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What Should Blood Sugar Be At Bedtime

Whats a Normal Blood Sugar Level? A Doctor Explains

Target blood sugar ranges can vary not only throughout your lifetime, but throughout a typical day as well!

You may opt to have a higher blood sugar before exercise, for example, or a lower blood sugar before eating dessert. This all depends on the individual.

But one common question is what should your blood sugar be at bedtime?

This article will discuss the importance of having a safe blood sugar before bed, what to do to achieve it, and other tips for better blood sugar management in the evening.

Check Your Blood Glucose Levels

For many people with diabetes, checking their blood glucose level each day is an important way to manage their diabetes. Monitoring your blood glucose level is most important if you take insulin. The results of blood glucose monitoring can help you make decisions about food, physical activity, and medicines.

The most common way to check your blood glucose level at home is with a blood glucose meter. You get a drop of blood by pricking the side of your fingertip with a lancet. Then you apply the blood to a test strip. The meter will show you how much glucose is in your blood at the moment.

Ask your health care team how often you should check your blood glucose levels. Make sure to keep a record of your blood glucose self-checks. You can print copies of this glucose self-check chart. Take these records with you when you visit your health care team.

Blood Sugar Basics: What Is Blood Sugar

The term “blood sugar” refers to the sugar, or glucose, that is floating around in your bloodstream at any given time. Blood sugar, or blood glucose is the main source of sugar found in your blood, and comes from the food you eat.

If you are monitoring your blood sugar, it is important to keep these numbers in check according to the American Diabetes Association .

Your blood sugar needs to be in the right range for you to be healthy. At least some glucose is necessary for your muscle, liver, and some other cells to use as fuel so they can function.

At least some sugar is necessary for your cells and organs to function properly. When our blood sugar levels get too low, it is called hypoglycemia. Without enough glucose as fuel, we lose the ability to function normally. This can make us feel weak, dizzy, and sweaty. And it can even lead to loss of consciousness.

On the other hand, blood sugar levels that get too high are also harmful, this is called hyperglycemia. Our blood sugar levels can get too high when we don’t have enough insulin, or when our insulin isn’t working well. This is the case for people who have prediabetes or diabetes. If it isn’t treated, high blood sugar can lead to serious problems that can be deadly

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that keeping blood sugar levels in the target range is vital. It can help us prevent serious health concerns like heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease, for example.

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Different Levels And What They Mean

Normal Blood Sugar Levels:17 Natural Ways To Stabilize &  Prevent Spikes

The ranges of safe levels of blood glucose depend on factors such as what time of day it is and when you last ate. Safe levels of blood sugar are high enough to supply your organs with the sugar they need, but low enough to prevent symptoms of hyperglycemia or complications of diabetes which follow the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases guides. Dangerous levels of blood glucose are outside of this range.

The target levels can also vary if you have diabetes. For example, if you are diabetic and are monitoring your blood sugar, you might get a reading of 65 mg/dl. That is considered to be mild hypoglycemia, and you would be wise to eat 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and retest your blood sugar in 15 minutes.

If you were not diabetic, you probably would not know that your sugar was low because you would not test and because you would not symptoms, and you would not act.

That is fine because your body is capable, under normal circumstances, of raising your blood glucose to healthy levels when needed, even if you have not eaten. It is important to keep them in control to help prevent issues like heart disease or nerve damage.

Looking for the best prediabetes diet? Learn what foods are best to help you manage your prediabetes.

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What Foods Control Blood Sugar

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Tips For Stabilizing Blood Sugar Levels At Bedtime

The following tips can help you stabilize your blood sugar levels around bedtime, so you dont fall either too high or too low overnight.

Preventing low blood sugar overnight

  • Have a snack before bed that is full of both fat and protein, as this will slow digestion of the carbohydrates, and stabilize glucose levels
  • If you regularly exercise, do so earlier in the day
  • Have a lower carbohydrate dinner, so you have less insulin on board before going to sleep
  • Limit alcohol in general, and especially right before bed, as this can make blood sugar levels crash
  • Lower your insulin basal rates overnight if you use an insulin pump
  • if youre on multiple daily injections , take your long-acting dose in the morning, so its not as strong overnight . Work with your doctor before adjusting any insulin dose or timing of doses.
  • Get a continuous glucose monitor and set your low alarm higher than what you would treat a low blood sugar level at, so you can wake up and adjust before experiencing a dangerous low blood sugar.

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Target Blood Sugar Levels For Pregnant People With Diabetes

It’s possible for diabetes to cause problems during pregnancy. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who have uncontrolled blood sugar levels could experience an increased risk of having a premature baby, needing a C-section and more.

Gestational diabetes â a type of diabetes that occurs in a pregnant person who has never been diagnosed with diabetes before â can also cause complications. These include giving birth to a baby who is larger than average and an increased risk of needing a C-section. The ADA suggests that pregnant people shoot for a target fasting blood sugar level of 95 mg/dL or less before a meal.

Keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range will help protect you and your baby.

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Low Blood Sugar: What To Watch Out For

What should my blood sugar level be? | Patient

Hypoglycemia can occur in people with diabetes who:

  • Take too much medication or insulin
  • Are late eating a meal or snack
  • Have increased physical activity
  • Drink too much alcohol

Symptoms of low blood sugar include feeling weak, sweaty or clammy, confused, hungry and/or irritable. Sometimes people experience a fast heartbeat and some symptoms may make a person appear to be drunk. A severely low blood sugar can result in unconsciousness, seizures, coma or death especially when a low occurs during the night.

Low blood sugar affects many parts of the body, but the most frustrating part can be that hypoglycemia can happen anytime and anywhere even when you think you are closely following the plan for your diabetes care. If low blood sugar is severe, people may need to go to the hospital to help raise their glucose level or miss work due to the side effects.

It can happen during a date, during a business meeting, or even while driving, which is the most dangerous scenario if there is confusion or loss of consciousness while behind the wheel. Its important to use your blood glucose meter to check your blood sugar before you drive to keep yourself and others safe. Frequent testing with your blood sugar meter and taking action when blood sugar is trending low can prevent a severe low and keep your life on track.

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How Do I Prepare For The Plasma Glucose Level Test And How Are The Results Interpreted

To get an accurate plasma glucose level, you must have fasted for at least 8 hours prior to the test. When you report to the clinic or laboratory, a small sample of blood will be taken from a vein in your arm. According to the practice recommendations of the American Diabetes Association, the results of the blood test are interpreted as follows:

Fasting blood glucose level

  • If your blood glucose level is 70 to 99* mg/dL . . .
  • What it means: Your glucose level is within the normal range.
  • If your blood glucose level is 100 to 125 mg/dL . . .
  • What it means: You have an impaired fasting glucose level .
  • If your blood glucose level is 126 mg/dl or higher on more than one testing occasion. . .
  • What it means: You have diabetes.
  • *Values between 50 and 70 are often seen in healthy people.

    **The condition of “prediabetes” puts you at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood lipid disorders.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/21/2018.

    References

    Should I Use A Continuous Glucose Monitor

    While a fingerstick blood sugar test gives you a static glimpse of your glucose level at that precise moment in time, a CGM is a more constant flow of information that provides a more complete picture and pattern of how youre doing.

    This device monitors glucose levels under the skin, providing real-time results every 1 to 5 minutes. You insert a CGM on your body and wear it for 7 to 14 days, with the diabetes data being streamed to a separate handheld receiver or your smartphone app.

    Importantly, you can see in real-time the effects of food and exercise on your glucose levels, and catch cases of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia as they happen, avoiding the potentially dangerous consequences. Its also a potentially life-saving tool for people with diabetes who experience hypoglycemia unawareness, alerting them to impending low blood sugars when their own bodies fail to recognize the warning signs.

    Research has shown, time and time again, the benefits of CGM in helping people improve their diabetes outcomes. This

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    Why Your Blood Sugar Level May Be Low

    If blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, it is below normal levels. This can be caused by a variety of factors, such as:

    • Not eating enough or missing a meal or snack
    • Reducing the amount of carbohydrates you normally eat
    • Alcohol consumption especially if youre drinking on an empty stomach
    • Taking too much insulin or oral diabetes medication based on carbohydrates or activity levels
    • Increased physical activity
    • Side effects from medications

    If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose meter and sources of fast-acting glucose close by in case your blood sugar drops. This is especially important for people with hypoglycemia unawareness, which is a condition that causes symptoms of low blood sugar to go unnoticed.

    Eating balanced meals and snacks at regular times throughout the day is a big part of maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Check out our article on meal planning for diabetes to better understand the three macronutrients where calories come from and which have the biggest effect on blood sugar.

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    Everyone will respond differently to certain factors, which is why its important to have individualized target glucose levels. To help you reach your target blood glucose goals, work with your healthcare provider to discuss modifications to your diet, physical activity, or medications, and alert them of other factors like a recent illness or stressful event.

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    What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels

    Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular physical activity can all help. Other tips include:

    • Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
    • Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
    • Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
    • Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
    • Drink water instead of juice or soda.
    • Limit alcoholic drinks.
    • For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
    • Control your food portions .

    What Are Blood Sugar Targets

    A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:

    • Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
    • Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.

    Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.

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    Blood Sugar Levels 2 Hours After You’ve Eaten

    Many foods have types of carbohydrates called starches and sugars. When you eat foods with these types of carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is a type of simple sugar, and releases the glucose into your bloodstream. Aside from glucose produced by your liver, food is the main source of plasma glucose.

    Two hours after eating, your blood sugar levels rise. They rise more when you eat more carbohydrates, when you do not eat fiber, fat, or protein with your carbs, and when you eat certain types of carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and starches.

    These are target values from The Joslin Diabetes Center, which include levels for people with diabetes:

    When Measured
    90-150 mg/dl

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