diabetestalk.net

Why Does My Blood Sugar Drop At Night?

Blood Sugar And Sleep Problems: How Blood Sugar Levels Impact Sleep

Blood Sugar And Sleep Problems: How Blood Sugar Levels Impact Sleep

November is National Diabetes Month and Alaska Sleep Clinic is dedicating this month’s blog posts to raising awareness for diabetic complications and how they correlate with sleep disorders and overall tiredness. SLEEP PROBLEMS AND SNORING MAY PREDICT DIABETES Studies have shown that individuals who consistently have a bad night's sleep are more likely to develop conditions linked to diabetes and heart disease. Loud snoring sleepers (many of whom may have sleep apnea), compared to quiet sleepers, double (2x) their risks of developing certain types of metabolic syndrome(s); including diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. This likelihood also increased dramatically to 80% in those who found it difficult to fall asleep and to 70% for those who woke up feeling not as refreshed. Blood Sugar and Sleep Problems Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels, and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. As the amount of sleep decreases, blood sugar increases, escalating the issue. Lack of sleep has been shown to increase blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetic issues. Higher blood sugar means less long-lasting fat metabolism in the night and even less sleep. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine found that people who slept less than 6 hours a night had more blood sugar complications compared to those who received 8 hours of sleep. HIGH BLOOD SUGAR - HYPERGLYCEMIA Sleepless and restless nights hurt more than your mood and energy; it is a form of chronic stress on the body. When there is added stress on your body this results in having higher blood sugar levels. When researchers restricted people with type-1 diabetes to just 4 hours of sleep, their sensitivity to insulin was reduced by 20% compared to that after a full nig Continue reading >>

Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar - Topic Overview

Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar - Topic Overview

You may have these symptoms when your blood sugar has dropped below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). When you have had diabetes for many years, you may not always develop symptoms of mild low blood sugar. Some young children with diabetes cannot recognize symptoms of low blood sugar. Others can, but not every time. To be safe, the parents need to do a home blood sugar test whenever they suspect low blood sugar in a child. Symptoms may include: Sweating (almost always present). Check for sweating on the back of your neck at your hairline. Nervousness, shakiness, and weakness. A fast heartbeat and feeling anxious. These symptoms may go away shortly after you eat food that contains sugar. If your blood sugar continues to drop (below 40 mg/dL), your behavior may change. Symptoms may include: Inability to concentrate. Confusion and irritability. Slurred speech. Unsteadiness when standing or walking. Personality changes, such as anger or crying. Symptoms of severe low blood sugar (usually below 20 mg/dL) include: If your blood sugar drops while you are sleeping, your partner or other family members may notice that you are sweating and behaving differently. Signs of low blood sugar at night (nocturnal hypoglycemia) include: Restlessness. Making unusual noises. Attempting to get out of bed or accidentally rolling out of bed. Sweating. You may wake up with a headache in the morning if your blood sugar was low during the night. Some people have no symptoms of low blood sugar. The only symptom you may have is confusion. Or you may become unconscious before anyone realizes you have low blood sugar. You may have hypoglycemic unawareness if you: Cannot tell by your symptoms that your blood sugar is low. Have low blood sugar several times a week. Have type 1 diabetes, or have had Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In People Without Diabetes

