Going low at night

I’m super paranoid about going low at night, I mean if I’m low during the day, I feel it, I get really shaky, but I’m awake right so i know it’s happening! What happens if you become too low in the evening? Will your body wake you up from sleep to let you know somethings wrong?

Yes. In my experiance, my body always wakes me up. When I go low at night I usually start sweating really hard and then my heart starts pounding. The adreneline wakes me up and I have always been able to take care of the low. From what I’ve seen, the body still reacts the same way.

My body wakes me up, too. I sweat, and I usually have VERY strange dreams. Sometimes I feel like the dreams are on fast forward, too. If you sleep in the same bed with someone, your partner will even notice the sweating, which would be a sign to wake you up, also.

Catherine, it can be dangerous, but typically for me my adrenaline will wake me up. It’s the same reflex that makes you shakey and sweaty in a hypo during the day. I totally agree, my dreams get so wierd that when I first wake up I am often so confused that I don’t realize I am low.

Don’t worry, Catherine. Two things happen. Either, as others have said, you wake up and although is is super-crappy when you are woozy and half-asleep and I tend to overestimate the carbs I need, it’s ok.

The other thing is that you might not wake yourself up, your liver will dump its store of sugar into your blood and that will bring you up again. This might make you feel bad in the morning, for example you might have a headache. This happens eventually when you have daytime hypos and pass out as well. But it is best not to pass out.

Either way, you don’t usually have any serious consequences. You say you have good warning signs so don’t worry. The body is an amazing thing really.

I have had some fits during the night, so became very paranoid about it and started eating more. Sometimes i have strange dreams about eating if my blood is low, very strange!

My son is 5 (diagnosed at 3). He has had plenty of lows during the night and he has never woken up for any of them. I found them when getting up to test his sugar myself. I usually test him 2-3 times during the night to make sure he doesn’t go too low.

BTW your liver only stores so much glucose. If your stores have been depleted your liver is not going to be any help.

My best advice is that if you are worried then set your clock to get up around 2 or 3 to test and make sure you’re not dropping.

My dog wakes me up but I have woken up on my own from a low as well.

If I have a low overnight I wake up. You still want to avoid overnight lows more than daytime lows for a couple of reasons. When you’re awake, you might notice that you’re having a hard time concentrating or you feel lathargic and you catch your low at 60 or 50. But when you’re asleep, you probably won’t notice it until you get to the heart pounding, sweating, adreneline low of the 40s. In addition to that, by the time you wake up, you have no idea how long your bloodsguar has been low so you have no way of knowing if your liver released some stored sugar and how much it released. This means that you’re more likely to have a reactive high from an overnight low than from a daytime low.

But don’t let worry about the occasional overnight low keep you from sleeping. Keep a juice box or some glucose tablets by your bed, and if you have reason to think you might go low overnight (extra exercise, a stressful day), set your alarm clock for 3AM and test.

When I was little, I didn’t wake up with lows. But by the time I reached jr. high I started waking up. Of course, it took me another ten years to realize I should just keep the juice by my bed instead of wandering downstairs to the kitchen.

Your comment gives me hope that Riley will one day wake up himself if he is low.

My overnight problems used to be terrible highs, until we adjusted my night time dosage of Lantus. Now I usually don’t run into unusual lows during the day. I have worked really hard to keep my blood sugars at 100 or lower all day long, while still eating all three meals. Last night was the exception to the rule for me. I ran low during the night and was feeling so miserable i finally got up and checked my blood sugar. It was only a 67 and i couldn’t understand why my body had a problem with that, but obviously it did. My son had advised me to keep some saltine crackers on the bedside table and not grab something full of sugar. He said if I did I would bounce and then lose all the rest of my night’s sleep. feeling miserable from that. and then have to treat that… Whatever you use, you will see your body’s reaction to it and make your own choices. If you truly worry about being too low at night, eat a small bedtime snack. And i do mean a small one. My favorite is a cup of that jell-o, sugar free chocolate pudding. It is small and only has 60 calories. I know it has 14 carbs, but it is chocolate ( or double chocolate) and has extra calcium. One or two units of Humalog can easily cover it or don’t shoot anything else if you use the nighttime dose of lantus. The worst thing to do is to worry about something at night… Your body will wake you if it needs something.

