Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up At Night
There are many factors that can cause your blood sugar to increase at night. For example: what food you ate during the day, how much and when you exercised, whether you ate snacks before bed, the timing of your insulin doses, and your stress level. You can experience different patterns of high blood sugar at night. You may start with high glucose when you go to bed, start the night in range but go high several hours later, or spend most of the night in range until the hours just before you wake up. By identifying your bodys patterns, you can figure out what is causing your high blood sugar and how to address it.
Common causes of a glucose increase at night include:
High Blood Sugar: Causes Complications And How To Lower Blood Sugar
Your body breaks down glucose for energy using the insulin produced by the pancreas. This is required for our bodies to function. Illness can have an impact on the way our pancreas functions. Read this to learn how high blood sugar can affect your health.
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Your body requires energy to function, and this energy comes from food. Specifically, your body breaks down glucose for energy using the insulin produced by the pancreas.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause impairment to this breakdown of sugar in the body, causing blood glucose levels to become irregular. When glucose is not broken down into energy, it can build up in the bloodstream and then becomes a health problem.
Your pancreas produces insulin, which breaks down glucose. With type 1 diabetes, the cells that produce insulin are mistakenly attacked by your immune system. As a result of this autoimmune condition, blood sugar levels can become dangerously high without intervention.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body no longer responds to insulin as well as it should and then also causes glucose to accumulate in the blood.
Eliminate Whats Stressing You Out
While this seems obvious, it should be your first plan of action. You might not be able to completely avoid the stress, but you could reduce it by brainstorming alternatives and problem solving. If you want to avoid rush-hour traffic, try leaving at a different time or adopt a new route. If a relationship is troubling you, see if you can make amends. If you find you cannot accomplish tasks at hand, find new ways to get organized.
Prevention In People Without Diabetes
People without diabetes can usually prevent EIH by:
- gradually building up to new exercise routines to give the body time to adapt
- eating regular meals throughout the day
- avoiding drinking alcohol before a workout
Individuals who feel shaky or dizzy during a workout should stop and take a break. They should try drinking 4 oz of juice or eating a piece of toast, then resuming their workout later.
Hypoglycemia can be life threatening if blood glucose levels drop too low. A person who experiences one or more of the following symptoms requires emergency medical attention:
- loss of consciousness
- symptoms that persist despite resting or consuming more food
People should consult a doctor if they frequently experience EIH or hypoglycemia at other times. If the person has diabetes, this could be a sign that their diabetes medication dosage is incorrect or that they are taking too much insulin.
Causes Of High Blood Sugar
The leading causes of high blood sugar or hyperglycemia include:
Diet: Glucose comes from food, so what you are eating causes high blood sugar. Carbohydrates are the most common culprit as they are broken down into glucose very quickly in the body. High-sugar foods, high-fat foods, and processed foods also cause blood glucose spikes and should be replaced with healthier options.
Stress: When you are stressed, more stress hormones and chemicals are released, which drives blood sugar levels up too. If the stress is only temporary, this is not a serious issue, but if you experience chronic stress or an anxiety disorder, you may experience high blood sugar levels more often.
Metabolic Syndrome: These are a collection of conditions that occur at the same time and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. High blood pressures, excess fat around the waist, and high cholesterol or triglycerides are examples of these conditions. When these occur in the body together, your risk for diabetes increases as does your blood sugar and the risk for potential complications.
Physical Inactivity: A lack of physical activity contributes to elevated blood sugar. When you are physically active each day, insulin works more efficiently, and your blood sugar can be maintained.
Also Check: When’s The Best Time To Check Blood Sugar
Great Bedtime Snacks For People Living With Diabetes
For some people, a healthy bedtime snack helps to prevent glucose swings during the night. By eating a small snack that is full of protein and healthy fats , your body may be better able to avoid an overnight high but if you take insulin, be sure to cover the carbohydrates in your snack even if it only requires a small dose of insulin.
Here are some snack ideas:
Plain nuts or seeds try eating a small handful
Raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, or tomatoes, with a small amount of hummus or peanut butter
Plain yogurt, and you can add berries or cinnamon
Remember, a bedtime snack is only helpful for some people. To see if it works for you, youll have to carefully monitor your glucose before bed, during the night, and when you wake up.
Best Snacks Before Bed
People can tailor their snacking based on their weight goals and how their body reacts to sugar overnight. A dietician can help.
The best snacks for each person will depend on how the body responds to the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect, as well as personal preferences and goals.
The ADA recommend that people develop a personalized meal plan with their healthcare team, and this can include snacks and their timings.
