As I mentioned on a #gbdoc Twitter session the other night, when I have a hypo in my sleep, generally I just sleep through it. Normally my partner would be in bed with me and if I got so low I was fitting, she’d be there.
This has happened once. It was when I used Lantus and it terrified her.
Now I’m not someone who is massively hypo anxious, and generally, I don’t worry about them, but there are occasions where I am plainly aware that my glucose levels are not behaving and that sleeping is perhaps slightly riskier than it would normally be. In the past i’d have either eaten something or lowered by basal insulin, and basically hoped.
Now I’m not too concerned about Dead in Bed syndrome as I suspect there are other issues involved there (and not all those who suffer it are found to be hypo), however, when, like last week, I have a week on my own, having a little reassurance that I will wake up and can treat a hypo isn’t a bad thing.
Those using CGM already have this to a great extent with the alarming functionality available to them, however those of who don’t have a CGM have few alternatives.
Enter Hypoband. This is a little device worn rather like a wristwatch that alarms if you are low and can also send alert messages to nearest and dearest in case of an overnight hypo needing treatment. It works by detecting a cold sweat.
I wrote about it a couple of months ago as I was trialling it. During that period, I never hypoed overnight, but it seemed to be a sensible thing to try out.
This week, while my partner was away, I used it every night, just to make sure.
And on the Thursday night, it transpired I needed it! I’ve had some fantastically flat nights recently, but even with the tweaked down basal, not on this occasion. My glucose level slowly dropped into hypo range. I didn’t wake up. I don’t normally. And at 3.2, the Hypoband alarmed.
My Libre scan followed up by a blood test confirmed the low and I was able to treat it safely, go back to sleep and ignore the rest of the night.
For peace of mind, it’s a great little device. It does exactly what it is supposed to, and that’s alert you or someone you need to your hypo.
These devices are available at www.hypoband.com and if you struggle with overnight hypos, are likely to help you a lot.
I know that there are numerous blogs about people struggling with nocturnal hypos and they are widely recognised as a problem in medical circles. This might just be the answer they are all looking for.