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In People Without Diabetes

A A A Topic Overview Is this topic for you? Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is most common in people who have diabetes. If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes and need more information about low blood sugar, see the topics: What is low blood sugar? You may have briefly felt the effects of low blood sugar when you've gotten really hungry or exercised hard without eating enough. This happens to nearly everyone from time to time. It's easy to correct and usually nothing to worry about. But low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, can also be an ongoing problem. It occurs when the level of sugar in your blood drops too low to give your body energy. What causes hypoglycemia in people who don't have diabetes? Ongoing problems with low blood sugar can be caused by: Medicines. Diseases of the liver, kidneys, or pancreas. Metabolic problems. Alcohol use. Stomach surgery. What are the symptoms? Symptoms can be different depending on how low your blood sugar level drops. Mild hypoglycemia can make you feel hungry or like you want to vomit. You could also feel jittery or nervous. Your heart may beat fast. You may sweat. Or your skin might turn cold and clammy. Moderate hypoglycemia often makes people feel short-tempered, nervous, afraid, or confused. Your vision may blur. You could also feel unsteady or have trouble walking. Severe hypoglycemia can cause you to pass out. You could have seizures. It could even cause a coma or death. If you've had hypoglycemia during the night, you may wake up tired or with a headache. And you may have nightmares. Or you may sweat so much during the night that your pajamas or sheets are damp when you wake up. How is hypoglycemia diagnosed? To diagnose hypoglycemia, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your health and a Continue reading >>

6 Ways To Prevent Low Blood Sugar At Night

6 Ways To Prevent Low Blood Sugar At Night

Nighttime dips in blood sugar levels are common among people with diabetes. Authors of a study published in June 2013 in Quality of Life Research noted that people with diabetes — type 1 or type 2 — experience low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) during sleep more frequently than many doctors realize. Nighttime hypoglycemia can be caused by a number of different factors, from exercising too close to bedtime to drinking alcohol in the evening. If untreated, low overnight blood sugar levels can lead to headaches and loss of sleep — and in extreme cases, seizures or even death. The good news is that preventing low blood sugar while you sleep can be achieved with a few simple steps: 1. Check Your Blood Sugar Before Bed “For everybody with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it’s absolutely critical that they check their blood sugar before going to bed to make sure they’re not going to have an episode of low blood sugar during the night,” says Helena W. Rodbard, MD, medical director of Endocrine and Metabolic Consultants, a private practice in Rockville, Maryland, and past president of the American College of Endocrinology. If your blood sugar levels are low at bedtime, eat a healthy snack before going to sleep. The size of the snack should be in proportion to the dip in blood sugar. For instance, a small drop in blood sugar requires only a small snack. If you use an insulin pump, consider temporarily reducing the active dose of insulin. 2. Know the Signs of Low Overnight Blood Sugar Symptoms of hypoglycemia usually develop when blood sugar levels drop below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). They include shakiness, sweating, confusion, erratic behavior, headache, and lightheadedness. With nighttime hypoglycemia, you may wake up with these symptoms or with a higher blood su Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar: What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning

Blood Sugar: What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In The Morning

There are two reasons why your blood sugar levels may be high in the morning – the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect. The dawn phenomenon is the end result of a combination of natural body changes that occur during the sleep cycle and can be explained as follows: Your body has little need for insulin between about midnight and about 3:00 a.m. (a time when your body is sleeping most soundly). Any insulin taken in the evening causes blood sugar levels to drop sharply during this time. Then, between 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., your body starts churning out stored glucose (sugar) to prepare for the upcoming day as well as releases hormones that reduce the body's sensitivity to insulin. All of these events happen as your bedtime insulin dose is also wearing off. These events, taken together, cause your body's blood sugar levels to rise in the morning (at "dawn"). A second cause of high blood sugar levels in the morning might be due to the Somogyi effect (named after the doctor who first wrote about it). This condition is also called "rebound hyperglycemia." Although the cascade of events and end result – high blood sugar levels in the morning – is the same as in the dawn phenomenon, the cause is more "man-made" (a result of poor diabetes management) in the Somogyi effect. There are two potential causes. In one scenario, your blood sugar may drop too low in the middle of the night and then your body releases hormones to raise the sugar levels. This could happen if you took too much insulin earlier or if you did not have enough of a bedtime snack. The other scenario is when your dose of long-acting insulin at bedtime is not enough and you wake up with a high morning blood sugar. How is it determined if the dawn phenomenon or Somogyi effect is causing the high blood sug Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar)