Little scientific evidence points to an ideal bedtime snack, but researchers believe that beneficial snacks will contain:
- high levels of protein
- limited carbohydrates
Foods with this composition may help limit blood glucose spikes during the night and ensure lower blood glucose levels in the morning.
Try one the following healthful snacks before bed to help manage blood sugar levels and satisfy nighttime hunger:
Read Also: What Foods Do Not Raise Blood Sugar
How Are Low Blood Sugar Levels Treated
Your diabetes health care team will give you guidelines for treating low blood sugar levels, depending on your symptoms. If you can, try to test your blood sugar levels to make sure that your symptoms are because of hypoglycemia. If you cant test blood sugar immediately, dont delay in treating your symptoms you can always check your blood sugar after youve taken steps to get your blood sugar back up into the normal range.
When blood sugar levels are low, the goal is to get them back up quickly. To do that, you should take in sugar or sugary foods, which raise the blood sugar level quickly. Your health care team might suggest that you:
- Eat, drink, or take something that contains sugar that can get into the blood quickly. Your doctor may tell you to have really sugary foods or drinks or might give you glucose tablets or gel to take all of these can help to raise your blood sugar level fast, which is what you need to do when its low.
- Wait about 10 minutes to let the sugar work.
- Recheck your blood sugar level with a glucose meter to see if blood sugar levels are back to normal.
- Get a glucagon shot , if your symptoms are severe or get worse after you eat, drink, or take glucose.
Sometimes, blood sugar levels can get so low that you may not be awake enough to eat or drink something to get them back up. When this happens, you may need a glucagon shot.
Learn About The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is a tool used for blood sugar management that measures how much a specific food will affect glucose levels. Foods are classified using the glycemic index, where they are ranked on a scale of 0 to 100 and classified as low, medium, or high. The higher the glycemic index, the more that food will cause blood sugar spikes.
Read Also: How To Get Sugar Diabetes
How To Prevent Hyperglycaemia And Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels
Testing your blood sugar levels regularly can help you spot the signs of hyperglycaemia. But there are some steps you can take to either prevent a hyper from happening or to bring down your blood sugar levels.
You can start by making sure you are aware of your carbohydrate portions and how they may be affecting your blood sugar levels after eating. Carb countingis one of the ways you can manage this. Avoid foods that have a high glycemic index and choose low GI foods that can help manage your blood sugar levels more effectively. Increase the fibre in your diet. This can help slow down carbohydrate digestion, which can help limit the rise in your blood sugars.
Try to maintain a healthy weight as this promotes regular blood sugar levels in the body. Be as active as possible, regular exercise can help your body process more of the sugar.
Remember to take your insulin and other diabetes medication, and always take them correctly. Continue to take your diabetes medication even if you are ill and not eating.
Concentrate on your emotional wellbeing, get a quality nights sleep and find ways to manage your stress. Stress can cause hormones to be released, which keep your blood sugar levels high.
If your blood sugar levels continue to be high, or youre unsure of what to do, contact your doctor for further guidance.
How Can I Prevent Low Blood Glucose
All people with diabetes:
- If you experience low blood glucose often, ask your doctor if setting a higher goal for your A1C level may be appropriate.
- Ask your doctor to look at the test results from your home blood glucose monitor. These results reveal how often you have low blood glucose and when these episodes occur. Your doctor will look for patterns to see if low glucose happens after exercise or at certain times of day, for example.
- If youve had low blood glucose in the past, consider wearing a medical alert bracelet so that others will know that you have diabetes in the event of an emergency.
- Keep a fast-acting carbohydrate in your bag, desk drawer, car and other places for easy access. Good options include hard candy, fruit juice or glucose paste or tablets, which can be purchased at most pharmacies.
- Ask your doctor for an emergency glucagon kit. This kit contains a fast- acting medication that can be injected in case of loss of consciousness because of low blood glucose. Keep one kit at home and one at work or school.
- Monitor your blood glucose regularly so that low levels can be corrected before symptoms progress.
Read Also: My Husband Has Diabetes Erectile Dysfunction
Also Check: How Much Sugar In Mayonnaise
What Causes Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus refers to a group of diseases that affect how the body uses blood sugar . Glucose is an important source of energy for the cells that make up the muscles and tissues. Its also the brains main source of fuel.
The main cause of diabetes varies by type. But no matter what type of diabetes you have, it can lead to excess sugar in the blood. Too much sugar in the blood can lead to serious health problems.
When youre healthy, your pancreas releases insulin to help your body store and use sugar from the food you eat. Diabetes happens when one or more of the following occurs:
Your pancreas doesnt make any insulin.
Your pancreas makes very little insulin.
