- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Does Diabetes Have to be a Nightmare?
For A Diabetic, restful Sleep is Often a Mirage..
My symptoms started several years ago and gradually worsened. I would have vivid, disturbing dreams, often nightmares, which would awaken me in a state of hunger. Going downstairs to gobble up a carbohydrate snack before going back to sleep became a nightly pattern. By morning I would usually oversleep and awaken in a panic, shaking. This went on for a year before a smart doctor diagnosed me with Type 2 Diabetes and put me on metaformin (an insulin boosting drug). I was also given the blood sugar meter, sharps and strips with which to monitor my daily levels.
Well meaning friends would suggest that perhaps I was awaking hungry, and that my blood sugar was too low. This is logical, and often a correct assessment. However I was horrifed and shocked to find, upon testing my blood sugar in the morning, that a rise in blood sugar triggered the disturbances and shaking episodes. My morning numbers were very high, and sometimes persisted this way, even after a careful calories count and medication. After going to different sites, I discovered that this is fairly common--high readings in the morning, and lower ones as the day goes on. Apparently in Diabetics, glucose gets dumped into the system while one is asleep.
These symptoms should not be ignored, as my research online has turned up quite a few sleep disturbances in those with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. (Type 1 is early onset and more severe than Type 2). I read blog after blog on sufferers who complained of nightmares as their blood glucose levels flunctuated. High blood sugar at night can also cause one to run to the toliet to urinate frequently, also a determent for good, solid sleep. In my case, my symptoms were so pronounced I felt perfectly awful in the morning, as though getting ready for a major catastrophe. I would shake, flooded with dread andf sheer panic. The vivid details of my dreams would seem to encase me in an aura of unreality, as though in a fantasy fog.
Metafomin has helped me--along with a stricter diet--to keep my blood sugar from getting too high in the evenings. A good blood sugar level for a diabetic in the early morning is 99 or lower. I still have days when I want to binge on carbs, and if I indulge too much my sleep patterns go back to the same pattern of shaking in the morning and intense dreaming, despite the medication.
Diabetes does not have to be a nightmare..for those of you who need an excellent online support group, try, TUDIABETES.COM. It is a free community of support and information, and simply breaths warm into one's life. The posts are excellent, honest and caring, and are wonderful resources available at your fingertips. This site is also good for those of you who have a loved one with Diabetes.