Hypoglycemia occurs when the level of sugar in the blood is too low. It can also be called insulin shock or insulin reaction. Hypoglycemia is when the level of sugar in the blood is below 60 mg/dl. Check with your doctor or nurse to find out what blood sugar level is too low for you. Causes Taking too much insulin or oral medication Not eating all of your meals and snacks or delaying meals and snacks Doing more exercise than usual Onset Hypoglycemia can occur at any time. It is more likely to occur at peak times of insulin actions. It may occur during or after increased activity. It is more likely if you are late eating your food or reduce the amount that you eat. Signs and Symptoms Sweating Shaking Nervousness Hunger Dizziness Faintness Pounding heart Personality change Confused thinking Impatience Crankiness Numbness of lips and tongue Headache Blurred Vision Slurred or slow speech Convulsions Unconsciousness Treatment Immediately eat or drink something containing "quick acting" sugar. Some possibilities are: 1/2 to 3/4 cup fruit juice 1/2 to 3/4 cup regular soda pop 2-3 teaspoons sugar 10 gumdrops 5-7 lifesavers 2 tablespoons of raisins Over-the-counter sugar tablets or gel If your symptoms do not disappear in 15 minutes and/or your blood sugar remains less than 80, repeat the treatment. Repeat every 15 minutes until the blood sugar is greater than 80. If a reaction occurs at a time when you do not plan to eat your next meal or snack for more than 30 minutes, eat food containing starch and protein after you have taken a "quick acting" sugar source and begin to feel better. Foods containing starch and protein are necessary to help prevent another reaction. Examples of appropriate snacks may be: 6 saltine crackers 3 graham crackers 1/2 meat sandwich 1 slice toast and 1 Continue reading >>

Why Is Blood Sugar Highest In The Morning?

Why Is Blood Sugar Highest In The Morning?

Many people with diabetes find that their fasting blood sugar first thing in the morning is the hardest blood sugar to control. In addition, they find that if they eat the same food for breakfast as they do for lunch or dinner they will see a much higher blood sugar number when testing after breakfast than they see at the other meals. The reason for this is a normal alteration in hormones experienced by many people not just people with diabetes. It is called "Dawn Phenomenon." What Causes Dawn Phenomenon? The body prepares for waking up by secreting several different hormones. First, between 4:00 and 6:30 a.m. it secretes cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. You may recognize these as the hormones involved in the "fight or flight response." In this case, their job is more benign, to give you the energy to get up and moving so you can find the food your body needs for energy. To help you do this, these hormones also raise your blood sugar. After a long night's sleep, the fuel your body turns to to get you going is the glucose stored in the liver. So after these stress hormones are secreted, around 5:30 a.m., plasma glucose rises. In a person with normal blood sugar, insulin will also start to rise at this time but many people with diabetes won't experience the corresponding rise in insulin. So instead of giving their cells a dose of morning energy, all they get is a rise in blood sugar. Not Everyone Experiences Dawn Phenomenon Researchers who have infused different hormones into experimental subjects have found that the trigger for dawn phenomenon is a nocturnal surge in growth hormone. If they block the growth hormone, blood sugars stay flat. This may explain why some people, particularly older people, do not experience a rise in blood sugar first thing in the mor Continue reading >>

