High school son won't wake up to alarms: help!


I do have the Share app on my phone so I also get his notifications. I used to get both high and low but had to change it to low only, because it alarmed so much. He does not have great control. The alarm, to me is loud and obnoxious, but it only beeps and it not continuous. I wonder if there is a way to change the alarm on his phone. I will look into this.@elver


@ned The cargo sweatpants are a great idea! He probably would not wear long pants, but might wear shorts. I will look for comfortable cargo shorts that he could wear to bed. Thanks for the tip!

We are considering having him live at home for college. We do live 9 miles from Boston, so there are lots of colleges locally. I feel bad that he has to be limited in this way. He is also planning to play baseball in college, which adds a whole new wrinkle because he experiences delayed lows after exercise.:disappointed_relieved:


Yes! There is a way to change the alarm. Some of the alarms are much more effective than others.

If you open the Dexcom app, click on the icon on the upper left, click on the first option “Alerts,” pick which Alert you want to change, click the “Sounds” option on the bottom of that menu, and then you’ll see a list of all the different types of Alert sounds. The 5-0 siren is the most annoying, but effective alarm for me.


You can “try” all the alarms. But, on the follower app, I find that, for me, that the longer lasting alarms pay off.


This is a problem at first, but eventually it becomes not loud enough, believe it or not…at least that’s been my experience. We’ve been using a CGM since Aug 2016 and back when Liam was first diagnosed I would jump up easily, but after 2 years of hearing the alarms, they somehow make their ways into my dreams and I am not hearing them as well…even though they are their same old annoying (but helpful) sounds.


@Katers87 Thank you! I will take look at that. If I can find one that is continuous rather than just beeping once every few minutes, I think that would work best. I’m sure his 14 year old brother who sleeps in the next room probably won’t think so though :wink:


He is also planning to play baseball in college, which adds a whole new wrinkle because he experiences delayed lows after exercise.:disappointed_relieved:

@mlg, i can imagine how this would be stressful for you as a mom! But it’s also really impressive! You must be proud.


Thank you @TiaG! I am proud of him. He is a great kid and a very hard worker. He’s worth all the grey hairs he gives me and all the crazy sleepless nights.


I use the cgm all the time for dosing without fingersticks, and have for several years. Here’s why I don’t find it scary. Although I use the cgm to help choose my insulin dose, I don’t depend on the accuracy of the cgm. What I mean is this: If I end up taking too much insulin, either because I misjudged the carbs or because the cgm was wrong, the cgm will show my BG dropping. No matter the cause, I’ll just take more carbs to correct that. Similarly, if my insulin dose is too low I’ll see the cgm graph rising so I’ll take more insulin. The cgm inaccuracy that I experience is almost self-correcting in the sense that when I use the cgm to guide me toward 100 mg/dL I’m taking the right action, even if the cgm was inaccurate by 20 mg/dL. And if it was off by 40 mg/dL I’m still not going to hurt myself that way. I don’t see cgm errors of 60 or more without also seeing something on the graph that warns me not to believe it. (I respect that there are some people on this forum for whom the Dex isn’t reliable like it is for me, either because of physiology or technique.)

Did the graph show a sudden drop to the 64? To me that would suggest a pressure low, and I’d expect it to come right back up with a position change. If there was no sudden drop to the 64, then I’d just eat the glucose and if the cgm was wrong, I’d get a high alert (at 130) a half hour later. Nuisance, but for me not a big deal.


My wife asks me something like “what’s the square root of 1000,” or “what’s 23 minus 18” and it reliably tells whether I’m below 70.


This example reminds me a frightening event that happened to my glucose normal son in high school. He was very good at math, and also in sports. He had what turned out to be a bad concussion in soccer (a header where he collided with another player head to head, and lost consciousness for a few seconds—in fact, they both did). The next day, he got evaluated by a doctor, who asked him, “what is 18 + 7?” His answer was 23.

That’s how we knew things were not good. He had to wear sunglasses to school for 8 weeks afterwards (he had become light sensitive). In fact, 5 years later, he is still somewhat light sensitive :frowning:


Yes they can be used with nearly any device. Here is some info on Nightscout. They have simplified creating a new site. Now it is as simple as creating a GitHub account, clicking a button, then putting in your preferences.

IFTTT is a service that links two accounts in a cause/effect relationship.

For example, I can make a recipe that says:
IF: the Nightscout records a LOW alarm
THEN: send me a text message

You can customize the recipe to turn on a light, turn on a siren, send a tweet, or countless other configurations.


@Bradford I will take a look at this. Thank you!!


Welcome! As you see, you have found the best online D-problem solving group ever! :smiley_cat:


Old thread, but I thought I would now mention a new development: SugarMate, the iOS app, can be programmed to ring a phone:


I promise you this phone call WILL wake you up. :slight_smile:

For the iPhone “Ringtone” for SugarMate, I use the “Alarm” ring…it’s very loud, very annoying and even with my alarm fatigue, I definitely hear this and it doesn’t stop until I answer the call (and wake up). It has saved us over 10 lows now and I’ve only been using it a couple weeks. Can’t speak highly enough about this feature.

Update: One additional thing I’ve started is setting the “urgent low” to 100 during the nights…I do this because I want to get that phone call BEFORE he’s already in “urgent low” territory…my goal is to avoid any low at all. So, by receiving the call at 100, assuming he’s headed down, I’ll give him a treatment to ensure he at least levels off (and preferably, for us, goes up to just under 150 which we would be perfectly fine with him staying all night long.)


I debated setting a higher threshold but in the end he spends enough time between 85 mg/DL and 100 mg/DL at night that I wouldn’t want to be woken by a phone call for all of those times. So I’ve set it at 80. Then, on Dexcom Follow, I set it to 100 mg/DL. And my husband has NightWatch on his Android phone and it alarms at 100 mg/DL as well.

Sadly, we definitely sleep through those initial alarms about 50% of the time. But even with the threshold set at 80 with SugarMate, it’s helped keep him above 65 which for us is pretty great.