Middle of the Night Lows

I have found that a lot of diabetics experience their middle-of-the-night lows differently.

Some are awaken by the low (whether by feeling the symptoms, or by an alarm on their CGM), others are not aware of the low until they wake up in the morning.

For me, I tend to wake up most of the time feeling the symptoms. But not always. There are times I wake up at my usual time, and once I’m awake, then I start feel it – inability to concentrate, sometimes seeing spots, feeling sluggish, sometimes a panic sets in knowing I need to treat it fast.

If I do wake up in the middle of the night with a low, the symptoms vary. There have been times when I’ve woken up in the 40s and am pretty much completely incoherent. But other times, I’ve woken in the 40s and treated it myself. This just happened the other night.

I’d checked my blood sugar before bedtime, like I do every night. I was 128. My personal cutoff for whether or not to eat a bedtime snack is 120. So I decided I was close enough to 120, and my husband happened to be out of town that night, so I ate a package of peanut butter crackers. At 2:30 am, I woke up with my tongue feeling a little numb (never a good sign), it took 2 or 3 times of looking at the clock before the time registered (disoriented), and sluggish. Took several minutes to talk myself into getting up. At that point, I’m also so tired (the fact that it was in the middle of the night doesn’t help) that it’s not like I can easily make a snap (sane) decision to say, “Hey, Shannon, your blood sugar is way low-GET UP.”

But this particular time, I did finally coerce myself to wake up enough to test (48) and I drank my juice and a snack. Once the juice kicked in, I even got completely out of bed to make myself walk around and wake up. Needed to wake up enough so I could stay awake long enough to test again to make sure that I was back into a safe range for going back to sleep.

Diabetes can be so variable – it’s not like every low blood sugar will give the same symptoms (for me anyway.) Or that every low blood sugar will wake me up in the middle of the night. (I’m thankful/fortunate that most of the time they do wake me up, though.)

Diabetes keeps me on my toes. Every day. 24/7/365.


About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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One Response to Middle of the Night Lows

  1. Tina says:

    crazy how different each low/high can be. Im thankful you will wake up with your lows – even if waking up takes a little encouragement. I can’t recall – do you wear a CGM? I hope I can get my kids Dexcom G4s with our new insurance carrier.
    stay safe dear friend.

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