How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar At Night

How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar At Night

It’s the worst. The worst! If you are treating your diabetes with insulin, you know what I’m talking about. That feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat and shaking due to low blood sugar. Your whole body goes into stress mode, and all you can think about is eating! I absolutely hate it, so I wanted to share my approach on how to treat low blood sugar at night with you guys. I hope this can help some of you and I would love to hear your best advice and tricks as well. If you have a smart way of dealing with nightly lows, please write it in the comments below this post so everyone can learn it. So How Do I Treat Low Blood Sugar At Night? What I do is treat it for what it is, a medical emergency. So I test my blood sugar and immediately eat or drink 8-15 grams of carbs in the form of 2 glucose tablets or 125 ml juice. I then assess whether I need a low glycemic carb as well (you can read more about low-glycemic carbs here). The assessment is pretty quick, and for me only involves checking that I didn’t bolus within the last 4 hours. If I did, I might have to cover that with a few rice cakes. The reason why I say 4 hours is because I bolus with Novolog and that stays active in the body for about 4 hours. If it has been more than 4 hours since I took my bolus, I know that just the sugar or juice will get me through the night. My recommendation is to be honest with yourself, and if you can’t go into the kitchen and just have those 15 grams of carbs without emptying the fridge every time, then keep your emergency carbs in the bedroom next to where you sleep (that’s always a good idea anyway). I also recommend that you don’t treat your low with candy or cake. As I said, it’s a medical emergency and you need a carb that will hit your bl Continue reading >>

Avoiding Blood Sugar Spikes During The Night

Avoiding Blood Sugar Spikes During The Night

In addition to disrupting your sleep, experiencing high blood sugar during the night can be dangerous. The three primary causes of blood sugar spikes during the night are eating too many carbs or fats at dinner or before bedtime, the dawn effect, and the Somogyi effect. High-Fat Meal Spikes Consuming excessive carbs elevates blood sugar, and too much fat can do the same. Fats digest slower than carbohydrates, causing problems for people taking insulin. Fast-acting insulins like Humalog, Novolog and Apidra work in the body for three to four hours. After enjoying a high-fat meal, these insulins might begin working before a significant amount of glucose reaches the bloodstream – and the insulin may be done working before all the glucose gets there. This means a glucose reading can be in-range two hours after a high-fat dinner, but the level can elevate above normal five or more hours later. To avoid carb- or fat-related spikes: Stick to the dietary guidelines that generally work for you. If you indulge in an occasional high-fat meal – especially one loaded with saturated fat (animal fat) – you may need to alter the dose and timing of your insulin. If using oral medications, it can help to do some physical activity (e.g., walking) after consuming a high-fat meal. The Dawn Effect Early morning high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can be owed to insufficient evening medication, carbohydrate bedtime snacks or the “dawn effect.” The dawn effect occurs when a middle-of-the-night increase in insulin resistance triggers a rise in blood sugar. This phenomenon has been linked to a normal release of hormones about two hours before waking. In non-diabetics, elevated glucose at dawn helps the body prepare for morning activity, and insulin keeps the glucose level in check. For tho Continue reading >>

How Blood Sugar Levels Affect Your Sleep

How Blood Sugar Levels Affect Your Sleep

Dr. Doni discusses why eating too much, too late can make it hard to sleep (it’s all about blood sugar). She offers some simple tips to help you take control. In the introduction to this series of articles I gave an overview of 12 things that can disrupt our sleep. This week, we’ll focus on blood sugar – and how eating too much of the wrong things can pull us into a vicious cycle of over-eating and blood sugar fluctuations that can have a serious impact on our ability to sleep. Did you notice that you felt sleepy after your Thanksgiving meal last week? This lull in energy is often attributed to tryptophan, an essential amino acid found in turkey meat that is known to make us feel sleepy. However that sleepiness is also due to a rise in your blood sugar levels as the carbs from your meal make their way into your blood stream. Then, the day after Thanksgiving, did you notice that you felt hungrier or that you craved sweets? This is because, once your blood sugar goes high (the technical term for this is hyperglycemia) for even just one meal, it will always be followed by a dip in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) a few hours later. This dip will make you to want to eat more and repeat the pattern of eating a large amount of carbohydrates. In fact, some people end up eating more the day after Thanksgiving than they did on Thanksgiving itself. As you might imagine, once this pattern starts, it is difficult to get it to stop. The more often you consume large, Thanksgiving-sized meals, the more likely your body is to send the signals that lead you to have another large meal. This is because a rise in blood sugar is followed by a rise in insulin, the hormone which causes the sugar to move into your cells to be used to make energy. Then, when your blood sugar is low again, you a Continue reading >>

