Improving my Sleep with a Glucose Monitor
Do bad glucose levels lead to bad sleep?
Does a bad night sleep impact blood glucose levels the next day?
At the recent Quantified Self Amsterdam conference, we had a workshop on metabolism and sleep. During the workshop, we got a chance to meet and talk with type 1 diabetic patients who have been using continuous glucose monitors for years — and know deeply how sleep and glucose levels are related.
It turns out there’s so much more to glucose than just what we eat — sleep is a fundamental part of the equation.
I’ve measured my sleep with the Fitbit and the emFit for the last year. Both are great — giving insights into sleep, and giving a history of times slept/how well we slept over time.
While the Fitbit is great for starting out looking into sleep, the emFit is a prosumer device, giving more detail with minute-by-minute heart rate, Heart Rate Variability (how well rested the body is — see below section for more) and breathing patterns. The emFit is even used for medical research and for managing chronic diseases like epilepsy.
Does Blood Glucose Impact Sleep
Some of the worst nights sleep I’ve had is when my glucose levels have gone too low during the night (hypoglycaemia), cause by very low carb evening meals.
I’m restless. I’m cold. I wake up with a headache and feeling groggy the next morning.
When blood sugar goes too low, the liver will release new glucose, but it looks like this only happens when I’m awake. In above, the levels only went back up when I woke up.
This looks like what’s called ‘rebound hyperglycemia’.
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