You’ll be on a great streak for a while. You’ll be waking up with the sugar level of a non-diabetic and sailing through the day, spike and hypo free. Then it will happen. Your beautiful eight hour sleep will be rudely interrupted by one, two, maybe three aggressive hypos. Either that, or you will over-eat for the first and wake up with a high blood sugar and a headache. It happens.
Grouchy, groggy, and exhausted, it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself the following day and end up writing the entire day off. However, I feel that the best thing to do for your own sake in these situations is to not allow the night before to affect your brand new day. I do this by having a specific morning routine to follow a night of hypos. I’m definitely more productive and in a better mood for the rest of the day when I follow this, so on those mornings when I feel like doing it the least, it's essential.
Keep the Wifi Off
Firstly, I turn off my wifi half an hour before I go to sleep at night. I don’t like to get notifications buzzing through while I’m trying to settle into bed. Similarly, I don’t like to wake up to messages and dings. This is actually known to raise cortisol levels (a stress hormone), which can increase blood sugar levels even further and cause insulin resistance. I control when I get bombarded with social media and news updates by choosing when my phone connects to the internet. This is usually after my first hour of the morning. I find this to be particularly helpful when I wake up in a fairly demonic mood (night-time hypos will do that to you.) It’s just a more peaceful way to start the day.
Check the Bloods
Like every other morning of my life, I will begin by checking the bloods. Prepare yourself for a high blood sugar- it could be likely if you've had a low blood sugar the night before. If it's in or around the range you want, (for me somewhere between 5-8mmol/L) let it be known that you are the the best diabetic that ever lived and have absolutely nailed it. If it's not, oh well. Somewhere out there, another diabetic is dealing with the exact same situation. You've had a rough night and at the end of the day, what's on the monitor is just a number. Take your corrective insulin and continue on to the next step of your morning routine.
Have a Separate Morning Playlist
To continue the morning peacefulness, I have a specific morning playlist. This way, none of the aggressive songs Spotify unreasonably suggests for me can unexpectedly blare in my ears. Nobody should ever start their day with Tekashi69. Having a playlist full of calming, pleasant morning songs is such a bright way to start the day and essential if you’re grumpy and sleep-deprived. Here’s a few of my favourites: Bluebird by Alexis Ffrench, I giorni by Ludivico Einaudi, Canon in D by Pachelbel and La vie en rose by Louis Armstrong. It may be a bit American Psycho-esque, but these songs will be sure to release not one bit of cortisol.
A Litre of Water Before Anything
As much as you may want to reach straight for a coffee, pour yourself a pint of water first. I would particularly stress this if you’ve woken up with high blood sugars. If you’re high in the morning, realistically you’ve been high for a few hours, which can cause dehydration. I mentioned in this post about working from home, that in the mornings I don’t usually feel thirsty. That is, until I take one little sip. That one sip makes me realise how much my body is actually craving water and downing one litre becomes surprisingly easy! Plus, water is naturally energising, so will help with that hypo grog.
A Breakfast High in Fats and Protein
Ever wonder why your sugars can spike high after a low? This could be due to ‘the Somogyi effect’, which describes the body’s response to a long period of low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia puts stress on the body, releasing some stress hormones. As we may already know, stress hormones can cause blood glucose levels to rise- hence the peaceful morning steps. Also, the stress hormones keep these levels high by making cells less responsive to insulin. So, after a night of hypos, I stick to a low-carb breakfast. You can click here for an idea of what I eat in a day when my sugar levels are being pesky and not coming down! My breakfast in these situations is usually an Omelette with Turkey Bacon.
2 whole large eggs, 2 egg whites
¼ red pepper
4 whole white mushrooms
Spray some olive oil on to a pan and fry the turkey bacon on one side and the chopped vegetables on the other. Fry the turkey for about 4 minutes each side. Once they’re all done, cut the turkey into little bits and add everything into the whisked eggs. Clean the pan, reheat new oil and pour the egg mixture onto it once it's hot. Make the omelette- I'm sure no instructions are needed here. I normally take 1 unit with this omelette to start my day after a hypo-night.
Once breakfast is finished, I do my usual skincare routine with a splash of cold water on my face for that final wake-up shock and to reduce the puffiness I often get when I'm not well rested. Hope this little morning routine has helped! Let me know if you have any other morning tips to redeem yourself after a rudely interrupted nights sleep.