Don’t Forget Your Bedtime Snack!

By Layla Niavarani • • 1 Dec 2013



Are your blood glucose levels high when you wake up in the morning? Do you ever find yourself skipping breakfast in order to prevent your numbers from going even higher?


Solution: The Bedtime Snack. A snack 1-2 hours before bedtime not only can┬áprevent nocturnal hypoglycemia (fancy talk for low blood sugar during the night), but it can also prevent those high numbers when you rise out of bed in the morning. Glucose in your body comes from the food you eat; however, your liver releases glucose as well. Without a bedtime snack, it’s possible that the time between when you ate your previous meal to when you wake up the next day is significant enough to cause a drop in blood glucose levels. This drop during your slumber will cause your body to release hormones that will raise your blood glucose levels. As a person with diabetes who is either not making enough insulin to steer glucose into the cells, or whose cells are resistant to available insulin, your body will not have the capability to control this increase glycemic_goalsin blood glucose levels; consequently, your blood glucose levels will be high when you waken.


You can help control your blood sugar by eating a bedtime snack rich in carbohydrates and protein. Most bedtime snacks should be 1-2 servings of carbohydrate-containing food and 1 serving of protein. Here are a few snack ideas:

15 grams of carbohydrate:

  • 1/2 C of chopped fresh fruit with 1/2 C skim milk
  • 6 whole-wheat crackers plus 1 string cheese
  • 6-8 oz. no-sugar-added yogurt
  • 1 slice of whole-wheat toast with 1 T peanut butter


30 grams of carbohydrate:

  • 1/2 C beans on 1 slice of whole-wheat toast
  • 2 slices of whole-wheat bread with 2 oz. lean turkey or ham and 1 oz low-fat cheese
  • 3 graham cracker squares plus 6-8 oz. no-sugar-added yogurt
  • Toasted cheese sandwich containing 2 slices of bread and 1 slice of low-fat cheese