How to Prevent Low Blood Sugar Over Night

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Low blood sugar during sleep can offer a variety of problems for people. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, symptoms include night sweats, nightmares and waking tired and irritable. Prevention of overnight low blood sugar includes eating a snack before bed to stabilize blood sugar for six to eight hours. Learn more about what you can do to avoid nighttime blood sugar crashes.

Tired
Tired (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Causes

Overnight hypoglycemic reactions can be caused by a spike and then drop following a sugary meal ingested at dinnertime, excess insulin taken at bedtime, excessive exercising, alcohol intake or a missed bedtime snack. Another factor can be attributed to the release of growth hormones throughout the night that may interfere with insulin. It is important for diabetics to eat consistently throughout the day. By eating snacks between meals, you prevent blood sugar fluctuations that will cause low blood sugar at night. Even missing one meal in the beginning of the day can cause low overnight blood sugar.

Avoid alcohol and a sugary dinner
Avoid alcohol and a sugary dinner (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Meal Schedules

Eat a healthy breakfast when you wake. The best option is to make sure your blood sugar rises slowly. Choose low-glycemic foods that will not raise blood sugar quickly and will get your metabolism moving. Meal ideas include whole grain bread, oatmeal or eggs.

Three hours after you eat breakfast, have a snack that can consist of nuts, whole-grain crackers with peanut butter, raw vegetables with hummus, a small cup of vegetable soup or low-fat string cheese.

Lunch could consist of a salad with chicken, a black bean burrito, a whole grain turkey wrap, tofu and brown rice or goat cheese and hummus sandwiched on wheat bread.

Three hours after lunch, you should have another snack. Try any of the mid-morning snacks, or an apple with low-fat cheese, whole-grain crackers with almond butter, or popcorn with parmesan cheese.

Treat yourself to a great dinner of fish and spinach, shrimp and whole wheat couscous, pizza made from whole wheat dough, or vegetable marinara on wheat pasta.

Eat a healthy breakfast
Eat a healthy breakfast (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Nighttime Snacks and Monitoring

Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Refrain from eating processed foods, foods high in fat or desserts for dinner. An hour before bedtime, eat a small snack that will keep your blood sugar stable. Ideas include apples, peaches, grapes, yogurt, popcorn or one-half cup of cottage cheese. Monitor your blood sugar right before you go to sleep. Some may have to wake up in the middle of the night to have a quick snack of nuts or berries. By keeping your meals and sleep patterns consistent, you should see improvement in your blood sugar levels.

Eat yogurt before bed
Eat yogurt before bed (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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