Sleep Safe & Sound: Avoiding Overnight Low Blood Sugars

Worried about you or your child's blood glucose dropping when you sleep? The right bedtime routine can help ease your mind. Putting a plan in place will alleviate stress and reduce the need to check overnight blood glucose levels.


An Essential Blood Glucose Reading

Sleep should be restful, yet for people with diabetes it can be stressful. Many factors can affect glucose levels when you sleep. For starters: your body's varied need for insulin, how much glucose the liver produces, what and when you eat before bed, and how much and what type of exercise you've done during the day and near bedtime.

It's essential to check blood glucose an hour or so before bedtime. "This is the most important reading of the day," says Gary Scheiner, M.S., CDE, owner and director of Integrated Diabetes Services in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. "If you take insulin and you check at least three or four hours after dinner, you'll learn how well your dinnertime insulin covered the rise of your blood glucose from dinner." If you eat late, this bedtime reading may really reflect your after-meal level. If your bedtime glucose reading is low, treat the low. If you use insulin as part of your regular blood glucose control, and your blood sugar is high three or more hours after your dinner, you may need to take a few units of rapid-acting insulin.