i completely disagree with some of the comments on this post. yes, Ideally your body will wake you…but many diabetics suffer from Hypoglycemia Unawareness(i am one of them) and our bodies fail us and do not ‘wake’ us during over night lows. In fact, i know one diabetic that even during the day she can feel fully functional and not realize that her blood sugar is 25mg—yes 25mg—

For newly diagnosed adults, Hypoglycemia Unawareness seems to be very uncommon…but it can happen and i dont think it is a subject that should be commented on by saying ‘dont worry about it, your body will wake you’—My body does not wake me.

While Hyperglycemia can kill you slowly over time, one severe hypoglycemia episode can kill you immdediately.

The best advice i read on these comments was set your alarm for 2 or 3am and check your BS. Know your body, know yourself and be careful.

T1 for 33 years
Animas Pump/Dexcom 7 CGM


I agree. I don’t think anyone should be confidant that they will wake from a low. That is why I get up several times a night to check my son. I am terrified of Dead in Bed Syndrome.

If you can get on a pump you can set your basal rates over night which might help you prevent some lows during the night.

I usually wake up too, but I am afraid that I am losing my hypoglyemia awareness. I used to wake up at 65… now I find that I don’t wake up until I hit 40. The feeling is sweaty and panicked. But often I am too groggy and fall back asleep before testing my blood sugar. Sometimes I even wake up with the meter in my hand without having tested, just held it all night.

What I try to do is everytime that I wake up, I go to the bathroom (even if I don’t have to go)-- I have basically “trained” myself that is what I should do whenever I wake up. By the time, I get off the loft (yeah, I’m not sure the trip down from the loft is always a good idea, but oh well) and to the bathroom, I can feel that I am low and figure that i should eat something.

I often sleep through my 2-3 am alarms. So set a couple and put some of them far from your bed if you are really worried about a low. That’s what I will be doing tonight. It’s a pain, but…

Another solution that I am trying (I’m on the pump) is not eating after 7pm so that I won’t have any bolus close to bedtime, that way my blood sugar is more stable. But if I have to correct, those plans go out the window!

All the best!

I also test myself somewhere between 2 and 3 am. But I have also felt a few lows whil asleep. I don’t know how to explain it, I just know to wake up and from there I realize I feel low. It may feel a littel different or be a little harder to notice since you’re also sleepy. It was hard at first because I was used to my mom checking me in the middle of the night and taking care of everything, but now I get up and test myself and have more of a grip on what it feels like.

I have hypo unawareness about 95 % of the time during the day. But for some reason, at night, I always wake up. Usually in a cold sweat or just not being able to go back to sleep. I sleep pretty soundly, so when I wake up in the night, I always test, just to be sure.

Hi Catherine,

My diabetes educator noticed I had written in my diary that some nights I have nightmares (i rarely remember my dreams but when I get these nightmares I wake up) and she told me this might be because I’m getting lows.

As someone else mentioned, she told me to wake up between 2 & 3am and measure my BG levels.

Other things that sometimes happen and wake me up is the feeling of not being able to breath, a panicky feeling (like from a bad dream but I don’t remember it) and strong palpitations.

I also have hypoglycemic unawareness and I agree that testing yourself in the night is best. I am also a long-term diabetic (23 years), so us long-timers know that hypoglycemic unawareness comes along someday (although you can “fix” it by not having any lows for a three-month period). Of course, sometimes it’s not nice to wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning, but that’s the may help your fear. I also find that eating dinner at a regular time helps (not too late either because you want to make sure that there isn’t any fast acting/rapid insulin left in your system before bed). I also don’t exercise much in the evenings because of the possibility of my sugar dropping because of that. We all share your fears - I used to be very scared about Dead-In-Bed syndrome, but now I feel more in control because of the planning ahead. You are always going to be the best judge of your diabetes - not everyone is the same way.