How High Blood Sugar Impacts Sleep
The symptoms you may experience with high blood sugar at night could make it difficult for you to sleep, including falling and staying asleep. Depending on when you eat prior to bedtime, your digestive system may wake you up at odd hours.
A related issue is known as the dawn phenomenon, which is when you wake up with high blood sugar in the morning. The foods you eat in the evening may contribute slightly to this.
Take Advantage Of Technology
If you are fortunate enough to own a continuous glucose monitor , you should make the most of its features. Keep the alarms set to a high and low blood sugar number that you are comfortable with to help wake you if damage control is needed. You can also share Dexcom with a loved one who could alert you of dangerous numbers if you are unable to wake from the alarm on your own. Pumps like Tandem Basal Control have become extremely popular, as they can release insulin if your blood sugars get too high allowing you to focus solely on dreaming of a cure!
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:
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What Is Somogyi Effect
The Somogyi Effect or rebound hyperglycemia refers to blood sugar levels plummeting overnight. When this happens, the body takes it as a cue to release the counter-regulatory hormones , glucagon, adrenaline, and cortisol to raise blood sugar levels in order to keep them from falling too low.
Sometimes, there is an over-correction that actually leads to hyperglycemia or elevated blood sugar levels.
Ways To Avoid Nighttime Hypoglycemia
Check your glucose before going to bed. This could be either with your glucose meter or your continuous glucose monitoring device. Aim for a target of 90-150mg/dl. Know the signs and symptoms of nighttime hypoglycemia. Before you go to bed, consider all of the causes of nighttime hypoglycemia, and if you think youre at risk, have a snack before heading to bed. Try to be consistent with your meals and/or snacks skipping dinner or snacks you usually have can put you at risk. Eat a meal or snack when consuming alcohol.You may need to reduce your predinner or evening/bedtime basal insulin following exercise. Be prepared, have rapid-acting carbohydrates like glucose tablets, juice or soda at your bedside. If you find yourself experiencing frequent nighttime hypoglycemia you may need to adjust your insulin doses. Speak to your diabetes care team about adjusting your insulin regimen or things that you can do to avoid hypoglycemia whether it be overnight or anytime during the day.
Although this content is reviewed by Joslin Diabetes Center healthcare professionals, it is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.
To make an appointment with a Joslin provider or diabetes care and education specialist please call 309-2440.
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High Blood Sugar At Night: What It Means And What To Do By Mehdi Yacoubi
Your body is a complex machine working around the clock to maintain a healthy status quo. Muscles flex, tendons stretch, nerves fire, and over 10 different organ systems communicate to support one another throughout the day.
At some point, however, your body decides it needs to rest after all that endless work. As you get ready for bed and drift off to sleep, these systems remain active and alert. And one of them â the circulatory system â regulates your blood glucose levels.
From body weight to sleep habits, many factors influence your blood glucose levels when you sleep. But if these levels are irregular at night, what should you do to regain control? And how can you stabilize them again, whether theyre high or low? Here are some tips and strategies to help you understand and manage your blood glucose levels before bed and through the night.
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In Case Of Low Blood Sugar Levels
For a low blood sugar level, the underlying cause must be known. People with low blood sugar levels should consume healthy food or drinks containing natural sugar, such as juices, honey, syrup, glucose tablets, etc. For treating severely low blood sugar levels is to give injectable glucagon, a kit available on prescription.
You can introduce the following remedies into the routine of people dealing with low blood sugar level issues:
- Routine regular exercises such as running, walking, and swimming
- Proper diet and focusing on low carb intake
- Include high fibre soluble food in the diet such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes
- Drink lots of water and keep yourselves hydrated
- Chewing the food properly and eating slowly
- Focusing on quality and quantity of sleep is both very important to have a healthy body and a mind
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High Blood Sugar Levels During The Night And In The Morning
Your blood sugar levels may be normal before bed but rise during the night.
Symptoms of high blood sugar levels while you sleep include:
When you sleep, your body doesnt require as much fuel as it does when you are awake. However, when you wake up, your body gets ready to work and produce energy, and your liver begins releasing glucose into the blood. This causes the pancreas to release extra insulin to handle the rising blood sugar levels in your body.
With diabetes, your body cant produce sufficient insulin to process the released glucose. This causes blood sugar levels to rise in the morning.
