how to get rid of seasickness on a boat

How to Get Rid of Seasickness on a Boat: Prevention & Remedies

Almost everyone who’s ever been on a boat before has experienced seasickness. This unique brand of motion sickness happens specifically out on the water, and usually starts to rear its ugly head when the waves get a little too intense, and your boat starts to toss up and down as it traverses the troubled waters.

Now, for as fun and exciting as a boat ride might be, motion sickness can be an instant party pooper. So if you’re prone to feeling dizzy and nauseated aboard a moving boat, you might want to keep these tips on how to get rid of seasickness on a boat handy.

What is Seasickness and What Causes It?

In essence, seasickness is the result of a disparity between what you see and what you feel. Your vestibular system is mainly responsible for balance. Special organs in the inner ear tell your brain your position in space, and this works closely with your sense of sight.

In the case of seasickness, input from your vestibular system and your vision might not be in tune. That is, your vestibular system might tell you you’re moving a certain way, but your eyesight might be delivering completely different information that doesn’t jive with your balance input.

This then confuses the brain as it tries to interpret the mixed signals coming from the two systems in your body. The ultimate result is a feeling of dizziness and nausea called seasickness. This can happen on most moving vehicles like cars and planes.

9 Effective Ways to Treat Seasickness

motion sickness tablets to ease seasick

From medications, to natural remedies, to simple habits and routines, there are quite a few well-established techniques to fighting off the urge to purge on a boat. And while all of them might seem worth trying, these nine tricks prove to be the most effective of all.

Seasickness Medication

There’s really no way you can go wrong with seasickness medication. There are lots of different kinds of seasickness medication and they work by blocking certain receptors or signals in the brain. The ever popular hyoscine works by intercepting signals that the brain would interpret as nausea, thus preventing vomiting.

Then there’s meclizine hydrochloride that also blocks signals for vomiting, nausea, and dizziness. But then again, if you’re not interested in something synthetic, there are a bunch of natural choices you can try to calm your stomach and your head.

Try out the Non Drowsy Bonine for Motion Sickness or the Dramamine Motion Sickness Capsules.

Try Essential Oils

Numerous studies have found that certain essential oils can significantly help reduce stomach upset and headaches. And by targeting these seasickness related symptoms, they effectively neutralize the discomfort that you might experience on a moving boat.

Not all essential oils provide these benefits. Most experts recommend oils that are known for their calming properties such as lavender. You can either diffuse the oils, apply them topically, or simply sniff of their scent straight from the bottle.

We like putting Lavender, Chamomile, Ginger or Peppermint Essential Oil in the URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser.

Sip on Water or Tea

Dehydration is going to be one of your biggest enemies in the context of seasickness. When there isn’t enough water in your system, you’re likely to feel tired and dizzy. Dehydration also contributes towards headaches, which in turn exacerbates whatever discomfort and nausea you might already be feeling.

That said, you’re going to want to keep a bottle of water within reach at all times. It also doesn’t hurt to try drinking some tea to hydrate and calm the system all in one go. Ginger or peppermint tea has often been associated with seasickness treatment for its ability to calm the senses and the stomach.

Handy to pack some Ginger Yogi Tea Bags and Twinings Peppermint Herbal Tea Bags to help with nausea.

Suck on Some Candy

The effects of natural ingredients like ginger, peppermint, and chamomile are often better experienced when you take them in the form of candy. Sucking on a ginger-infused lozenge can extend the benefits of calm and imbue your senses with the stinging satisfaction of ginger’s potent effects.

Just like the teas and the essential oils, these infused candies can help calm the stomach and target headaches. Pop one in your mouth when you feel the height of discomfort and take advantage of the extended effects of motion sickness candy.

We really like these Organic Sweet Ginger Pear Tummydrops.

Wear an Acupressure Wrist Band

So they might seem like a total hoax, but there are thousands upon thousands of people who swear by these interesting bands. Designed to apply pressure to your P6 or Nei Guan acupressure point, these bands are said to reduce nausea and prevent vomiting.

The bands take inspiration from the theories of acupressure which has long been practiced as part of ancient Chinese tradition. Bands are worn on both wrists and provide relief with the need for medication and without any side effects.

We recommend the Sea-Band Anti-Nausea Acupressure Wristbands.

Take a Nap

You can’t confuse your brain with visual input when there’s nothing to see. Closing your eyes can help reduce the amount of input being fired into your brain, thus reducing the feelings of dizziness and headaches.

But then again, it can be tough to fall asleep when you’re not really feeling all that well. In that case, you can try taking a sleep aid to help you nod off into dream land. While you’re at it, you can also try wearing a sleep mask to keep light and other distractions at bay.

We've found using the MZOO Sleep Eye Mask and taking HealthA2Z Sleep Aid helped.

Eat Small, Frequent Meals

Eating is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re battling it out against headaches and nausea. But studies have found that keeping your tummy moderately satisfied can help reduce the chances of actually throwing up lunch.

Small frequent meals with bland food like crackers, rice, and plain cereal can calm and neutralize stomach acids and keep an uneasy stomach under control. As a general rule, you should be interested in eating foods that are high in starch and should avoid picks that include dairy, citrus, and other ingredients known to exacerbate a stomach ache.

Stay on Deck

Some people think that it helps to hide away in rooms and other cramped spaces to get their seasickness under control. But studies have found that staying where there’s enough fresh air and ventilation works best to tame those rising stomach acids.

Stay on deck to give your body a steady stream of fresh air. If you’re in a situation where you have to stay in a room - like aboard a cruise ship - try to crack open a window or turn on a fan and direct the cool breeze towards your face.

Try Deep Breathing

Nervous tension can make you feel clenched and strained, further contributing to the feeling of wanting to throw up. Deep breathing calms nervous tension, forcing your body into a state of relaxation so you don’t feel overwhelmed by headaches and stomach pain.

Deep breathing exercises can be as simple as inhaling as far as you can go, holding it for a few seconds, and then exhaling slowly. Close your eyes and feel the effects of each breath as you go to really make the most of the simple exercise.

Can Seasickness Kill You?

Seasickness can definitely feel horrible. The rising and falling of the urge to vomit combined with headaches and stomach pain might just make you think you’re on the brink of an emergency room visit. But no matter how bad it might feel, it’s not likely that you’ll need a trip to the doctor’s office just because of seasickness.

But there’s more to it than just that. Individuals who are unable to stop vomiting as a result of seasickness might experience severe dehydration. When this happens, they also risk severely lowered blood pressure which could cause serious complications if not properly treated. That said, people who vomit too much might have to be brought to shore for proper treatment.

Click here for more information on: Can You Die From Seasickness?

How Long Does Seasickness Last?

It’s different for everyone. Some people who tend to be more sensitive can experience the effects of seasickness long after leaving the boat, while others might find their symptoms waning as the waves calm down.

In general however, most people should find that the symptoms of seasickness tend to water down around four hours after the movements have stopped. If you try any of the remedies we’ve explained earlier, then you might be able to cut that wait time into

It’s also worth noting that seasickness is typically worse in children. So while you might not outgrow the syndrome with age, you’re likely to experience it at a lower severity as you get older.

Keep Calm and Sail On

Seasickness can make anyone want to turn back and head home, but there are a bunch of remedies you can try to ease your stomach and enjoy the rest of the trip. So if you were wondering how to get rid of seasickness on a boat, these surefire remedies and tips should make it possible for you to keep discomfort at bay to let you face the water and the waves without having to worry about coughing up your lunch.

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