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Is It Safe To Sleep With Low Blood Sugar


Treating Lows With The Appropriate Amount Of Carbohydrates

Nighttime Hypoglycemia Low Blood Sugar & Insulin resistance Dr.Berg
  • mild lows may only need 5 to 8 grams of carbohydrates.
  • moderate lows . Most mild-to-moderate low blood sugars only need approximately 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrate in order to bring your blood sugar level back up to a safe and healthy level.
  • severe lows will often require as much as 20 to 30 grams of carbohydrates.

All of these rules of thumb can change dramatically based on exercise youre performing, food youve eaten, or insulin active in your system. A mild low can require significantly more carbohydrates if you suspect or know that your blood sugar will continue to dive down.

To learn how many carbohydrates are in the food youre eating, you can either look at the nutrition panel on the box or package of the item, or you can search for any food at websites like CalorieKing.com.

General Information About Normal Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, clinical name hypoglycemia, is a condition in which blood sugar levels in the body fall too low. Generally, a blood sugar level between 80 and 100 milligrams per deciliter is considered to be in normal range. When this level falls below 80, individuals may develop symptoms of low blood sugar.

This condition often occurs in people with diabetes, when they try to control high glucose levels and the level falls too low. However, low blood sugar can occur from other causes, such as going for long periods without eating, from certain medications and from specific medical conditions.


Is It Safe To Sleep With High Blood Sugar

Glucose levels that are occasionally a little high at night generally dont pose serious, immediate health concerns. Most people with diabetes cannot avoid some high glucose levels. However, frequent or long-term highs particularly extremely high levels can be dangerous. It is important for people with diabetes to reduce high blood sugar as much as possible for two key reasons:

  • Frequent hyperglycemia can lead to major health complications caused by damage to blood vessels and nerves, which can affect your eyes, heart, kidneys, and other organs. This occurs when glucose levels are too high over a long period of time.

  • Very high glucose levels can be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis . This occurs mainly in people with type 1 diabetes and can be life-threatening. For more information on DKA, read Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis: Whats the Difference.

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    Listen To Your Doctor

    If you follow a meal plan or take medications that increase insulin to manage low blood sugar, its important to stick to the plan your doctor prescribed to help prevent drops in your blood sugar level.

    Not eating the right foods or taking the right medications at the right times can cause your blood sugar to drop. Check in often with your doctor so they can adjust your treatment plan if and when necessary.

    How Can I Prevent Low Blood Sugar

    How Sleep Affects Blood Sugar

    Your best bet is to practice good diabetes management and learn to detect hypoglycemia so you can treat it earlybefore it gets worse.


    Monitoring blood sugar, with either a meter or a CGM, is the tried and true method for preventing hypoglycemia. Studies consistently show that the more a person checks blood sugar, the lower his or her risk of hypoglycemia. This is because you can see when blood sugar levels are dropping and can treat it before it gets too low.

    If you can, check often!

    • Check before and after meals.
    • Check before and after exercise .
    • Check before bed.
    • After intense exercise, also check in the middle of the night.
    • Check more if things around you change such as, a new insulin routine, a different work schedule, an increase in physical activity, or travel across time zones.

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    Diabetes And Low Blood Sugar

    Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. In type-1 diabetes, the body cannot produce any insulin. In type-2 diabetes, insulin is produced, but the body cannot utilize it properly. In both cases, insulin builds up in the bloodstream and causes damage to blood vessels and internal organs. Diabetics use diet, exercise and medications to control high blood sugar levels. As a result, blood sugar levels may fall too low, causing hypoglycemia.

    Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar

    How you react to low blood sugar may not be the same as how someone else with low blood sugar reacts. Its important to know your signs. Common symptoms may include:


    • Fast heartbeat
    • Hunger

    If youve had low blood sugar without feeling or noticing symptoms , you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low and treat it. Driving with low blood sugar can be dangerous, so be sure to check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel.

    You may not have any symptoms when your blood sugar is low . If you dont have symptoms, it will be harder to treat your low blood sugar early. This increases your risk of having severe lows and can be dangerous. This is more likely to happen if you:

    • Have had diabetes for more than 5-10 years.
    • Frequently have low blood sugar.
    • Take certain medicines, such as beta blockers for high blood pressure.

    If you meet one or more of the above and you have hypoglycemia unawareness, you may need to check your blood sugar more often to see if its low. This is very important to do before driving or being physically active.

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    What Happens To An Older Cat With Diabetes

    Diabetes in Older Cats. Without insulin, the body cant utilize glucose. In diabetic cats, excess glucose is eliminated by the kidneys, producing frequent urination. There is a need to compensate for the increased urination by drinking unusual amounts of water. Pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, medications such as megestrol acetate ,


    Also Check: Average Lifespan Of A Type 1 Diabetic

    What Can You Do

    Sleep Interrupted? The Blood Sugar and Sleep Connection | John Douillard’s LifeSpa

    To keep your blood sugar in balance, try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

    If you work at night or have rotating shifts: Try to maintain regular meal and sleep times, even on your days off, if you can. And get some exercise during your breaks, like short walks or stretches.

