Parenting with T1D and not getting enough ZZZZZs? You’re not alone

Hmmmm! Personally, our son’s CGM has helped us sleep better. Thoughts of other families here?

I have the impression there are two camps of people - those who check during the night and those who don’t. I’ve never been able to pinpoint how those who don’t manage.

I have always checked. Dexcom helps but only a little. Instead of setting alarms every 2 hours or even more frequently, I can drag that out a bit, mostly because of the directional arrows, not so much bc of alarms, although those help as well. But because Dexcom only reports numbers, there’s nothing preventative and any adjustments must be done by an awake human.

There are nights - many of them - where bgs are good and adjustments are not necessary. There would be more nights if we tolerated a wider range of acceptable bgs. However, there are many nights where an unusual schedule, unusual food, or unusual activity wreak havoc on bgs and I’ve found it unsafe to let it ride overnight.

The biggest help has been DIY AP. Even if the system is stressed from a combination of factors, it mitigates the risk and helps begin corrective action in the right direction, so when manual intervention is available, it’s less dramatic of a situation. But in times of less “stress,” it’s pretty darn remarkable allowing for lots of ZZZZs. Right now, Caleb is off of DIY though, so nights are a little more disruptive.

2 Likes

I once again will say, Parents of children with type 1 are Gods gift to those of us with diabetes. I never really talked with my parents about how they felt but I could see and knew how panicked they were during and after every low and wow, back than, it was all the time.
We didn’t have blood testing at the time but I remember many, many nights either my Dad or Mom would sneak in and touch my forehead looking for that tell tale sign of sweating. That was always their clue. I am sure they felt like walking zombies back in the day.
But now that I am grown with a family of my own, I don’t think I or my family could have me without my CGM. I now can confidently take an insulin dose before bed and not have to worry about sleeping through or having one of those nightmarish lows that I fight every step of the way. Or if I had to run later in the day, again don’t worry about it because the alarms will wake me up. I do keep it right under my pillow so it is right in my ear and I always hear it. That way, I can deal with it myself without waking my husband. I know my husband now sleeps much better now, not having to worry. And as far as too many alarms, I think if one adjusts the snooze alarms a little longer, they do keep repeating. I know everyone’s situation is different but sleep which is the best thing out there, is so much better in our household!

2 Likes

You’re right. It does make a notable difference. We’ve had it for so long, I forget what it was like before. Your comments remind me of a time where I would sit and wonder what could be happening with Caleb’s bg while he was asleep and I was still up and had little ability to concentrate on other things. Not so when you have dexcom!

Getting a good six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is vital for both the health of parents and the type 1 diabetics to check on. Disturbing sleep interferes with the natural sequence of REM cycles and creates physiological disturbances throughout the patient. This is yet another example of how strict control exacts a terrible price in patient psychology and health, and yet the medical profession refuses to take its costs into account in a rational cost-benefit analysis.