Always Follow Up With The Doctor
It is very important to call your doctor as soon as possible after experiencing nocturnal hypoglycemia. The patient and doctor should try to figure out what caused the episode and how to prevent it from happening again.Often the doctor will suggest:
Changing the dose or timing of insulin or other medications
Setting an alarm for the early morning so that the patient can test their blood glucose levels and determine how often the episodes occur
Having the person wear a continuous glucose monitor that checks blood glucose every five minutes with an alarm that wakes the patient from sleep if levels start to drop too low. This option is usually reserved for patients who experience frequent or severe nocturnal hypoglycemia
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Lowering Your High Blood Sugar At Night
As weve learned, blood sugar levels are subject to change throughout the day as a result of habits and conditions. From the quality of your sleep to your body weight, the variables at play can quickly become overwhelming, but there are steps you can take to monitor and manage your blood sugar.
Consider investing in a personalized health system like Vitals continuous glucose monitor and app to gain a better understanding of whats happening within your body. Even if youâre healthy, active, and attentive, you can still benefit from this information that takes the guesswork out of how your body is performing. Then, based on the data, you can receive personalized and actionable recommendations to optimize your metabolism. Doing so will allow you to manage your blood sugar and maintain healthy levels each and every night.
The Dawn Phenomenon: What Can You Do
What is the dawn phenomenon that some people with diabetes experience? Can anything be done about it? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. The dawn phenomenon, also called the dawn effect, is the term used to describe an abnormal early-morning increase in blood sugar usually between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. in people with diabetes. Some researchers believe the natural overnight release of the so-called counter-regulatory hormones including growth hormone, cortisol, glucagon and epinephrine increases insulin resistance, causing blood sugar to rise. High morning blood sugar may also be caused by insufficient insulin the night before, insufficient anti-diabetic medication dosages or carbohydrate snack consumption at bedtime. If you have persistently elevated blood sugar in the morning, checking your blood sugar once during the night around 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. for several nights in a row will help you and your doctor determine if you have the dawn phenomenon or if there’s another reason for an elevated morning blood sugar reading. What you can do Your doctor may recommend a number of options to help you prevent or correct high blood sugar levels in the morning: Avoid carbohydrates at bedtime. Adjust your dose of medication or insulin. Switch to a different medication. Change the time when you take your medication or insulin from dinnertime to bedtime. Use an insulin pump to administer extra insulin during early-morning hours.Continue reading > >
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Sleep And Blood Sugar Levels: The Association
People with diabetes experience high or low blood sugar levels. The blood sugar levels in diabetic patients depend on the insulin performance of the body. When the pancreas fails to release insulin or does not release enough, the condition is known as type 1 diabetes. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body doesnt react correctly to insulin .
A study reports that diabetic people are at greater risk of stroke or heart disease. Hence, they should lead a healthy lifestyle and keep track of their blood sugar levels. The fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle involve adequate sleep and the least stress. So, if you have diabetes, you must prioritise your sleep and ensure that you give your body enough rest because these factors are proportional to your blood sugar levels.
An analysis shows that people whose sleeping hours as less than 6 are likely to have type 2 diabetes. It also shows that those who sleep more than 9 hours can get diabetes. So, just like a healthy diet and regular exercise are essential for a fit body, sleep also plays a vital role. Furthermore, sleeping for less than 6 hours may release excess cortisol, which causes insulin resistance and spikes blood sugar levels.
Causes Of High Blood Sugar At Night
There are many causes of high blood sugar at night, including:
- A dinner or bedtime snack high in carbohydrates: Eating starchy or high-sugar foods late in the day can lead to high blood sugar at night, as well as high blood sugar in the morning.
- Illness or injury: Trauma can trigger a hypermetabolic response , leading to high blood sugar.
- Too little exercise: Exercise helps the body more effectively use insulin, so lack of exercise could contribute to high blood sugar.
- Too little insulin or diabetes medicine: When the body does not produce insulin or does not use insulin effectively and you dont properly take your injectable insulin or diabetes medicine, glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream.
- Menstruation:Progesterone is a hormone linked to a decreased production of insulin, which affects glucose metabolism and can potentially lead to high blood sugar.
- Pregnancy: Hormone levels fluctuate during pregnancy. Diabetes that occurs during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes.
- Stress: Stress, as measured by levels of a hormone called cortisol, is linked to decreased insulin sensitivity. With this, glucose cannot get into your cells and be used for energy. As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar. When people are stressed, they may also overeat sugary foods or adopt other unhealthy eating habits.
