzel, put some food in your tummy. When you are hungry you start to feel nauseous, this is basically just jump starting your motion sickness.
  • Empty your bladder before embarking on your journey. I find that if I need to pee, I feel worse and get sick quicker. An empty bladder means a comfortable ride.
  • Sit slightly sideways. I know this goes against the whole ‘look at the horizon’ tip, but on a bus, unless you are right in front, you cant see the horizon. Sitting to the side seems to help me, no idea why.
  • If you start to feel sick, tip your head back. This opens your throat and opens your airway.
  • Sit as close to the front of the bus as possible. Supposedly the drivers seat is the most stable part of the bus, the nearer you are the less bumpy it will be.
  • I prefer sitting against the window, I tend to feel worse if I sit in an isle seat, no idea why.

Once you have mastered these few tips you can now start to acclimate yourself to actually doing something other than just sitting.

I started by downloading a really brainless, non thinking game on my phone. Something like one of the gem swap games, Candy Crush or Frozen Free Fall work well. Its something you don’t really need to think about while you play. My bus ride is about 25/30 minutes and the 5 lives you get in these games is just enough to last the trip.

In the beginning, more often than not, I couldn’t last the whole trip playing, but as time went on I was able to keep going.  I also started checking Facebook and Twitter if I finished my game lives too soon. Again, when I first started reading my time lines I would get a bit ill but the more I read the easier it became.

The last week or so I’ve been able to read my book on the iPad without getting sick at all.

I’m not sure if this would translate to travelling in a car, but for the hour or so I spend on a bus every day, being able to read my book is awesome!