How to Avoid Nighttime Hypoglycemia When You Have Diabetes

Nighttime hypoglycemia is a problem for people that have diabetes. It is important that you become aware of what can cause low blood glucose so that you can stop it from happening.




Being active all day or exercising right before you go to bed can be dangerous for people that have diabetes because it can cause a hypoglycemic reaction during sleep. You should also avoid drinking alcohol in the evenings before bed because this can put you at risk of developing low blood glucose while you sleep. The low blood glucose results when your liver tries to remove the alcohol from your blood instead of making glucose.


Also some people don’t seem to remember that bolus/fast-acting insulin can last for up to six hours. If you decide to eat a late dinner and go to sleep afterwards, your blood glucose levels may appear normal at bedtime. However, during the night your blood glucose levels could drop further because the body is still processing the effects of the insulin that you took previously.


Symptoms of Hypoglycemia


If you are experiencing hypoglycemia at night time, the symptoms include:


  • Headaches when you wake up
  • Nightmares
  • Sweating or walking up to damp clothes and sheets


You may also find that your blood glucose reading is higher when you wake up. You could also experience fast heartbeat and anxiety.


If you want to avoid nighttime hypoglycemia, you should consider whether or not you are at risk before you go to sleep and act accordingly. If this problem happens often, a continuous glucose monitoring device (CGM), could help you alert you of low blood glucose while you sleep.

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