What Is Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness is a common disturbance of the inner ear that is caused by repeated motions from travel. It occurs when the brain receives conflicting messages from the inner ear, eyes, and body. Essentially, your eyes detect movement that your inner ear does not, and this confuses the brain. As a result, you may experience nausea, dizziness, headache, cold sweats, and an overall unwell feeling. Motion sickness can range from mild to severe.

Motion sickness is sometimes called carsickness or seasickness, but it can happen during any type of travel where your body feels motion that your eyes do not see. Riding in cars, buses, planes, boats, trains, amusement park rides, and even virtual reality rides can cause motion sickness in susceptible individuals. Children between the ages of 2 and 12 are most prone, but motion sickness can affect anyone.

What Causes Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness occurs when the brain cannot properly process confusing sensory signals. Specifically:

Your inner ear contains fluid and motion sensors that detect movement and keep your balance and spatial awareness intact. When you are in motion, such as on a moving bus, your inner ear senses this movement.

Your eyes see that your body is moving while fixed objects inside the bus are not moving in relation to you. This conflicts with what your inner ear is sensing.

Your muscles and joints rely on sensors that relay to the brain when your body is in motion. Like the inner ear, these sensors detect motion on a moving bus.

When these sensory signals do not match up, the brain becomes overwhelmed trying to process the mismatch of information. As a result, you may feel nauseous, lightheaded, or uneasy. Your brain is essentially confused by the mixed signals.

Factors that contribute to motion sickness by exacerbating this sensory mismatch include:

  • Making frequent starts, stops, turns, or reversals
  • Traveling on winding or bumpy roads
  • Reading during travel
  • Sitting backwards from the direction of travel
  • Riding on a bus with poor suspension

On buses and motorcoaches, both the starts and stops in city traffic and the winding rural roads can lead to motion sickness. Riding backwards and trying to read or use electronic devices also commonly causes problems. Knowing the root causes of motion sickness can help you take steps to prevent it.

Tips to Prevent or Ease the Motion Sickness

If you know you are prone to motion sickness, especially on buses, take steps before and during your trip to minimize nausea:

Travel at Night

Plan overnight bus travel when possible. Trips at night mean you may sleep through some of the motion, reducing queasiness. It also means you cannot see out the window as clearly, avoiding the visual cues that conflict with your inner ear’s movement signals. Close your eyes or curtains and go to sleep if you feel motion sickness coming on at night.

Be Mindful of What You Eat and Drink

Avoid eating greasy, spicy, citrus-y, or dairy-based foods right before or during travel, as they can exacerbate nausea. Stick to bland foods like crackers, bread, and potatoes. Stay hydrated and sip water frequently to avoid headaches and dizziness. Some people find ginger, mint, or lemon can ease a queasy stomach as well. Avoid or limit alcohol and caffeine, which can worsen motion sickness.

Avoid Electronic Devices While Experiencing Motion Sickness

Reading, texting, watching videos, or playing games during bouts of motion sickness is a bad idea. The eye movements required conflict with your inner ear and only make you feel worse. If you start to feel sick, turn off and stow away any electronics immediately. Listening to soothing music with your eyes closed may help relieve nausea instead.

Find a Distraction

Boredom allows you to focus too closely on the movement sensations that create discomfort. Keep your mind engaged to avoid honing in on nausea. Strike up conversation with a travel companion, listen to podcasts or audiobooks, write in a journal, or work on small crafts and activities. Looking outside at stationary objects like clouds and trees can also provide a visual distraction.

Get Some Fresh Air

Stuffy, stagnant air exacerbates nausea. If available, open a window and position yourself near fresh air. Even just moving to the front of the bus farther from engine fumes can provide relief. Rest your head near the window to benefit from both the air flow and stationary visual focal point.

Ride with Party Bus Company Durham

The team at Party Bus Company Durham understands that motion sickness can ruin an otherwise fun group trip. That’s why we service our fleet of charter buses regularly to provide the smoothest, most comfortable ride possible. Our expert drivers are specially trained to handle twists and turns with care. They know to avoid sudden accelerations and hard braking. We also offer private bus rentals with high-end amenities like reclining cushioned seats, onboard restrooms, and window shades to make travel easier on queasy passengers.

Trust Party Bus Company Durham for your next long-distance bus transportation need. We’ll get your group to your destination safely and comfortably. Don’t let motion sickness stop you from taking the amazing trips you’ve been dreaming of. With some preparation and proper transportation, you can minimize discomfort. Call us at 984-255-0439 today to book your smooth, hassle-free bus ride!