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Kendsie Hunter: Diabetes and Sleeping - What About Low Blood Sugar?

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Following up to the last post about sleeping, living with diabetes usually does not equate to a good night of sleep, especially for the parents of juvenile diabetics. The key to a good night is to test your blood sugar and anticipate any changes that may occur overnight. Looking at patterns is an important skill to learn as a diabetic.

For example, I have noticed that if I have a big dinner, my blood sugar does not reflect it right away, but rather at bedtime. My blood sugar goes high long after eating. But due to all the insulin in my system from the dinner and the high blood sugar later on, I end up going low during the night.

Many know the dangers of going low at night. If you go low in your sleep, it is possible to fall into a diabetic coma (when your blood sugar goes so low that your body stops its normal functioning process and falls into a coma). The trouble begins here, because sleeping and being in a coma look very similar to the untrained eye. When you are a juvenile diabetic, it is important to know your patterns, low blood sugar symptoms, and be able to alert others in any way possible.

I am lucky enough to be able to tell when my blood sugar goes low. I can usually grab a juice box by myself, but if I can’t, I turn my alarm clock radio on really loud until my roommate or mom and dad hear it. This is a signal that we have established in order to avoid the coma scenario. If you are worried about low blood sugar in the middle of the night, set an alarm for two or three in the morning. You can test your blood sugar when the alarm goes off to see if you need juice for a low blood sugar level. If not, just roll over and fall into dreamland again!

If low blood sugar levels at night are a problem for you, please talk to your doctor about workable plans to avoid health risks.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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