Dexcom G5 | Managing alerts with your phone

We are finding ourselves slow to adapt to a phone only alert system. The issue is twofold:

  1. Caleb wants no sound alerts whenever possible. However, there are times when he misses the vibration and the receiver’s audible alert as a backstop is helpful. With his phone only on vibrate, if he misses the vibration he completely misses the alert.

  2. At night I turn my phone to “Do Not Disturb.” So my choices are that I either hear nothing, or disallow “Do Not Disturb” and hear all phone alerts overnight.

How are others using/finding the phone alerts?


Does he use a smartwatch? I find that it is not only subtle, but effective in getting my attention. I currently use the receiver as the “primary” and the iPad as a backup. We set the primary BG range a bit tighter than our secondary devices. That way I don’t have the receiver, my phone, my wife’s phone and the iPad all going off at the same time. As for nighttime, we are trying out different scenarios–one being using an android follow and disabling all other notifications (not sure if that is possible with apple). Let me know if you figure out a good scenario!

Hey Lorraine,

I think this is one of the limitations of the device convergence nature of eliminating the receiver. For some it’s liberating and for others it could be the opposite as having that separate receiver in Caleb’s pocket was a discreet and less noticeable way of using his CGM. Just taking a guess.

For me, I use the alerts exactly as they are set but I was so ready to get rid of having to carry my receiver that they don’t bother me in the least. Same at night as I want to be alerted if I’m climbing high or more importantly going low.

What about suggesting to him if he doesn’t want the sound alerts on his phone then going back to carrying the receiver?

Tough one as it relates to your Do Not Disturb issue. I would think that there really isn’t a way around it. If you want to get Caleb’s alerts at night then you cannot turn on Do Not Disturb. Does his G4 with Share receiver reach your bedroom? Could you keep your phone on DND and just continue to use the G4 Reciever? Then when he heads out in the morning turn off G5 notifications on his phone and have him use the receiver?

Hm. This might be a way to go. He isn’t currently using his Pebble, but maybe we should reintroduce that and see if that’s a good compromise.

Yes, I can disable other notifications, but I have so many it makes it impractical. I may have to prioritize some though in order to make this work.

Caleb carries a satchel with him at school. It’s held his PDM, phone, receiver, poker, strips, carbs… We started G5 and he continued to carry the receiver. When we were comfortable that G5 was working, he tried leaving the receiver home. That’s when we noticed there are times when he doesn’t catch the alert with the initial vibration. He would prefer not to draw attention to himself with noise alerts, but it’s acceptable to him every once in a while when it’s bc he missed the silent alert. Since G5 doesn’t have that option - vibrate first then sound, we’re seeing how much he relied upon it.

Yes, and that’s what we had been doing, but his receiver when kaput this weekend, so we didn’t have that as an option. And really, the whole point of G5 is to eliminate the receiver. We’re not really feeling that benefit. It’s kind of a drag.

Hi Lorraine! Long time no see!?

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Kennedy is working on alerts today, she wants to turn off all her texting sounds from her friends, so she went in this morning to turn those all off before school. So she will only get an alert for less than 80 and over ? I forget, I think she put 250 . Did Caleb figure out how to put dex on vibrate? I think she might like that. Friends and other apps on silent and dex on vibrate, I woke to a 55 low alarm last night at 0400 and treated her, so that was fantastic, as she does NOT wake to any night time alarm whatsoever. I have all her friends trained to treat her at sleepovers because they all wake up to her alarms!! Keep me posted on progress, I feel so fortunate to have this tech!!!

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If you’re not waking to nighttime alarms, try buying an inexpensive bluetooth speaker to put beside your bed, and link your phone to it. You can turn it up as loud as necessary to amplify alarms.


Good Idea @Jim2. My wife and I had a similar issue of not waking to the alarms–especially with the G4 receiver. Using the G5, we use an iPad, receiver as well as our phones (via follow) to ensure that we wake up. Kinda crazy when they go off (4 devices), but it does the trick–and we always wake up.

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This bluetooth speaker idea is a good one for people who don’t otherwise wake it. The phone wakes me up - I don’t want to wake up to every alert though. Just dexcom alerts.

Hi @NatalieHodge! Caleb has everything on vibrate. He doesn’t get too many alerts, in general. So he doesn’t feel the need to differentiate. Sometimes the vibrate isn’t enough to get his attention though.

One nice thing about android, is that you can use “tasker” to create notification rules. Not sure if iPhone users can do this.

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Hi. Could you explain further? Would this, for example, allow you to set alerts to vibrate while in meeting or class, for example? (Apple ought took have an app for that!)

If you put your phone to vibrate, then all dexcom alerts will only be vibrate. So this can be used while in a class or meeting. The exception is the urgent low alert. Currently, that overrides the iPhones vibrate only option and will alert audibly.