It is important for people with diabetes to be smart about their snacks, especially when it comes to bedtime or late night snacking.
Blood sugar levels at night
You are providing your body with almost constant sources of carbs throughout the day with your three main meals or snacking during the day. Some people make the choice not to eat between dinner and breakfast the next morning, and that leaves a window of “fasting” time where you are not giving your body any carbs.
Insulin usually works for a certain amount of time after taking it. Because of this, your insulin could still be working to lower your blood sugar levels while you sleep. When you add a bedtime snack, you are adding carbs to the extra glucose that your body may have already stored.
If blood sugars get too low at night, your body will release some of that stored glucose into the bloodstream. It is common for more glucose to be released into the bloodstream than is necessary. When this happens, it may cause you to wake up with a blood sugar spike.
If you snack before bedtime, you are shortening the time that your body goes without carbs while you are sleeping. Ideal snacks before bed contain a mixture of protein and fat to help release the glucose in your body slowly throughout the night. By eating protein-rich snacks, you are helping to ensure that your blood sugar levels will not drop during the night.
The following are all snacks that are not only considered healthy snacks for people with diabetes, but are ideal bedtime snacks.
- Handful of nuts
- Hard-boiled egg
- Low-fat cheese and whole-wheat crackers
- Apple with peanut butter
- Sugar-free Greek yogurt