    If youâre concerned about your blood sugar: Getting a good nightâs sleep on a regular basis will go a long way toward helping your body use insulin efficiently. Along with getting enough sleep, avoid eating late at night, and try to get some exercise after dinner, like going for a walk.

    If you have diabetes: If your blood sugar is often too high in the morning, talk to your doctor. You may need to do some extra blood sugar testing or use a continuous glucose monitor to figure out whatâs going on, which will determine how you should handle it. Your doctor may suggest a tweak to your diabetes medicines or your exercise routine.


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    Stay Away From Stimulants

    Stimulants can affect your sleep cycle in a few different ways. Some stimulants have light addictive properties which create a decreased quality of sleep. Also, the brain needs time to wind down and feel relaxed for quality shut-eye so these drugs will not only make you anxious but they’ll also keep you up at night with the inability to fall asleep. One of the well-known stimulants is caffeine that can be found in Cola, coffee, and some teas. Stay away from this and other stimulants before bedtime to have a more natural night’s sleep.

    What Are Some Tips To Prevent Nighttime Blood Sugar Level Dips

  • Check your level before bed. According to Sulay Shah, M.D., a board certified endocrinologist, the only way to know if you are at risk is to monitor your blood glucose levelsas there arent always telltale signs.If you check and you notice that your levels are close to 70 mg/dL at bedtime, then you know you might be at risk, Dr. Shah says. In this case, he recommends eating some complex carbohydrates, like a peanut butter sandwich, an apple with peanut butter or one slice of multigrain toast with some avocado.
  • Dont skip dinner. If you arent eating dinner, Dr. Shah advises skipping your rapid-acting insulin or medicine, like glipizide or glimepiride, that can decrease your blood sugar levels. The goal here is to match your meal and medication, he says.
  • Monitor your alcohol intake. If you notice that your blood sugar is dropping after having a few beers or vodka sodas, then Dr. Shah warns that you may need to try to eat complex carbohydrates with the alcohol. Dr. Shah notes that blood sugar tends to drop 3 to 4 hours after drinking alcohol. When you regularly drink alcohol, you are decreasing the amount of stored glucose in the liver which helps to maintain a blood sugar in normal range, he explains.
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    Avoid Alcohol Before Nighttime

    Another good habit is to avoid alcohol before going to bed. This can cause your blood sugar to increase quickly but leave you with low levels overnight. Avoiding alcohol for a few hours before bedtime will help keep the glucose in balance and prevent fluctuations.

    If you do drink alcoholic beverages before going to bed try to eat a healthy snack with some carbohydrates to catch that low blood sugar after drinking alcohol.


    Symptoms Of Nocturnal Hypoglycemia

    If You Have Low Blood Sugar, You Could Benefit from a Good ...

    It is important for both you and your sleeping partner to know the warning signs. Sleeping through the warning signs is especially dangerous because your blood sugar may go lower before you can correct it. If you sleep alone, you may be at higher risk.

    Warning signs occur when your blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dl. When this happens, your body releases hormones like glucagon and epinephrine to increase your blood sugar. This causes warning signs like a racing heart, sweats, and tremors. These warnings are your bodys way of telling you to get more sugar into your system quickly. Hopefully they will wake you from sleep, but some people sleep through.

    If hypoglycemia wakes you up, these are the symptoms:

    • Being cold and clammy or hot and sweaty
    • Feeling shaky and trembling
    • A pounding or racing heart
    • Waking up with a headache

    Your sleeping partner should wake you if he or she notices any of the warning signs or if you are more restless, noisy, or breathing irregularly in your sleep.

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    The Impact Of Rem Sleep On Glucose Levels

    Research also shows that glucose levels decrease by an average of 5% during REM sleep compared to non-REM sleep stages, which may contribute to periodic dips seen at night in nondiabetic people. In fact, healthy people who have glucose dips below 70 mg/dl have twice as many dips at night compared to the day.

    Nighttime Low Blood Sugar

    While low blood sugar can happen at any time during the day, some people may experience low blood sugar while they sleep. Reasons this may happen include:

    • Having an active day.
    • Being physically active close to bedtime.
    • Taking too much insulin.
    • Drinking alcohol at night.

    Eating regular meals and not skipping them can help you avoid nighttime low blood sugar. Eating when you drink alcohol can also help. If you think youre at risk for low blood sugar overnight, have a snack before bed.

    You may wake up when you have low blood sugar, but you shouldnt rely on that. A continuous glucose monitor can alert you with an alarm if your blood sugar gets low while youre sleeping.

