Detecting low blood sugar levels during the night can be difficult. But, there are some strategies you can try to prevent it from happening.
The sudden drop in blood sugar levels at night can be a common problem for people with diabetes. As a matter of fact, a study issued in June 2013 stated that people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes experience low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia during sleep.
Moreover, multiple factors can cause this problem. So, it is difficult to know the exact reason behind it.
Some different causes can result in hypoglycemia, such as:
- Drinking alcohol before bed
- Excessive exercising before bedtime
- Certain medications
- Some medical conditions
If left untreated, hypoglycemia may cause headaches and loss of sleep. But, there are also some severe cases where it can even cause seizures or death. However, the good news is that you can easily prevent blood sugar levels from dropping during sleep.
8 Strategies for Preventing Hypoglycemia
To avoid hypoglycemia during the night, you need to make sure that your body has an adequate amount of glucose in the system. Therefore, we suggest you check your blood sugar before trying to get some sleep.
If your blood sugar is lower than 100 mg/dl at bedtime, it may be a good idea to eat more snacks. Some doctors may even suggest consuming a complex carbohydrate snack before going to sleep. In addition, it may be useful to eat a bowl of oatmeal, whole wheat bread, pinto, or black beans.
The oatmeal can give the right slow-burning carbohydrates that your body might need during the night. Aside from eating more snacks, here are some other tricks you can do.
1. Drink Less Alcohol
If you plan on drinking alcohol in the evening, try to limit the intake and consume it with food. Furthermore, do not drink it right before bedtime since it can keep you awake. Also, try not to drink more than a glass or two per day.
2. Be Proactive
If you frequently experience hypoglycemia, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor. He or she will suggest that you monitor your glucose levels more frequently. For it, you should use a CGM. This monitor will alert you about the changes in your blood sugar levels.
3. Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
Check your blood sugar levels before going to bed. It should be around 140 mg/dl. But, if the glucose level is too low, you should eat a healthy snack to balance the blood sugar. Also, consult with your doctor to know if you need to reduce the insulin doses.
4. Have a Remedy at Hand
Keep some glucose tablets or juice near your bed. This way, whenever you feel the need to stabilize your blood sugar, you can use a remedy.
5. Avoid Late Night Exercises
Do not exercise right before bedtime. It is important to finish your exercise routine at least 2 hours before you go to sleep. If you do exercise late at night, there is a chance that the glucose levels might drop overnight.
6. Keep the Levels In Check
Monitor your blood sugar levels at 3 a.m. This will give your doctor a more detailed insight into what is going on in your body.
7. Don’t Skip Dinner
Skipping dinner meals are a common cause of hypoglycemia. But, if you like eating much later in the evening, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor if you should be using rapid-acting insulin, instead of regular insulin.
The regular insulin decreases the blood sugar levels for 6 hours; while the rapid-acting one completely stops the glucose levels from dropping within 2 to 4 hours.
8. Know the Symptoms
It is important to know the symptoms of hypoglycemia in order to treat it. When the blood sugar decreases below 70 mg/dl in the middle of the night, you might experience:
- A headache
So, if you feel anxious or have a rapid pulse before going to bed, you should check your blood sugar levels.