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In Type 1 Diabetes

Hypoglycemia (low Blood Sugar) In Type 1 Diabetes

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1968, at the age of 8 years old. At the time, there were no fingerstick blood sugars available for use. One had to regulate diabetes by measuring urine sugars, a very imprecise way to monitor blood sugar control. I recently obtained copies of my medical records from that 12-day stay, and found the following comment in the discharge summary: “He had one mild episode of shocking without loss of consciousness or convulsion.” I remember that episode. I could not have known that it was to be the first of hundreds of low blood sugar reactions that I would experience over the next 46 years. Though a hypoglycemia episode is always disruptive and never a pleasant experience, most were mild, ones that I could treat myself. But occasionally they were severe, requiring assistance from family or co-workers, or 911 calls. I was driven to achieve ‘tight control’ and prevent the long-term complications of diabetes, which I have managed to do. But there was a high price. I felt like I was playing a game of Russian roulette with hypoglycemia. I could no longer tell when I was low. Hypoglycemia unawareness had developed. I was fortunate enough to have developed T1D at a time when treatment for it has steadily improved. I started on an insulin pump in January 1982, and that helped me to reduce my frequency of hypoglycemia. The availability of insulin glargine (Lantus) and insulin detemir (Levemir) were great advances over older basal insulins (NPH, lente, ultralente) that had more intense and less predictable peaks, a very real problem at night. While I have not used them, because they became available after I started on a pump, better basal insulins have helped many T1Ds reduce night time hypoglycemia. Faster insulins (insulin lispro/Humalog Continue reading >>

Effects Of Low Blood Sugar On The Body

Effects Of Low Blood Sugar On The Body

The Effects of low blood sugar on the Body Every cell in your body needs sugar (glucose) to function. When your blood sugar levels drop too low, your cells become starved for energy. Initially, that can cause minor symptoms, but if you don’t get your blood sugar levels up soon, you’re at risk of serious complications. When your blood sugar (glucose) levels fall below the normal range, it’s called hypoglycemia, or insulin shock. Low blood sugar can happen when you skip a meal. It can also happen if your pancreas releases more insulin than it should after you’ve eaten. The most common reason for low blood sugar is diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas doesn’t make enough, or your body can’t use it properly. To keep blood sugar levels from rising too much (hyperglycemia), you need the right amount of insulin. With insufficient insulin, your blood sugar levels rise. Too much, and your blood sugar levels can plummet. Another possible cause of low blood sugar is drinking too much alcohol, especially on an empty stomach. This can interfere with the liver’s ability to release stored glucose into your bloodstream. Hepatitis and other problems with your liver can also lead to low blood sugar. Other causes include kidney disorders, anorexia nervosa, a pancreatic tumor, or adrenal gland disorders. There are a variety of symptoms of low blood sugar, but the only way to be sure what your blood glucose levels are is by taking a blood glucose test. Generally, blood sugar levels below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered too low, according to the American Diabetes Association. If you have diabetes, it’s important to monitor your blood sugar levels often. Low blood sugar can come on quickly Continue reading >>

