Woman checking glucose on smartphone - smartdevices sold separately*

How sleep and glucose levels play a role with each other

The content in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider regarding your individual health needs and Dexcom alert settings.
1 in 3 Americans report not getting enough sleep.1 Lack of sleep affects health, well-being and even blood sugar levels. Getting adequate sleep can help with increased brain function, reduced inflammation, lower stress levels and a stronger immune system. As it relates to blood sugar during sleep, your body regulates hormones, including insulin and cortisol, which all impact blood sugar levels. Sleep disturbance, which negatively impacts hormonal rhythms and metabolism, is also associated with obesity, insulin insensitivity, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, and appetite dysregulation.2 Thus, the quality and quantity of sleep achieved is intertwined with blood sugar levels.

How improving sleep can help glucose management or vice versa

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommends that adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. If you get less than 7 hours of sleep per night regularly, your diabetes can be harder to manage.3 Lack of sleep can increase insulin resistance, make you hungrier the next day and reduce how full you feel after eating. Optimizing your sleep routines to minimize wide fluctuations in blood sugar levels can help with insulin resistance and eating cues.4
Additionally, maintaining glucose levels in target range can help reduce disturbances throughout the night that hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia may cause. High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) during the night can lead to insomnia and next-day fatigue.5 Improving sleep quality and quantity may positively influence diabetes self-management and overall well-being.
Dexcom user checking glucose levels in bed, smart devices sold separately
smartphone showing glucose levels - Smart device sold separately.*

How Dexcom CGM helps diabetes management

With Dexcom G7 real-time continuous glucose monitoring (rt-CGM) you can identify trends and patterns in glucose levels and identify how these patterns impact sleep. Through gaining insight into your overnight trends, you can work with your healthcare team to see if there are any adjustments needed to optimize overnight diabetes glucose management. Additionally, with the customizable alerts that Dexcom G7 offers, you can set alerts for high and low glucose events, which can wake you up and prompt action.
The Urgent Low Soon alert can be utilized to notify you before a low actually occurs, minimizing rebound hyperglycemia.6-7* Dexcom G7 can also provide peace of mind for individuals living with diabetes and caregivers for those living with diabetes, as it provides a continuous monitoring of glucose levels, and this may result in a reduction of overnight hypoglycemia-related anxiety.

Simple, practical tips to improving sleep

According to the National Sleep foundation and the CDC, practical tips for better sleep include8:
1. Consistency is key: Aim for going to bed and waking at the same time each day. This can help promote regulation of your body's internal clock.
2. Limit screen time: Electronic devices like phones and television emit blue light which can interfere with melatonin production and impact sleep. Aim for shutting down your screens one hour before bedtime to enhance sleep.
3. Create a calming sleep environment: Creating a comfortable sleep space including blocking out light and minimizing noise can all promote a sleep friendly environment.
4. Adopt a stress management routine: Identify calming activities that you could engage in before bed such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, taking a bath or shower. These can all help prepare the body system for sleep, reduce stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline and relax the nervous system.
5. Engage in physical activity: Regular physical activity can help with the body's sleep-wake cycle, promote restorative and deep sleep. It also releases endorphins which can help with feelings of anxiety making it easier to feel relaxed.
6. Seek professional help if needed: If you believe you have insomnia, restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea, work with your health care team to address these issues. They can aid in identifying underlying issues that may be impacting a good night's rest.

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Managing diabetes

How sleep and glucose levels play a role with each other

Learn how sleeping habits, quality of sleep and lack of sleep can affect your blood sugar levels and find practical tips to improve your sleep and better manage diabetes.
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*Predictive alert at 55 mg/dL within 20 minutes
1 American Sleep Apnea Association. (2023). The state of Sleep Health in America in 2023. SleepHealth. https://www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/the-state-of-sleephealth-in-america/ 2 Kim TW, et. al. The impact of sleep and circadian disturbance on hormones and metabolism. Int J Endocrinol. 2015;2015:591729. 3 Singh, Dr. A., & Suni, E. (2024b, May 13). How much sleep do you need?. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need 4 Tsereteli, N et al. Impact of insufficient sleep on dysregulated blood glucose control under standardised meal conditions. Diabetologia 65, 356–365 (2022). 5. Zhu, B. et. al.(2018). Relationship between sleep disturbance and self-care in adults with type 2 diabetes. Acta diabetologica, 55(9), 963–970. 6 G7 User Guide 7 Acciaroli G, et al. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2022;16(3):677-682. 8 CDC. (n.d.). About sleep. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about/index.html
BRIEF SAFETY STATEMENT: Failure to use the Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring System and its components according to the instructions for use provided with your device and available at https://www.dexcom.com/safety-information and to properly consider all indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and cautions in those instructions for use may result in you missing a severe hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) or hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) occurrence and/or making a treatment decision that may result in injury. If your glucose alerts and readings from the Dexcom CGM do not match symptoms, use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions. Seek medical advice and attention when appropriate, including for any medical emergency.
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