Hypoglycemia at Night
An incident of low levels of blood sugar happening at night.
While sleeping, since the body’s requirement for energy drops, the liver only has to release a little glucose. For non-diabetics, their pancreas reacts accordingly by sending out a small amount of insulin, and the body in its actions achieves a glucose-insulin balance, effectively avoiding nighttime hypoglycemia..
For the diabetics, without the pancreas being able to send out insulin, such a balance cannot be had. So, the diabetics have to inject the correct amount of insulin just before sleep to get a normal level of blood sugar while sleeping.
Achieving a normal level of blood sugar can be difficult as sending in more insulin than needed or the wrong timing of the right amount of insulin injected can cause the level of blood sugar to be too low. Even consuming lesser food than what is normally eaten or consuming dinner at not the scheduled time can give a lower level of blood sugar at night. And exercising more strenuously throughout the day may result in lower levels of blood sugar as you sleep.
The typical symptoms of a low level of blood glucose are
- Extreme hunger
- Rapid heartbeat
They can happen at any time of the day and night.
Diabetics with nighttime hypoglycemia may experience
- Restless sleep
- Night sweats
Nighttime hypoglycemia frequently occurs among diabetics who practices intensive control over their blood sugar through numerous insulin injections throughout the day. In a study to find out the good and bad effects brought about by tight control over blood sugar, the participants practicing tight control triple their chances of suffering from hypoglycemia when compared with those not practicing tight control. Above 50 percent of these incidences happened during their sleep.
Are you Tired? Hypoglycemia, Diabetes, Sugar – Video Guide
Nighttime Hypoglycemia Prevention
Even though having a tight control over the levels of blood sugar can multiply the possibility of nighttime hypoglycemia, it is possible to lessen such risks. Below are some suggestions:
- Having a snack late at night can assist in preventing drops in levels of blood glucose. At present, there are commercial products such as Ensure, Choicedm, Extend, NiteBite and Gluc-O-Bar which a specially made to help you avoid nighttime hypoglycemia and, at the same time, not result in too much of an increase in the level of your blood glucose.
- If you always have late dinners, get your medical practitioner to replace the usual dinnertime insulin with insulin which is fast-acting, such as lispro or aspart, which acts in less than 5 minutes, is most effective in an hour and stops its effect in 2 – 4 hours, which is a comparatively shorter time to the usual insulin’s 3 – 6 hours.
- From time to time, check your levels of blood sugar at 3 AM. The result can be information which can assist you in deciding whether there is any need for changes in your normal schedule.
- Consult your medical practitioner on the necessity of changing your types of insulin and schedule to prevent nighttime hypoglycemia. If NPH is taken at the time of dinner, it can be most active while you are sleeping and the insulin is not very necessary. It may be better to have your NPH taken just before sleep as it can give improved blood sugar control.