Why Blood Sugar Levels Rise Overnight

Why Blood Sugar Levels Rise Overnight

get the scoop When you go to bed, your blood sugar reading is 110, but when you wake up in the morning, it has shot up to 150. Why does this happen? To understand how blood sugar levels can rise overnight without your eating anything, we have to look at where glucose comes from — and where it goes — while we sleep. During the day, the carbohydrates we eat are digested into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. Some of this glucose goes to the liver, where it is stored for later use. At night, while we are asleep, the liver releases glucose into the bloodstream. The liver acts as our glucose warehouse and keeps us supplied until we eat breakfast. The amount of glucose being used is matched by the amount of glucose being released by the liver, so blood sugar levels should remain constant. what is the dawn phenomenon? A rise in blood sugar level between approximately 3 A.M. and the time you wake up is called the “dawn phenomenon.” The liver is supposed to release just enough glucose to replace what is being used, and insulin works as the messenger to tell the liver how much is enough. But if there's not enough insulin (as with type 1 diabetes), or if there's enough insulin but it cannot communicate its message to the liver (as with type 2 diabetes), the liver starts to release glucose much too quickly. In addition, levels of hormones such as cortisol begin to increase in the early morning hours, which can contribute to altered insulin sensitivity. The result? Blood sugar levels rise. This is why blood sugar levels can go up between the time you go to bed and the time you wake up. what can you do about it? You might be able to make changes in the timing of your meals, medications, or insulin injections to help prevent dawn phenomenon. First, keep a detailed rec Continue reading >>

Sugar Highs Explained

Sugar Highs Explained

You're taking your medications as prescribed and you're keeping an eye on your carbohydrates, yet there still may be times when your blood sugar is too high. There are many reasons for blood sugar surges--I'd like to zero in on two common issues: high morning sugar and sugar that's high after exercising. Waking up to high sugar You'd think that your blood sugar should be lower after a night's sleep. After all, you haven't eaten anything for many hours. But the body needs glucose 24 hours a day, and if you're not getting it from food, your body will turn to stored glucose in the liver. Your pancreas needs to make insulin to deal with this glucose, just as it does for glucose derived from the food you eat. Unfortunately, in many people with diabetes, insulin production during periods of fasting is as meager as (or worse than) during eating. Therefore, the sugar may rise overnight because glucose being produced by the liver is not matched by adequate insulin from the pancreas. Also, certain medications, including glyburide (brand name Micronase or DiaBeta), glipizide (brand name Glipizide) and glimepiride (brand name Amaryl), improve meal-related insulin production more than fasting insulin production. As a result, many people who take these medicines have higher glucose levels in the morning than before bed at night. Sometimes a bedtime snack will actually help lower morning blood glucose, because the sugar (from the carbohydrates in your snack) that hits your bloodstream causes the body to release more insulin than the sugar your liver releases during the night while you're fasting. Ideally, your snack should contain protein, some healthy fat and a slowly absorbed carbohydrate, such as two teaspoons of peanut butter on a half-slice of stone-ground whole-wheat bread. If t Continue reading >>

The Bedtime Snack Unraveled

The Bedtime Snack Unraveled

Despite what you may have heard, it is not only “okay,” but actually VERY IMPORTANT to eat a bedtime snack! The common response to this is, “But I thought we weren’t supposed to eat after (insert time here)?” Let’s unravel this myth, by looking at the following three arguments: 1) Bedtime snacks provide unnecessary calories. If it were all about calories, then this argument may be legit, but…it’s not. So much more goes into metabolism than just calories; food quality and the type of macronutrients (P, F and C) consumed, timing of when you’re eating, hormone regulation, sleep, and the list goes on! The reason it’s important to eat a bedtime snack is because, in order to support your metabolism and therefore maintain your weight/promote weight loss, you need stable blood sugar levels. The reasoning for the combination of carbohydrate and fat before bed is because the carbs bring your blood sugar levels back up slightly (they’ve been falling since dinner or the time you last ate) and the fat slows the assimilation of the carbs into your blood stream, promoting nice stable blood sugar levels all night long. When blood sugar levels are stable, your fat BURNING hormone, glucagon, can do it’s awesome job (not to mention, the other sweet benefits of balanced blood sugar levels, including consistent energy levels, focus, stable moods, and no cravings just to name a few). If you take your blood sugar levels for a daily—maybe hourly—rollercoaster ride, you are creating an enviroment that your fat STORING hormone, insulin, THRIVES in! By following the Three-Three Rule that I outline in my article, Back to the Basics, you’re setting yourself up for success by promoting stable blood sugar levels all day long. Who wouldn’t want to create this same type Continue reading >>

More in blood sugar