Friday, February 17, 2006

Trouble With Sleeping

My wife laughs at me sometimes when I tell her I'm having trouble falling asleep. For me, that means it takes fifteen minutes instead of fifteen seconds. She's a bit of insomniac, you see, and so even if we start out in bed together, I'll end up snoozing, and she'll head back out to the computer or watch the Late Late Show or something.

But there is a time when I really do have trouble sleeping (aside from when I am stupid enough to drink a Diet Mt. Dew an hour before bed). It has to do with my blood sugars. And, yes, this is yet another case of keeping tabs on your symptoms.

Of course, it really is two separate cases, not one. The first being low. Once my BGL hits into the 60s, I can't sleep. And if I'm already asleep, I'll wake up. I guess I'm fortunate, because a lot of diabetics have the opposite problem. When they go low, they can't wake up, which could be rather dangerous. I think part of this is because I've worked hard to not allow myself to become insensitive to my lows. I can detect being low by the time I hit 75. I hate being low, and it has shocked me to learn that other diabetics actually prefer being low to being high. Not me. Not one little bit.

But being high is, in fact, another cause for a restless night of sleep. But in a very different way from being low. Usually, I'll just keep waking up over and over, finding myself tangled up in my sheets. Sometimes even my dreams are restless, and I'm caught in some situation I can't get out of. I'll wake up, relieved, but fall right back to sleep at the same point in my dream. If this goes on for more than an hour, I know something isn't right. I'll get up, check my BGL, and find I'm in the 300s or something. A quick bolus, and thirty minutes later, I'll be back to sleep and my restlessness is gone.

To me, it is an amazing gift of God to have such indicators of abnormal BGLs. I can't imagine how much more difficult it would be to keep BGLs under control without these signs, which is why I've repeatedly talked about how important it is to be aware of your symptoms. Pay attention, because I believe more than even frequent BGL testing, being self-aware is your number one offensive measure in keeping your diabetes under control. If you've lost some of that awareness, take heart. It can be trained back in with some hard work.

Anyhow, sleep, for me, is precious. I can't operate at 100% if I miss even a half-hour of my required sleep. I'm not only crabbier, but I find myself dragging, and my wife finds me annoying to look at, and I can't enjoy my kids, and I'm unable to write. What energy I have goes into my work, which just doesn't seem right, you know? So, at the first sign of any trouble sleeping to me is a sign to test my BGL and get things back into normal range quickly, so that I can be all that I am meant to be.

1 comment:

Scott K. Johnson said...

Very interesting Ryan! I must say, you seem to be very in touch with those subtle symptoms you experience when your BG's are a bit out of range!

It's admirable and I think just plain neat!

I have trouble keeping track of all the variables going on from one day to the next, so it is entirely possible that I have similar symptoms that I'm just chalking up to other things!

I'm going to try to pay a bit more attention, and see if I can't find my own little signals.