Sudden Sleepiness

By Young1s Latest Reply 2012-05-13 15:59:32 -0500
Started 2012-05-01 12:47:20 -0500

There are times when shortly after eating or when my BG's are high (like in the 200's) that I get a sudden case of drowsiness. Usually, I can get up and find something to do or take a walk and it passes. But there are those times when all I can do is to just give in and fall asleep. Something tells me this isn't a good idea but I really can't help myself sometimes. Is this safe? Should I be concerned about this?

68 replies

kimcavett 2012-05-11 16:47:59 -0500 Report

I worry about this too. I do get drowsie behind the wheel and it scares me.

jigsaw 2012-05-11 18:44:18 -0500 Report

Is high blood sugar the cause?

kimcavett 2012-05-11 21:27:42 -0500 Report

I don't know.

jigsaw 2012-05-11 21:43:08 -0500 Report

Well Kim, there could be numerous possibilities. High blood sugar, low blood sugar, sleep apnea, underactive thyroid, insomnia, and all correctable. Have you talked with your doctor??? Sounds like a very dangerous situation to be in while driving !

Young1s 2012-05-11 18:05:35 -0500 Report

That's a big worry. It might be a good idea to pull of the road, as James suggested below. I don't drive but would advise pulling into a gas station or parking lot and getting out of the car for a bit to walk around. Maybe to go into a store for some water to splash on your face. Anything than staying behind the wheel.

kimcavett 2012-05-11 21:30:50 -0500 Report

I wish I could. but I don't have time to stop. I drive 70 miles round trip a day. I leave the house at 6 am, have to be at work by 7, most days. then other days I work late and don,t get home till 9pm. I live in rual Texas. not towns in between.

Young1s 2012-05-12 08:57:43 -0500 Report

Is the this occurring during your morning drive or your evening drive? It may be as simple as adjusting what you're doing/eating prior to driving. Is there any way to fit in a quick 10 minutes of calisthenics or a walk before getting in the car? Of course, don't rule out the possibilities that Jigsaw brought up, either.

kimcavett 2012-05-12 09:10:00 -0500 Report

both morning and night. If I nibble on carrots or something while I drive it is better. I have tried the sleep study thing and it was incomplete. I couldn't finish out the night with the c-pap so we never completed the study. and I had to go an extra 50 mile from home to do it. 2012-05-05 12:56:52 -0500 Report

If your blood sugar is in the 200's that is high and that makes you sleepy. When you aren't tired and sleepy and feel alert, take your blood sugar, I bet it is around 130 to 160 that is pretty good for a diabetic 2. Bad for your blood sugar to be around 200.

Young1s 2012-05-05 13:03:25 -0500 Report

Yeah, I know. It only happens about 2-3x every other week or so, but that's 2-3x too many. Thanks for the input.

Bluegill88 2012-05-05 20:49:16 -0500 Report

This morning my B/G count was 140 @ 0430. Is this good or what should I be looking for?

Young1s 2012-05-06 14:09:58 -0500 Report

Sorry for not seeing this earlier. I'm glad that James was able to answer your question, though. I would only add that there needs to be at least 8 hours between the last time you eat something and your morning BG check, in order for it to be considered a true fasting number.

jayabee52 2012-05-06 04:45:36 -0500 Report

well I will say it is better than in the 200s or above. You may need to eat something with protein in it before going to bed like celery with peanut butter in it. or an apple slice with PB on it. The protein stays in your tummy longer in the night and shouldn't allow your liver to dump glycogen/glucose into your bloodstream at night.

Is 4:30A the time you usually get up?

techguy87114 2012-05-06 08:58:13 -0500 Report

Apples are full of fiber as well as both of those (protiens and fiber) the body cant really break down well so they raise your sugars very ver little.

nice recommendation jayabee52!

Bluegill88 2012-05-06 06:44:29 -0500 Report

Yes I am always up at 0430 everyday whether I am working or not. It a habit that I have been doing for years. I will put your suggestions to a test tonight and we see how it work. I keep you informed.

Jpie 2012-05-02 19:06:32 -0500 Report

My husband and I are retired. We have Siesta every day from noon to 3pm. Napping, reading, etc. We have a light snack around 4pm and supper around 5:30 and a light desert around 7:30pm. We do go out for a walk every day at 11:30am. We have breakfast about 8am. I am a T2 and when diagnosed almost 3 yrs ago my a1c was 7.5, it is now 5.7 and has been for over a year now. My favorite snacks are apple wedges, baby carrots, and almonds.

