FUDiabetes

CGM alarms and partners - what's your experience?


#1

I’ve been dating a wonderful man over the last year, and we’re planning to move in with each other in about a month. We’re currently working through the planning that goes into a move like that. I’ve never lived with a partner before.

It might sound silly, but I’m probably most worried about waking him up all the time when my cgm alarms go off. I don’t want to deprive him of sleep.

It’s not that uncommon for me to wake up once during the night to have to correct for something - either a trending high soon after going to sleep or a low in the early morning. This doesn’t bother me at all when I’m just sleeping alone, and it doesn’t seem to bother him much when he has stayed over in the past. Sometimes I sleep through my alarm, and he wakes me up. He’s very supportive.

However, I’m a little worried about how this will work out when we’re sleeping next to each other every single night. Right now, it’s only 1-3 times per week. He’s a light sleeper, so he wears ear plugs already (yet still wakes up to the alarms first sometimes). He also has a harder time falling asleep than most people.

For those of you living with a significant other - how have you handled this situation? What has worked best? Do you have any recommendations?


#2

Just my thoughts on this…if he’s interested in moving in with you and you two are that close then he will WANT to be there for you and help you with this. As @Eric says, “Marry well” (or obtain a partner well). If it were me (thinking from the guys perspective here…assuming I was in his shoes, I would want to be there for you and help you in any way that I can.) That’s what partnerships are about.

I wouldn’t worry about it and just talk to him? By now, I’m assuming he knows there are alarms that go off (or could go off) during the night? Ask him what he thinks about that. Is he going to be OK with it? I think if you begin a conversation, you’ll see he’s all in (won’t care about the noise and will want to help any way he can.)

That’s how I would be anyway…not everyone is like me, but I would think most caring gentleman would be the same.


#3

We’ll end up discussing it more in-depth at some point, but I posted because I think it’d be helpful to read other’s experiences on how they handled it. Reading other’s experiences might enable me to handle that conversation better and ensure that we’re both getting our needs met.


#4

@Katers87 in use the vibrate feature on both pump cgm and dexcom app at night for alarms. It’s generally enough to wake me and.my earplug wearing spouse doesn’t wake up.

Congrats on your lifestyle change!


#5

Congratulations!

I used to have my alarm thresholds set in a pretty unusable way before reading about CGM alarms for sleeping on FUD. Someone said that they think that alarms should be set so that they are actually important overnight. This way you don’t just snooze them and ignore them repeatedly all night long. That has helped me quite a bit. I personally might widen my parameters a bit overnight from my daytime settings so that if it goes off, I know I actually need to do something about it (but not in a dangerous way).

Some nights my bg is just totally messed up or stuck high going into bedtime. Those nights I’ll discuss it with my husband as to if I should sleep in the guest bedroom or not (I don’t know if you have that option). He always tells me to sleep in our bed bc he wants to know if I need help. If I’m stuck high and I’m nervous about waking him up all night with alarms, I’ll decide to go to the guest room myself bc I’m too much on edge about messing his sleep up for me to sleep, anyway. I should mention that my husband works odd and inconsistent hours, so I prioritize his sleep bc sometimes he’s at a pretty decent deficit to begin with. I feel bad adding to that with CGM alarms all night on the bad nights.

Since I’ve gotten established on my new insulin regimen post-birth control and (knock on wood) have had much more stable control while figuring out this labyrinth, I have WAY fewer overnight CGM alarms than I used to. I used to have my Dexcom 7+ in a drinking glass on vibrate and beeping. So loud. And I needed it back then bc I had horrible overnight lows all the time. Being more stable now has reduced my number of alarms a lot. My control has been good enough (again, knock on wood) that my husband hasn’t had to be the one to wake me up or intervene on my behalf in recent memory.


#6

Thanks @elver. I sleep like the dead the first few hours after falling asleep. I can switch to vibrate in the mornings though as long as my phone is next to me. I wish I could wake up to a vibrate!

Thanks :blush: I feel very lucky I met someone so awesome.


#7

Thanks Allison. You have lots of good suggestions in there. It’s very helpful for me to read your experiences. It helps normalize the need for alarms a bit and makes me feel less guilty. Which I probably shouldn’t feel, but I still do sometimes.

I’m so glad you’re more stable. That sounds like a rough time!

I don’t have alarms every night, and I usually only have one alarm if I do have one. The only exception is if my basal is too high (monthly transition or more exercise), then I might have a series of alarms in the morning because I’ll treat and my bg comes up before turning right back around. Luckily that’s not super common.

I may increase my high alarm a bit. I find that I don’t sleep as well when my bg remains over 160 (my current alarm) all night though. Even being in the 150s for most the night can have an impact. I just don’t feel as rested the next day.

