Avoid Getting Motion Sickness On A Plane With These Tips

Not everyone's a fan of flying. From fear of heights to an annoyance of airports, flying can be an unpleasant experience for many passengers. And according to one study, roughly a quarter of us suffers from motion sickness when we fly. While we can't make airport security lines shorter or less shoeless, we can recommend a few tips on how to avoid getting motion sick on a plane.

Motion sickness occurs when your inner ear and your eyes give your brain mixed signals. While flying (or in a car or boat), your inner ear signals to your brain that you're moving, while your eyes tell your brain that you're sitting still. This conflicting sensory info can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, hot flashes, and fatigue. More commonly known as motion sickness, these feelings can worsen throughout a flight. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to minimize your need for that airline-provided barf bag.

Be careful about what you eat and drink

The worst part about motion sickness (for you and your airplane neighbor) is probably the nausea. If you're prone to motion sickness, it's recommended that you eat a low-calorie meal the night before the flight and right before the flight. You may also want to skip salty foods, as extra sodium adds to dehydration while you fly. Overall, experts suggest taking it easy on your digestive system before flying. If you begin to feel motion sick, a stomach full of booze, greasy fries, or spicy curry won't do you any favors.

If you do begin to feel ill while flying, drink water or a caffeine-less soda, such as ginger ale, to help settle your stomach. If ginger ale or water doesn't help, then go ahead and take some Dramamine or Bromine. Both over-to-counter medications are antihistamines and help to alleviate nausea. However, it's important to note that neither medication works immediately, and they can make you drowsy.

Minimize movement and maximize comfort

Given that movement and mental miscommunication are the causes of motion sickness, staying as still as possible can help you avoid getting motion sick on a plane. First, if you have a choice, then choose a seat over the plane's wings or towards the front. The farther back your seat is on a plane, the worse turbulence can be.

Once you find your seat, try to stabilize your head as much as possible to minimize any unnecessary movement. If you do begin to feel sick, turn on your airplane vents, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing.

Fumbling with electronics, watching a movie, or (yikes) reading a book can all worsen motion sickness. These activities invite more movement into your vision, contributing to your already messed-up equilibrium. But don't worry. If you've already taken some Dramamine, napping is also an excellent way to feel better.