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Sleep, Perchance to … Sleep.

Do the “check my blood sugar” routine before bed, to see that my blood sugar is rising.  Perform conservative correction.  Listen to the Dexcom wail for a few hours as my blood sugar falls back into range.  Wake up at 3 am to test again, to make sure I haven’t over-corrected.  Looks okay at 3 am.  Wake up at 4 am to the fast “beep, beep, beep” of the Dexcom, alerting a low.  Treat the low, curse my bad math (and busted pancreas), and go back to sleep.  Wake up at 6 am to the sound of the Birdzone, announcing that she’s “ready to have a day!”

It’s like having a newborn all over again.

Only it’s diabetes.

The last three nights have been horrible, sleep-wise, due to diabetes.  Or mostly due to diabetes.  It’s been hard to fall asleep the last few nights due to other things, as well, like when I make the mistake of looking at my email on my phone before bed (shuttling myself right down the work-related rabbit hole), or when my thoughts are on spin cycle.  Or when Birdy has a nightmare and yells out in her sleep.  Or now, when Loopy decides that there are unsupervised socks underneath the bed that need corralling, and she brings them to us with vigor throughout the night.

Sleep is not happening.

I used to think I could pay off a sleep debt by logging extra hours in bed on the weekends.  Weeknights until 2 am, up for work for 8.30 am was fine, so long as I slept until 10 or 11 am on weekends.  But now, I’m ancient and moldy and I need some more sleep, damn it.  Not clocking at least six hours every night makes me miserable, and I want to nap during the day (only my kid gave up naps a billion years ago, making her both a determined toddler and also potentially a dinosaur, if that thing about nap a billion years ago is true).  Sleep debts remain unpaid, and interest is accruing.

Not sleeping makes a mess of my blood sugars, my work, my ability to keep up with the house (which is saying quite a bit, since the house doesn’t move), and my mindset.  I’m not able to make sharp diabetes decisions because I’m in the fog of exhaustion and as a result, my response time for everything other than hypos is delayed.   The last few days, I’ve been trolling around my house going through the motions of the day, not entirely tuned in.

I need sleep to make things click again.  And by “things,” I mean like blinking, and remembering to chew.

Loopy is also pissed off that she can’t sleep.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. This must be going around right now. Between the Dexcom fussing at me all night long for either a high or low, and then having to get up to pee at random hours – 2am, 5am, whatever – I feel sleep-deprived. Grrr. Hope it works out for us all, and soon!

    09/5/13; 10:59 am
  2. Heather W #

    I agree with Rhonda — I’ve been up at 12:30, 1:30, 3, with stubborn hypos the past few weeks!!

    09/5/13; 11:06 am
  3. Scott Leibrand #

    I am thinking that one of the biggest problems with the Dexcom alarms is the lack of any “snooze” function after you take corrective action. You should be able to acknowledge an alarm, indicate what action you took (bolus, temp basal, sugar, etc.) and then it should stop bugging you for the appropriate amount of time. If you bolused, it should shut up unless BG rises another 50 points, or is still high after an hour. Inverse for juice. Temp basal should give you the option of a longer snooze, but only if the BGs aren’t getting worse.

    I think this could be done as a DIY project using a computer program that plugs in at night via USB. That way you could also have adaptive alarms that get louder and more insistent if you sleep through them. Might even be able to make the data available to loved ones as well, and alert them if you’re not responding to alarms for too long.

    09/5/13; 12:07 pm
    • Scott – it’s not quite what you’re talking about, but the Dexcom G4 *does* have a snooze function in the Alerts/Advanced area. You can set your High Snooze and Low Snooze to go off at varying increments. Not sure about when it gets below 55 if that will actually work, but I know for a fact it works for highs.

      09/5/13; 5:05 pm
  4. Lindsay #

    I also would love some sleep! My 2 1/2 year old decided to wake up at 10:30 last night and would not go back to sleep until I finally made him cry it out a little after 1am! Miserable!

    09/5/13; 1:06 pm
  5. Amanda #

    When my husband and I first started living together this was a really hard change for him. He was used to going to bed, sleeping through the night, and getting up in the morning. I was used to getting up to eat, pee, check my blood sugar. All. the. time. He still thinks it is crazy 5 years later.

    the sleep vicious circle is horrible too because your blood sugars get messed up with too little sleep and then your messed up blood sugars make you have to get up in the night over and over leading to too little sleep. I love my cgm but night times are the worst! I never put my new sensor in in the evening now because the first few hours of a new sensor are always wacky and I’m up all night responding to false beeeeeps!

    09/5/13; 2:46 pm
  6. Dan #

    Hi Kerri,
    Lack of sleep is very difficult. Only you can take care of Kerri and it is a hard fight which all of us face as a diabetic. I am speaking from the position of a type 1 with a insulin pump. Have you discussed with your endo the need to adjust your 11 pm to 7 am period of basal rates? The reason for asking the question is to find our when you hit your personal Somogyi effect. Meaning a set basal rates through the night may not be the best possible plan. Hope this helps and as always have a great day.

    09/5/13; 5:16 pm
  7. ria #

    where is the fairy godmother we were promised in our childhood stories ?
    if you get her email address, ask her if she could come over to your house for a few days to play nanny and send you to a quiet, remote place to rest, sleep, eat, rest, sleep, eat, rest, sleep, eat, and maybe crochet a little

    09/5/13; 9:38 pm
  8. June S. #

    I hear you! I wear the Medtronic Revel pump with CGM, but it’s the same story. Some nights I am awakened just as I am entering the deepest sleep, and then it takes me forever to fall back to sleep. As soon as I do, another alarm (in the form of my pump vibrating at my waist) occurs. It is SO annoying. Prior to wearing a CGM, I used to awaken myself at least once per night to check my BG. If it was high and I needed to take a shot, I’d set the alarm to waken me again. This is what non-diabetics don’t realize. They are SO lucky, when it comes to sleep!

    09/6/13; 9:39 am

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