Your body doesnt respond the way it should to insulin
Unlike people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 diabetes make insulin. But the insulin their pancreas releases isnt enough, or their body cant recognize the insulin and use it properly.
Is Sugar Bad For You
If you love sweets, don’t despair. You don’t have to give them up forever. Sugar will raise your blood sugar levels more quickly than other carbs, but diabetes experts now say the total amount of carbs is most important. So keep your serving sizes small and take into account the total carbs and calories.
Recommended Reading: Which Sugar Is Good For Diabetics
What Can You Do
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.
Stress Increases Cortisol Which Affects Insulin Sensitivity
Youre overextended at work, theres a family crisis, and suddenly your blood sugar level is through the roof. Sound familiar? Stress definitely raises blood sugar levels, Dodell says. It increases cortisol, our fight-or-flight hormone. When cortisol goes up, it makes us less sensitive either to our bodys own insulin or to insulin injections.
Stress can be physical sustaining an injury, for example or mental, such as being beset with financial woes or marriage problems. Even positive changes to your daily routine a promotion at work or going on vacation can cause a sudden increase in blood sugar, he says.
The best ways to de-stress and get the hormones back under control? People often turn to food, which doesnt help, Grieger says. But we can learn new ways to manage stress. There are things you can do when youre right in the moment when tension at work suddenly makes you want to pull your hair out. Go for a five-minute walk or take 10 deep breaths to slow your breathing, she says. And there are regular habits you can develop, like establishing a daily exercise or meditation routine.
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How Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar
Blood sugar, also called glucose, is the bodys main source of energy it mainly comes from the carbohydrates in food, according to Kaiser Permanente. The body regulates blood sugar levels with the help of the hormone insulin, which moves glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells.
Exercise lowers blood sugar levels by increasing the bodys insulin sensitivity, aka its ability to use insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association . This helps the muscles get more glucose. Additionally, physical activity allows the cells to take in more glucose, whether insulin is available or not. This further reduces blood sugar.
Exercise also depletes the bodys glycogen stores, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. When you eat, your liver stores some glucose in the form of glycogen for later use. During exercise, this glycogen is converted back into glucose for fuel. After exercise, it can take the body anywhere from four to 24 hours to replenish its glycogen stores, depending on the intensity of the activity. That means even if exercise doesnt cause low blood sugar in the moment, it can increase the risk of hypoglycemia for people with diabetes for up to 24 hours after a workout.
Dr. Hafida says that exercise doesnt pose a risk of hypoglycemia for people without diabetes. Even though a person without diabetes may sometimes âfeelâ the symptoms of low blood sugar, their blood glucose levels will usually still be within the normal range.
Insufficient Sleep Can Throw Blood Sugar Out Of Whack
Restless nights hurt more than your mood and energy they may also spell trouble for your blood sugar. A review published in December 2015 in Diabetes Therapy concluded that a lack of sleep may hinder glucose control and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
“Sleep is restorative,” Bonsignore says. “Not getting enough sleep is a form of chronic stress on the body, and anytime you have added stress, you’re going to have higher blood sugar levels.”
Unfortunately, people with type 2 diabetes commonly report troubles sleeping, McDermott says. Those with high body-mass indexes are at particular risk for sleep apnea, in which breathing frequently starts and stops during sleep.
To improve your sleep quality and duration, work to get into a consistent sleep routine where you go to bed and wake at the same time every day. Your goal: Nab seven to nine hours of sleep per night, per recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation. If you continue to have sleep troubles or suspect you have sleep apnea , reach out to a sleep medicine specialist for support, Bonsignore says.
Also Check: How To Test Blood Sugar Levels At Home
Here Are Fruits That Are Not Only Diabetic
Savouring fruits is a healthy way to curb sugar cravings, especially if you have diabetes. While there have been many myths about fruit consumption in diabetes, studies and research have come up with the fruits that can be consumed in this condition and their relation to blood sugar levels. It is believed that consuming seasonal fruits not only increases nutrient intake but also reduces sugar and inflammation levels in fighting high blood pressure. Fruits are rich in antioxidants and are full of vitamins A, B, C, E, and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber.
Here are fruits that are not only diabetic-friendly but are also loaded with fiber and water content which can slow down the sugar spikes and sugar absorption rate.
Apples: They are not just nutritious and filling According to a?study, they are significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes if consumed in moderation. Turns out there is a truth in the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, after all!
Avocados: They are a great source of healthy fats and more than 20 vitamins and minerals. They are high in fibers as well, and have been?linked?with lowering the risk of diabetes.
Berries: Adding berries is one of the best ways to add a variety to your diabetes-friendly diet. You can choose from blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries because all of them are power-packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fibers.