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    What Are The Causes Of Nighttime Hypoglycemia

    Having an active day or exercising close to bedtime with diabetes can lower glucose and cause hypoglycemic during sleep or overnight. Other factors that can put you at risk for nighttime hypoglycemia are too much basal insulin or consuming alcohol in the evening. While your liver is busy clearing the alcohol from your blood it stops producing glucose putting one at risk for having a lower glucose level.

    Some people forget that their premeal insulin can last for up to five to six hours. If you eat a late dinner and go to sleep a few hours later, your glucose may be okay before going to bed. However, since the insulin you took for dinner is still working in your body, your glucose could drop during the night.

    Easy Before Bed Routines For People With Diabetes

    10 Warning Low Blood Sugar Symptoms Level You Should Be Aware of

    You might be surprised to learn what your blood sugar should be at bedtime. The range is usually 5.0-8.3 mmol/L , and its important to check what yours is before going to bed. Checking your blood sugar before you go to sleep will give you information about what caused any spikes or dips in the day that you might not have noticed. For instance, if your nighttime reading were high, this would tell us that something may have happened during the day that could affect your diabetes management plan.

    Creating a bed routine can also be helpful if your blood sugar at bedtime is higher than what youd like it to be. For instance, rather than eating or drinking anything sweet before bedtime and then checking how what should happen next for diabetes management will depend on what the readings are in the morning, try adding this into a routine:

    • Always check your bloog glucose levels with a glucose meter or your CGM
    • Eat dinner earlier in the evening
    • Don’t drink sugar-sweetened beverages before bedtime
    • Eating a nitrile snack before bed helps maintain your blood sugar normal and prevents your liver from releasing excess glucose
    • Limit alcoholic beverages to the extent they disturb sleep
    • Too close to bed exercises often can cause poor sleeping habits
    • Avoid eating caffeine within several hours of going to bed
    • Take medicine if needed to lower your blood sugar levels, but dont take too much insulin so you wont have a low reading in the morning.

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    How Is Hypoglycemia Treated

    When your blood sugar levels are too low, eating something made of carbohydrates is key. If you have diabetes, try to keep high-carbohydrate snacks on hand.

    The American Diabetes Association recommends that your snack have at least 15 grams of carbohydrates. Some good snacks to keep on hand include:

    • glucose tablets
    • honey or table sugar
    • jelly beans or gum drops

    You also can take glucose tablets to rapidly raise your blood sugar if its low. These are available without a prescription. Its important to check how many grams are in each tablet before taking them. Aim to get 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates.

    Wait 15 minutes after eating or taking a glucose tablet, and test your blood sugar again. If your blood sugar is not going up, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrates or take another dose of glucose tablets. Repeat this until your blood sugar level starts to rise.

    If your regularly scheduled meal is not for a while, eat a small snack after the low blood sugar episode.


    Be sure not to overeat! This could lead to blood sugar levels that are too high.

    Do Beets Raise Blood Sugar

    Beets are rich in phytochemicals that have been shown to have a regulating effect on glucose and insulin in humans. A 2014 study investigated the effects of beetroot juice on blood glucose levels after eating.

    Similarly, Can you eat too much beets?

    Beets could

    Beets are high in oxalate, which can contribute to a health condition called gout, a type of arthritis that develops when too much uric acid builds up in the body.


    Also, What is the best drink for high blood pressure? 3. Beets. Drinking beet juice can reduce blood pressure in the short and long terms. In 2015, researchers reported that drinking red beet juice led to lower blood pressure in people with hypertension who drank 250 milliliters, about 1 cup, of the juice every day for 4 weeks.

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    First Comes Stress Then Come Cravings

    Sleep disorders affect an estimated 50-70 million Americans and, as I discussed in my last newsletter, much of this is caused by stress and exhaustion. When under stress, the adrenals go shopping for energy. Their favorite stop is the pancreas, where stress generates insatiable cravings for sweets to create the energy the adrenals can no longer provide.

    Before you know it, Americans are waking up to a sugar-laced cup of coffee or two. In an attempt to pick the healthy choice, we might sip green tea to keep us going through the morning. Lunch might be a salad and a diet soda. Then, as the blood sugar starts plummeting, bringing on the all-too-well-known afternoon crash, dark chocolate is passed around the office as if you had called room service. By the end of the workday, either a workout, latte or a nap is the only thing getting us home without falling asleep.


    What Do You Do When Blood Sugar Is High

    If You Have Low Blood Sugar, You Could Benefit from a Good ...

    How Is It Treated?Drink more water. Water helps remove excess sugar from your blood through urine, and it helps you avoid dehydration.Exercise more. Caution: If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is high, you need to check your urine for ketones. Change your eating habits. Switch medications.May 15, 2021

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    Limit Alcohol At Night

    Alcohol consumption can also increase the risk for nighttime hypoglycemia, so avoid regular consumption of alcohol. On special occasions, drink only in moderation no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men and don’t wait to indulge with a before-bed nightcap. If you do have a drink in the evening, enjoying it with food can minimize the chance of low blood sugar while you sleep.

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