Eating right with siestas and exercise allows me to be flexable and spontanious once in a while.

Young1s 2012-05-02 20:06:47 -0500 Report

Sounds great and I'm glad it's working for you. You inspire me to continue to work on doing better. Thank you for the response.

Jpie 2012-05-13 15:59:32 -0500 Report

I have to tell you that it has really been a long learning curve to get to this point and I do have my 'off' days. When I was first told that I 'might be diabetic' (Almost 3 yrs now) I had been in the hospital for pnuemonia and they had me on steroids. The only thing that I did know was that my mom had been a T1 diabetic. They called her an adult onset brittle diabetic.
I would get so profoundly tired at times and did not know why. When I found DC and Amy Tendricks, I started to learn so much about it and I was able to take control of my own health.
One of the things that I kept seeing and knew it would help, is to do a meal plan. I knew it would help ease the confusion etc. but how to do it simply was the problem. I got myself a calender dry erase board that I put on the kitchen cabinet door, and it is a life saver. I only plan supper on it as I always have what I need on hand for breakfast, lunch and snacks. I can change it when needed and it sure has helped with the stress and worry.
I am on 4 metformin a day now and my BG is an average of 95-110 most of the time. I do hope this helps you, the more informed that you are, the healthier you are.

GabbyPA 2012-05-01 15:29:55 -0500 Report

It is not that it is a problem in the way of being unsafe...of course unless you are doing something like driving or operating machinery other than a remote. The problem is that it is a symptom of high numbers and getting up and being active will get that number lower better than giving into a nap.

The longer your levels are above 140 the more possible damage can be done over time. Sleepiness was a red flag to me. I try to not get into a comfortable place when I am feeling this way.

Young1s 2012-05-01 15:47:42 -0500 Report

That's the concern I have and why I'm doing my best to get my levels under better control. For the most part I do stay within the 100's but I still have my days of getting as high as 200+. When this happens, I'll just have to fight harder to get up and do something.

jigsaw 2012-05-02 20:01:38 -0500 Report

Hey Pat, I'm not perfect, and I have my off days too, but 200+ scares the #@$!
out of me! It has happened to me maybe 3 or 4 times. Is it safe, I pray you never find out! It's definitely chipping away at your health, and the longer it's high the more potential damage. The best thing you can do is avoid letting your bg go that high! I don't want to alarm you, but I do want you to remain the healthy, vibrant person that I know you to be! On second thought, I hope I scared the @#$!%^$#! out of you!!! Sorry for being so strong in my expression, but that's how I treat myself too!

Young1s 2012-05-02 20:23:58 -0500 Report

The 200+ definitely scares me too Al. I'd be lying if I said they don't. Even my husband gets antsy when he here's that I'm experiencing a high. The good thing is, I've learned how to correct them. Just can't seem to head them off. But, thanks to all of you, I know what I could be in for in the long run, if I don't get better control, so I'll keep at it til I get it right. You can be sure of that.

angry diabetic
angry diabetic 2012-05-09 02:00:47 -0500 Report

wow, if my sugar is 200, it's good! i spend most of my days with sugar of about 500+… i get sudden sleepiness too but fight to stay awake coz i am so scared that i may not wake up again! my sugar control is disgusting and i need help, i have become a hopeless case and have almost given up :(

Young1s 2012-05-09 13:46:02 -0500 Report

Now I get the concept of your name. I have to agree with Set Apart. Please do what ever you can to get those numbers down. My husbands boss told him that he's constantly in the 400-500's and he seems to be okay with that. Completely ignoring the fact that he was just in the hospital for having a stroke and double pneumonia.

As SA said, you've been in this longer than us, so you already know that as controllable as this disease is, it can do some nasty things to us if we're not careful. So, please, what ever we can say to help you understand what you may be doing wrong (please don't take that the wrong way) or not enough of, just ask. Start as many discussions as it takes. The likelihood that you're the only one going through this is very slim. You'll not only be helping yourself but others as well.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-05-09 06:06:01 -0500 Report

Please take care of yourself, you have been at this a lot longer than me, so I am sure that you know what could happen. Going over 500 is what got me diagnosed and in the emergency room for the whole day! Doc said I could have gone into DKA! I didn't even know what that was then!

