Help with Plan to create a Bed Shaker/Light Alarm triggered from Dexcom Urgent Low

So, I am looking into the feasibility of setting up a quiet alarm that can wake my son when he has an urgent low alarm on his Dexcom. The goal would be for a light to light up and a bed shaker to be activated when he has an urgent low.

I am assuming that I will need the following to make this work:

Android phone on wifi network
Bed Shaker and Light that can be triggered by IFTTT

Does this sound correct? Is there another way to accomplish this?

My goal is to have a system that wakes my son up (Bed Shaker) and has a visual cue that everything isn’t right (red light) but that doesn’t make sound.


we use IFTTT to trigger a smart WiFi siren. So I think that’s all you need. We use nightscout and we do have an android phone – though I believe IFTTT works on iPhone too?


Oh, that would be wonderful if IFTTT could work with IOS.

I know IFTTT definitely works with iPhone; I guess what I don’t know is if the applet or whatever it’s called that triggers NightScout has been set up for Apple.

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peruse this and see if it helps!


That is helpful. It looks like I can get IFTTT to trigger some wifi plugs with the light and shaker plugged into them. That should work pretty inexpensively.

Should be interesting.


If you do get something set up, please let me know what you did! I wake up to the WiFi siren but my husband sleeps through everything but me shaking him very hard…it would be nice if I could sleep through the night occasionally and have confidence that he’d be able to wake up.

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I will absolutely let you know. I am getting ahead of myself, but trying to rig something up so my son doesn’t absolutely destroy his roommate with audible alarms when he gets to college, and also, so there is a visible emergency signal that he is really low. This is in the event that he has an irresponsible drinking session and they think he is sleeping it off instead of having a super low event.


The basal IQ thing should be helpful for this sort of event I think.


What a fabulous idea!

I am fully intending to copy everything you do (if it works!).


If your son is sleeping in a bunk bed (as I did freshmen year of college), the roommate would probably hate the bed shaker much more than an audible alarm – just something to consider :slightly_smiling_face:

I personally subjected my roommates to the Dexcom alarms, but I had my nighttime thresholds set pretty wide at the time.


This is an amazing idea! Can we have that for my house too? I’m in love with this idea!!!

I didn’t think about the bunk bed issue though. I can see how that would be a drag.

They should make an entire dorm for T1 folks! Without bunks! They could all help each other and learn new things! Although maybe they’d all wake up to the alarms and be worried?

(Okay, don’t hate on me. It’s just an idea. And a terrible idea at that. This might be my officially most rewritten reply. I immediately wanted to propose to marry @Chris when I first read this because of the brilliant idea but then I realized that was weird!!! But I can’t tell you how many nights EH has slept through the alarms and I have woken both of us up and been told “yah, I’ve got it.” Only to wake up again in 15 minutes and he’s now really low and he didn’t actually do anything because he wasn’t actually awake when we talked!)

Also the bed shaker + drunk makes me a tad nauseous thinking about that idea. Maybe a bucket would also be wise.


@TravelingOn My wife has forbidden me from marrying anymore, but I appreciate the sentiment.

I think the bed shakers are a bit of misnomer, but will buy some and test. I think they can be put under the pillow or at the top of the mattress. They sell them with the idea that you can wake someone up who is sleeping next to a sleeping partner.

Thanks for the input @glitzabetes, I will take that into account. Great point. Unfortunately, my kids are late bloomers, so they are going to still be growing in college. My son will definitely have to deal the associated nightime highs. So he will need to deal with soaring 300’s in the middle of the night. :frowning:


@Chris, the son of a good friend of mine just went through college with T1D and bad night-time highs. My friend and his son discussed the issue, and decided that, given that lack of sleep makes BG management quite a bit harder, it would be fine to take it a bit easier when in college: the kid graduated in 5 years and did pretty well managing his BG as well (he was on MDI). I would have no problem with that solution as well.

When time comes, we will have to discuss this issue at home as well—not sure what will come out :slight_smile:


What?!? The world is an amazing place.

And, @Chris your wife sounds like a smart woman! I’m not the marrying type anyhow. (Which is a testament to what an amazing invention you’re thinking about!)


Any progress on this, @Chris? I am struggling very badly right now with hearing alarms or the dexcom in metal change bowl thing and I really need to get a handle on this…this was our last night. The alarms sounds every 15 minutes…phones blasting, and I slept through the alarms, all night. I desperately need a new method.

Something is drastically changing…we need to start testing, but I desperately need a new method for waking up. I’m the only one that hears alarms and wakes up to them so I have to figure this out…

This was our night last night…I slept through 24 alarms (they sounded every 15 minutes for 6 hours straight)

This isn’t exactly the same thing Chris was looking to make, but if you don’t need to worry about roommates, this is the site that makes alarms for various things like visual or hearing impairments.

I think these two things together would wake you up for a Dex alarm.




So I will be making progress over the holiday break. The only question left is can I get IFTTT to signal directly from the Dexcom alert, or do I have to install and use Nightscout as well. My hope is I can roll an IFTTT trigger directly and not have the extra bit. Then I am going to have IFTTT trigger an internet enabled wall plug to start the bed shaker and light.

The internet enabled wall plug is super easy.

Sorry you are not sleeping enough, that really sucks. I know that when we faced long-term hormone spikes, we essentially gave up trying to bring them down aggressively in the middle of the night, because the amount was so variable, and the lows are a horrible way to start the day. Cody’s A1c has suffered a bit, but nothing terrible. i.e. 6’s and low 7’s. This has helped our whole families quality of life immensely.


@ClaudnDaye, have you seen this hack? Maybe this might help?


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Doesn’t work right now with iOS 11. Hope the dev can update it.

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