« Katie Janes Is A Star. | Main | My Glucose Meter Talks To Me. »

Because I Got High.

High blood sugar nightmares?About two months ago, I woke up at around 3 am after a terrible nightmare.  The dream was graphic and felt so real that it took me several seconds to realize it didn't actually happen.  (I dreamt that I had run over my own cat in the driveway and was holding its twisted and bleeding body.  Horrendous dream, and I woke up crying.) 

Once I was fully awake, I tested my blood sugar and saw "291 mg/dl" on the screen.  Holy middle-of-the-night  high.  I dialed in a correction bolus and went back to sleep.  I didn't think anything of the nightmare correlation until last night.

I dreamt that my husband was murdered by the guy who lived next door to me growing up.  It was a horrible dream!!!  I heard the gunshot in my mind, felt the heat of panic, and the tears on my face were hot and real.  I woke up with a start and reached for Chris, who was safe and asleep next to me. 

The clock read 4 am. 

The meter read 354 mg/dl. 

(The reason for this high was unknown, but it was a gross, sweaters on the teeth kind of high that made me want to pee and brush my teeth at the same damn time.)

I don't usually have nightmares, and I find it odd that the nightmares I remember most clearly corrrelate very neatly with a blood sugar issue.  Normally, my dreams slip away from me once I've been awake for a few minutes, and I rarely remember the entirety of them.  But this nightmare, I can still taste.  It was terrifyingly clear.   

I have heard about low blood sugars causing nighmares, but has anyone heard of highs doing the same thing?


I don't have weird dreams with my high blood sugars, but I do have bouts of hunger when my blood sugar is high. I want to eat everything in sight. And we all know that's not good.

I have never thought about this before. Scary stuff though.

I will have to keep this in my mind if I ever have a nightmare.

I think you may have "cause" and "effect" in reverse: the nightmare (caused by psychological fears that are unstated during the day) kicks in a real-life adrenaline response, which kicks up your blood glucose levels. I find a similar reaction when I've gone hypothermic (or nearly so) during the night -- nightmarish, need to use the bathroom (often too tired/cold to do so!), and everything (other than body temperature) testing WayTooHigh...

Actually yes. My husband (also a Type 1) seldom remembers his dreams. He woke up once though and hugged me as if it was the last day he would ever see me. He said he had a horrid dream that I had been on the Path train on 9/11 (this was a few months later) and he couldn't find me. It had been very vivid. He tested and he was 290. I later noted that he had bad dreams that he remembered when high, and good dreams when low.


I would mostly be in the 300's while i sleep and then come crashing down by early morning, and I randomly have nightmares, but there is no pattern to them.

Sometimes I would have a dream that i'm at a huge feast, and then i'd wake up and find i'm low.

Kinda weird lol.


I'm not sure.

But do you remember when Scott Johnson was doing that baal testing and saw a spider and his numbers jumped from the adrenaline? I wonder if the same thing happened to you in your sleep.

I'm in agreement with the others. I think the nightmares are causing the high BG, not the other way around.

On a sillier note, when my BG is low at night, I dream about donuts.

I agree with the adrenaline theory. Whenever Ian wakes with a nightmare, which isn't common, he will undoubtedly be high. One thing to test this - did you drop a LOT from the correction for the high? More so than you think you should have? If you did, then it probably was adrenaline.

When my blood sugar is high, I dream about candy. I dreamt about candy every night the summer before I was diagnosed with diabetes. I dreampt that there was lots and lots of candy and I was gathering it, and then I'd wake up just before I got to eat it. It was so frustrating!

I have nightmares regularly without high blood sugars.

Is it possible the stress of the nightmares causing the highs?


woot woot! guess what site isn't blocked on the new servers at work??!!

Too funny Sara! I *just* commented about that on Kerri's "spider in the car" story!

I think everyone might have nailed it - my first thought was that the adrenaline was spiking you up.

Maybe it's a "chicken or the egg" kind of thing?

I frequently have bad dreams when I'm high. I was high last night and had a bad dream. I know I was high because of cookies and ice cream that I ate before I went to sleep. "Perhaps you went low from too much insulin, and then bounced up again," you're thinking. Not so. I'm on the MiniMed CBGM, so I can look back and see that my BG held steady around 140 for a while, and then just climbed. (I woke up at 340...yikes!) I totally WAG-ed, and I'm sure I guessed wrong. Maybe I had the bad dreams because of too much sugar before bed. Maybe not. At any rate, generally I don't dream a lot; but I dream a lot when I'm high; and the dreams usually aren't much fun.

I've never had a high blood sugar nightmare, but I've had plenty of lows that have caused nightmares.

my son has nightmares when he's high, too. i hear the saddest little voice from the next room say, "i had a bad dream." which is my cue to hug and comfort him, give him a big kiss, and then check his BG.

i check him whenever i see him tossing and turning a lot in bed, too--he's always high when he's restless in his sleep.