angry diabetic
angry diabetic 2012-05-10 04:39:41 -0500 Report

i feel so drained, i know what to do to make myself better, i have been studying (and obsessing) with this disease for so many years, i have extensive knowledge on the subject, but i still cannot bring myself to accept it and change my ways… it's as if i do it to myself on purpose to get back at diabetes as a way of making sure i do not become a diabetic, but rather a normal person with extremely high blood sugar, if that makes any sense… yes i do need a therapist, i know… i have been in ICU for 2 weeks with DKA (less than 12hours from death apparantly).. thought i have turned over a new leaf after that, but only 3 days of constant testing and eating right, it was enough and i went back to my old ways :(

Set apart
Set apart 2012-05-10 05:53:08 -0500 Report

I am sure you have noticed my nickname SET APART, initially when I was diagnosed I felt so different from everyone around me. I felt as if this diagnosis had actually set me apart from my friends, family and the rest of the world! I no longer feel like that, yes I have to take extra precautions and have to plan my days carefully! Am I different other than my little bruises sometimes on my tummy or constant poking of my fingers, NO I am not different. I am still ME living with D and like someone once told me, This is the only Disease that it's up to you to control! What an advantage that is to us who can decide what to do to make the best of it! You probably have more knowledge than me, and you are right you are normal, now please do whatever you can to not let this disease control you! I am a fighter, I usually never stay down I get up and fight for myself! You have a right to live life tot the fullest, and to be happy! Sorry for writing a book!

jigsaw 2012-05-02 20:39:23 -0500 Report

Just do it, and when you do, you can give me the kick in the butt that I need once in awhile! By the way Pat, I am being supportive I hope, but I'm not paticularly sympathetic in my expressions unless it's something that's beyond our control. We both know that diabetes is not something to pussy foot around with! I'll be checking on you soon! I expect a good report!!!

Set apart
Set apart 2012-05-09 06:03:28 -0500 Report

I know this was meant for Pat, but it helps me too. During the last month I've hit over 200bg about 3-4 times. This definitely scares me, then I want to fix it immediately, but it takes a while for me. Doc says my BG is wanting to spike, NO KIDDING! Sometimes this a whole thing just scares me what's happening to my body when I go up th high?

jigsaw 2012-05-09 06:59:50 -0500 Report

When I think about all the ingredients that a PWD has to deal with, I realize it's extremely difficult to avoid occasional spikes. Over the years, changes in the body, changes in medications, progression of diabetes all lead to occasional spikes. I find that foods that have a mild effect on bg, can have a stronger or even a milder effect down the line, all depending on variables. Keep in mind that the longer a PWD bg is elevated, the more damage it does. That's why it's a good idea to exercise, take a walk or whatever it takes to get it back down. Unless a PWD is going to extremes with diet, (which could be unhealthy also) I believe we all deal with the occasional spike, and it is unavoidable at times! I have had an occasional spike frm time to time for 18 years. All my body parts are still functional, and whats more important, I really feel good!

So Louise, do the best you can, keep youself informed, and try not to worry to much!!! That's what I do, and so far it's working well!

Set apart
Set apart 2012-05-10 05:44:48 -0500 Report

Thanks Jigsaw, yoou and others here continue to give me the motivation I need and the know how! I love my life and want to feel good, so I work hard to keep my numbers under control! Thanks for your always so needed inspiration, SIR! By the way I am ex military also, going way back what seems like a hundred years ago, LOL!

Young1s 2012-05-10 12:02:56 -0500 Report

Tell me about it. When I think about how I looked and the shape I was in back then, I have to shake my head at how much I let myself go. All the while saying to myself, I have time to get back in shape. Too bad it took D to make me see that today is the day, but I'm glad something did.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-05-11 05:43:40 -0500 Report

Oh but I think as we age we wouldn't want to back to that age, maybe some our physical appearances have changed, but inside we are mature, and different. Life's experiences have given us knowledge and determination to be the best we can be! D is a constant reminder as to our strength to be the best we can be today!

jayabee52 2012-05-03 13:02:51 -0500 Report

wouldn't the military response be YES SIR !!!!!!!!!!! (Don't have a volume control on this thing - but it would be at a very high volume)

GabbyPA 2012-05-01 16:27:18 -0500 Report

Yeah, we have the "sleeping chair" that used to claim me in the afternoon. Now I can make it through the witching hour of 3:00 pm. But it used to claim me every time before I was diagnosed. I didn't know then that sleepiness was a symptom of high levels.