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What To Eat To Maintain Blood Sugar Levels At Night
If you’re hungry at night, eat a low-carb snack to keep your blood sugar from spiking. If you’re managing the Somogyi effect, you’ll likely need to include some carbohydrates to prevent low blood sugar and the resulting rebound hyperglycemia. Rizzotto says an evening snack should be eaten about two hours before bed.
Protein does not spike blood sugar or insulin levels, making it an ideal bedtime food choice. Protein also slows the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, according to a June 2015 systematic review published in Diabetes Care. The slower the body absorbs carbs, the less your blood sugar levels will rise. Smart high-protein options include a hard-boiled egg, tofu, low-fat yogurt or a few slices of low-fat deli meat, such as turkey.
Fats also play an important role in controlling blood sugar levels. According to the National Institute on Aging, they give the body energy without raising blood sugars. They also help the body absorb essential vitamins. Therefore, it’s wise to include a small amount of healthy fat in your evening snack.
Healthy fats are found in low-fat cheeses, seeds, nuts, avocados and olive oil. But though these fat sources are nutritious, it’s important that you enjoy them in moderation so as to avoid consuming too many calories and gaining weight. A healthy serving size for nuts, seeds and cheese is about an ounce, or 1 to 2 tablespoons.
The Relationship Between Blood Sugar And Sleep
The blood sugar level is the amount of glucose present in the body. The glucose in the body comes from the food that you consume. The blood transports glucose to body cells as energy. Research shows that blood sugar levels usually increase when a person sleeps. However, Blood sugar fluctuations that occur overnight and during sleep are normal and not a cause for concern for most healthy people. But, sleep deprivation is a cause of concern as it may adversely affect your blood sugar levels.
People with diabetes are at a greater risk of issues concerned with blood sugar levels due to sleep deprivation. Another fallout of improper sleep is unhealthy sugar cravings. Your body feels low on energy after waking up from inadequate sleep. As a result, you feel the urge to eat something savoury or sweet. In most cases, the lack of energy and proper hydration levels can lead to unhealthy sugar cravings. As a result, it leads to a spike in blood sugar levels.
Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to high blood sugar levels and eventually lead to insulin resistance. Constant sleep deprivation increases the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. In addition, a lack of sleep makes you feel more dehydrated. The body depletes the tissues by draining more water to reduce the elevated sugar levels. The HealthifyPro 2.0 enables you to use technology efficiently, and the coaches assess your drinking and eating habits to guide you in modifying your blood glucose levels.
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A Low Blood Sugar Level Without Diabetes
A low blood sugar level is uncommon in people who do not have diabetes.
Possible causes include:
- a gastric bypass
- other medical conditions, such as problems with your hormone levels, pancreas, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands or heart
- some medicines, including quinine
See a GP if you think you keep getting symptoms of a low blood sugar level. They can arrange some simple tests to check if your blood sugar level is low and try to find out whats causing it.
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Which Set Of People Have High Blood Sugar At Night
High blood sugar at night is a serious complication and no different from other sugar highs. Blood spikes can affect any individual during the night and arent just limited to people with diabetes. In other words, while people with diabetes are the major population that suffers from blood sugar increase, other people can still experience the phenomenon.
According to a research article on PLOS Biology titled Glucotypes Reveal New Patterns of Glucose Dysregulation, high blood sugar spikes are just as common in people without diabetes as those with diabetes. The 2018 study, which involved 57 healthy respondents, showed that people who have never suffered from diabetic symptoms also experience blood sugar rise at night. The findings were contrary to the prior belief that glucose dysregulation was diabetes-related symptoms.
Healthy people suffered from a range of sugar rise with the severity ranging from low to medium to high variability. The primary cause of the spikes in healthy people was their food choice. However, the healthy respondents beta cells could produce enough insulin to reduce the consequences of abnormal glucose production.
It was, however, predicted that consistent high sugar consumption in healthy people will overwhelm their insulin production and leave them open to a range of conditions common with diabetes, like cardiovascular diseases.
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Trouble Sleeping From High Sugar Levels
High blood sugar levels can impact upon your sleep. It could be that the high levels make it less comfortable for you to sleep it may make you feel too warm or irritable and unsettled.
Another factor is if you need to go the toilet during the night. For people with regularly high blood sugar levels this can have a pronounced impact on your ability to get a good nights sleep. If this is the case, be sure to mention this to your health team.