When I was diagnosed as a child, my doc told me I'd have scary nightmares when I was really high, and wow, was she right. They're scary in an American Psycho kind of way--very creepy, and they seem real. Now I can sometimes wake myself in the middle of one because I think "I need a correction." My lows never cause nightmares--I usually just dream about raiding the frig:>)

First, my mom actually brought up the "chicken or egg" when it comes to blood sugar level and dreams.

Second, I recalled debating with my Endo about lows and vivid dreams/nightmares. He told me that the lows brought on the dreams, not the other way around.

Sometimes I still wonder, I still debate with my Endo but it is hard to tell. I smell an interesting study of some sort.

Sorry to hear of such awful dreams Kerri! Poor thing. Hang in there, your cat and hubby are with you!! ;-)

I have just been having the same phenomenon happen to me as well. I was having a really crazy dream and woke up this morning at 3 am and realized that I felt weird, so I tested and was 241 :(

Whenever my 5 year old comes to me upset in the middle of the night because he has a nightmare his sugar is high. I noticed this correlation a few months ago. It's too funny that you posted this- because my husband and I were just saying that this very topic would make a great science fair project for him someday!

Actually, yes, I have this problem a lot. The other day I decorated a cake for a friends' son and, of course, ate a metric ton of frosting and associated crap. So, naturally, I had an early early morning high, and I remember having a dream about my daughter being kidnapped and finding her in the basement of my DAD'S house next to a pile of other little childrens' bones. ACK!

OMG... I never actually put 2 and 2 together. Before it dawned on me I was totally of the mindset that the high was caused by the nightmare. But thinking back, when I was a totally out of control newbie, I had nightmares every night. It was always a family member dying tragically. Weird…

Ok, so I understand the seriousness of the topic, and my 3 year old is always upset in the middle of the night when she is high she cant verbalize whether she has nightmares or not though.
But really I can't stop laughing at the title you choose for this post! Seriously, I thought I was the only one who came up with silly things like that? Its like you steal my thoughts!

PS if you add Batman to the line that starts HOLY.... its definetely my thoughts in your head, I say that all the time. Like "Holy town full of tourists, Batman!"

I do have vivid dreams when I'm going to wake up high, but never terrifying ones. Just odd things, like coming down for breakfast and my stairs are a waterslide and Cap'n Crunch is serving up my eggs which happen to have purple yolks. They're very real. Trippy.

HORRIBLE nightmares, Kerri! So sorry! I don't have nightmares, specifically, but I know pretty much without a doubt that I will have very BIZARRE dreams when I have high blood sugar levels in the middle of the night. Don't know if that helps, but I thought it was interesting that I also experience strange dreams directly related to my highs.

Wow...Kerri. I went to bed fine the other night (a respectable 114). The next thing I remember is 3 a.m. I was standing in the kitchen and my husband was checking my BG. 180...not really too high but he said I was screeching and crying out and also he couldn't wake me up. I'm inclined to think that the bad dream was caused by a low and then the high came from the adrenaline. Whatcha think? Mousie

i have trouble see my number on diabetes meter ineed

i've also woken up to a high bloodsugar because of a nightmare. i think that the nightmares we experience occur because our body is trying to wake us up to make us do something about it before the situation becomes serious. another poitn for the diabetic body and mind!

I've woken up low after a dream. But it wasn't a nightmare. My arm just hurt, on the inside of my elbow and it just kept hurting. I woke up and my arm still hurt and I laid there confused for a few minutes before I made the connection. Thank you elbowpit ache!!

It's 4:30 a.m. and I just woke up from a nightmare for the second night in a row and decided to go on line to see if anyone else had noticed what I have. I am a Type 1 diabetic and just went on the OmniPod a week ago. My blood sugar was 412 when I awoke from the nightmare tonight and 391 last night. Like the others, there is no other good reason for these highs other than that they were caused by the stress of the nightmares. Weird and I am going to mention this to my doctor. I don't need any more pills, but maybe just one more at bedtime might help. I sure don't need blood sugars like these!

I've had Type 1 for nearly 38 years (since I was 7)...and like all of us, have occasional night time high blood sugar occurences...almost without deviation, the high blood sugar is accompanied by the strangest, most colorful dreams imaginable...I disagree with those who think the dreams/stress cause the elevated BSj. I don't think there is any question it is the other way around and that the higher blood sugar levels, some way/how, increases the intensity and/or recollection of the dreams...

I have reactive hypoglycemia and I often have nightmares when my blood sugar gets really low. Usually only happens when I'm away from home visiting people since it's harder to eat regularly. And when it gets low falling asleep is like ecstasy. My nightmares always involve my blood sugar being low in the dream. They are so vivid it's hard to tell I'm dreaming sometimes. In my dreams I collapse repeatedly, faint, get dizzy, suddenly cant talk or hear to alert others to help. It's always very hard to wake up from these dreams. Sometimes I repeatedly collapse thinking i've finally woken up in real life only to still be dreaming and collapse again. I can feel myself waking up from these dreams. I am always paralyzed a few seconds after waking up from these dreams. Sometimes I moan and breath hard to try and alert people that I need help waking up, only to find that I did these things in my dream and not real life.

Post a comment

(All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience!)