Anyway, you have lots of good solutions. I’ll probably end up using all of them at some point or another :slight_smile:


#8

If you want to go completely techy, I am currently playing around with Nightscout, IFTTT, and a bed shaker and light combo. I have to get some free time to play with it, and I am hoping I can do it without Nightscout, but am not completely sure at this point. Then you could have your alarm set off a bed shaker that you could put under your pillow, to help try and wake you.


#9

image

Surely this is not what you mean…


#10

Looks more like this:

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#11

That’s awesome. I’m curious to hear updates as the project progresses.


#12

Katers, Maybe try a king bed to provide a little more space between sleeping partner and your alerts and stirring? I use the G5 receiver at night. set on vibrate. With the receiver under my pillow it has never failed to wake me up. My wife Kathy sleeps pretty soundly (once she’s asleep) and wears earplugs and has slept through most (but not all) of those nighttime underpillow vibes. We have a king bed and when in a hotel we always either get a king or two twins/queens. When we camp in our van the bed is a little smaller than queen sized and the alerts do wake her. Based on that, I believe just a foot or two of extra distance from the Dex receiver keeps her asleep.


#13

That’s a great idea. I’d love to hear the details once you have it all worked out. A strong vibration under the pillow would probably be enough to wake me up.

I imagine this is for when your boy goes off to college?


#14

A king bed is also a great idea. We’ll be using a queen for now because that’s what we currently have. I’m not sure how well the frame will move though. I’ll put that on my list of stuff we might want to replace/upgrade over the next few months.

Pairing this suggestion with @Chris’s bed shaker would probably be the absolutely ideal solution. The super low alarm would still blare too, so he could wake me up if I slept through a severe low.


#15

My wife is a really light sleeper and has problems getting back to sleep after being woken up so if I am extreme snoring or CGM alarming I just sleep in another room. Some people find it weird that a married couple does not always sleep together (and there is a stigma there for sure), but we have been married close to 17 years so it is not really a big deal for us and we both sleep better - her not being woken up and me not worrying that my CGM alarms are bugging her.

I am finally getting around to getting a Dexcom for my son, so my wife will be introduced to full on CGM alarms soon :slight_smile: although we will likely set the alarm range large enough to try not to micro-mange blood sugars for my son at night.


#16

My partner actually appreciates the alarms. Even though they wake him (on vibrate, on my night table), he says he gets better rest because he doesn’t have to worry about me so much anymore and keep half an ear on my breathing and wake me up if I’m restless to ask if I’m low, and so on. (OK, he’s a worrier by nature, but that’s beside the point.)

I also usually turn off the alarms before bed if it looks like I’ll be fairly stable through the night, or if I’m not stable and I just want to freakin’ sleep, or I might raise the high alert so it won’t go off if I just trend slightly high for a bit. And at least on the G4, there’s an alarm at 55 (3.0) that you can’t turn off, so that affords some security.


#17

It is for that exact reason.


#18

I fully agree with @ClaudnDaye. I have been using a Dexcom and getting midnight alarms for 14 years. My wife pretty much tolerates it because it’s way better than calling the paramedics.

In fact, now if her follow app is not working properly she won’t let me go to sleep without fixing it. I sleep with ear buds listening to the radio and Bg announcements every five minutes.

I’ve told her that she knew the job was dangerous when she took it. And I don’t think she could have it any other way.


#19

@glitzabetes, such good news, it’s wonderful!

I can’t imagine not wanting to be there to help someone you love. I agree with @docslotnick. And @Eric us right to talk about marrying well :slight_smile:

I guess it is an interesting test of character for the partner. I am guessing that those who have a problem with alarms would not last for the long term either.


#20

I may differ slightly with the crowd in that my medical conditions are sometimes at odds just for myself on this front—Dexcom alarms are important/useful, but I also have difficulty sleeping, and if I am sleeping, I need that sleep to keep happening. My partner has similar chronic health concerns that make sleeping well both difficult and super important. At present, I only have my alarms set to be audible for the urgent low ones, because that’s the only time it’s worth it for me to be woken up, so those happen fairly infrequently. If they were happening more often though or if I set my alarms to go off whenever I went outside a window of tight control, we might need to rethink sleeping arrangements, and I think that would be a totally reasonable request from a partner if it gets in the way of their sleep, just like I think sleeping apart for many other reasons can be a reasonable choice (if someone is a chronic snorer or highly active sleeper who disturbs the other partner, for example). Co-sleeping isn’t always the best option for all involved, and acknowledging that and the need for uninterrupted sleep doesn’t reflect a lack of love/intimacy.