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The secret of becoming a morning lark


I’m a night owl, have been ever since I was born. My peak part of the day (and when I have the lowest insulin requirements) is just after lunch. (Image from wikipedia, photographer is Thomas Roessler).

This is not at all compatible with having a serious career and indeed as a young teenager, I felt doomed to rushing to school having been up all night.

Then I had a couple of epileptic fits during the night: not uncommon in teenagers and we found my trigger was apartame – I haven’t had aspartame since 1986 as a result.  We know they are fits as my blood sugar was above 7mmol/l and there’s no way they were caused by hypos.  I do now get fits on the odd occassion with hypos but with the Libre and not having long acting insulin, they are really rare and again, only during sleep.

Because my fits were during the night, I had to have an EEG which only happen as an outpatient during broad daylight.  The man performing the test assured me I would sleep and he was right.  What you do is shut you mind down (some people call this meditation).  Picture black and stop any stray thoughts.

Since that afternoon, if my blood sugar is normal I can sleep.  By preference, I go to sleep at 2am and wake at 9:45am.  But I can get enough sleep to function if I want it and my blood sugar is below 6.5mmol/l, as measured by my Libre.

High blood sugar keeps me awake.  I check it at 8pm and do everything I can to bring it down as going to bed with it above 8mmol/l is a recipe for restlessness.

Hypos normally make me sleepy at night and I often just switch my pump off for 15-30minutes if my blood sugar is below 4mmol/l and only treat with food if it’s below 3mmol/l.  I find if I eat, it’s really hard to stop climbing above 7mmol/l which makes sleep difficult.

By preference, I don’t like to eat after 8pm.  I do drink: tea, water or a small measure of alcohol.  But if I do that to excess, I just wake up needing the loo!

So there you have it, the secret of becoming a lark instead of an owl.

(Thank you to Wikipedia for sharing this image from Bernard DUPONT).

By the way, I was screened twice for the epilepsy.  With aspartame in my system, I tested positive.  3 months without  any gave a negative result.  When I give up driving, I will try to see what aspartame does for me as a grown up until then I am avoiding it like the plague 🙂

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