Nick1962 2012-05-01 15:13:30 -0500 Report

I really don't see it as a problem. It was common in the old days to have a meal late in the evening then off to bed. Would it be healthier to take a walk? Sure! If you've done your work for the day, a nap may just be deserved.

Young1s 2012-05-01 15:41:09 -0500 Report

The thing is I'd rather not nap. But like I said, sometimes the urge is so sudden and so strong that if I don't get up when I feel it coming on, then next thing I find myself waking up without even meaning to fall asleep in the first place.

Nick1962 2012-05-01 16:31:42 -0500 Report

Ok that's a different thing altogether. After meal "sleepiness" happens to me after a big meal, but I've never not known I was doing it. What you're describing is more like mild fainting. That I'd be worried about, especially since you say you get up to stave it off. Blood pressure OK?

Young1s 2012-05-01 17:14:44 -0500 Report

Yes, as far as I know it is. Just so you know, this doesn't happen while I'm up, actively doing something. It's only happened when I'm sitting and I'm either on the computer, reading, watching TV, stuff like that. I've also fallen asleep on my husband once, right in the middle of a conversation. We had a good laugh at that one. Who knows, maybe I'm just bored.

Nick1962 2012-05-01 18:34:18 -0500 Report

Well, i won't tell your husband you said you were bored with him. If I lay down to read (flat on my stomach) after a loaded meal that happens to me, but it's never caught me by suprise. It's somewhat seasonal also, right about now and the early fall is when I seem to do it most, and it's almost always exactly 22 minutes. Food does have a sedative effect.

Young1s 2012-05-01 20:33:55 -0500 Report

Haha! I didn't mean with him, I meant with my day in general. Too much free time on my hands some days.

Nick1962 2012-05-01 20:39:09 -0500 Report

I know, I'm just messin' with ya. Oh, and free time is a big culprit. If I don't have my day filled, there's no schedule for me to keep, and at my age, any free time is nap time.

jayabee52 2012-05-01 17:35:28 -0500 Report

SQ frequently falls asleep on me when we're talking on the phone. I had been reading a short novel to her and she says that my voice is just so soothing that pretty soon she's asleep. I have to stop for a moment and ask if she's still with me. But she does get up about 2 hrs earlier than I do because of time zones and we do often talk late into the night.

Andrea0823 2012-05-01 14:51:20 -0500 Report

I would fight the urge to drift off, it will cause less harm to the body in the long run. It's hard, I get it but walking, you will feel better and that able to take a nap felling better.

Young1s 2012-05-01 15:14:02 -0500 Report

Now see, that's part of what I'm wondering about. Am I harming myself in some way if I drift off to sleep while experiencing a high BG. This may sound like an odd question to some but if there is any kind of harm or danger, either short or long term, I need to know.

jigsaw 2012-05-10 06:36:52 -0500 Report

Sleeping as you know does not burn sugar, so you are increasing the time that you have a high bg. Other than that, I have not heard of any additional problems. Of course a very low bg is a totally different story since you could go into a coma! But this applies to the extreme circumstances more or less. I admit to having slept (seldom) with a somewhat hi bg, but usually, I walk it off.

Irish1951 2012-05-01 13:52:01 -0500 Report

If I remember my Diabetes Education class correctly, higher carbs equals the body wants to go to sleep. I would think this would also apply to a higher glucose reading. That being the case, your walking would burn off some of the blood glucose (carbs) and solve the problem. Regardless, walking is never a bad thing!

Young1s 2012-05-01 13:56:22 -0500 Report

Thanks for the reply Irish. I agree about the walking…always being a good idea. My concern is about those times when I fall asleep. If that is safe and/or whether I should force myself to fight the urge to drift off.

jayabee52 2012-05-01 15:03:55 -0500 Report

Wouldn't that depend a lot on where you are and when it happens?

For instance, if you are driving, would be one place and time you would not want to drift off. Of course it would be good at those times is to find a safe spot to pull over and then nod off for a while.

Young1s 2012-05-01 15:17:10 -0500 Report

Yup. People find it odd that I've never learned but really I've never had the desire to. It has always been a joke in the family that one of my children will end up teaching me how to drive.

jayabee52 2012-05-01 15:26:14 -0500 Report

I had to teach my first wife to drive when she was 20 something. That was one experience I wouldn't like to repeat.

Young1s 2012-05-01 15:41:57 -0500 Report

I can imagine. My husband is teaching my youngest twin but she seems to be picking it up pretty easily.

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