// January 24, 2020
I had a nocturnal hypo episode early this morning at 3am with a sugar level of 51. I am amused at how your body can alert you when your body is going into that sugar low moment.
Nocturnal hypoglycemia or night time hypos are common in people who treat their diabetes with insulin. Almost half of all episodes of low blood glucose, and more than half of all severe episodes, occur at night during sleep. A blood sugar level below 70mg/dL while sleeping at night is a low and can harm you. A blood sugar level below 54mg/dL is a cause for immediate action. If your blood sugar drops very low, usually below 20mg/dL and you do not get help in time, you could become confused or drowsy or even lose consciousness and possibly die.
Low blood sugar levels can also cause a variety of problems within your central nervous system. Early symptoms include, weakness, lightheadedness, dizziness, shakiness, sweating, confusion, erratic behavior, headache. Untreated severe low blood sugar can be dangerous. It can result in seizures, lost of consciousness, or death.
The treatment for night time hypos is the same as the general advice for treating hypos. That is to take 10-15g of a quick sugary food (such as sweets, glucose tables, or glucose shots) and some slower acting carbohydrate such as a slice of bread to prevent a further hypo taking place. Always have some quick acting carbohydrate next to your bed so that if a hypo occurs, you can treat it quickly as possible.
A useful step towards preventing hypoglycemia is to test your blood glucose levels before bed. If sugar levels continue to drop too low over night, you may need to adjust your insulin doses. Some other ways to prevent sugar lows is to take some carbohydrate before bed, ensuring your basal insulting does is not too high, reducing your night time/evening long acting insulin following exercise, not missing out on dinner or any snacks you would usually have.
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