Diabetes results from the pancreas not producing insulin or the tissues of the body becoming resistant to its effects. One goal in managing blood glucose levels if you are a person challenged by diabetes is to keep your morning, or fasting, level in the range of 70 to 130 mg per deciliter, according to guidelines from the American Diabetes Association.
Determine your target fasting blood glucose range. Normally, a range of 90 to 130 milligrams per deciliter is chosen, but you may be instructed by your doctor to aim as low as 70 milligrams per deciliter. Lowering your blood sugar reduces your risk for diabetic eye damage and kidney damage, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Get a good night's sleep. Sleeping less than seven hours or more than nine hours a night increases the body's production of the stress hormone cortisol and is associated with elevated fasting blood glucose levels, according to the November 2007 issue of "Diabetologia." Sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, menopausal hot flashes and the pain associated with nerve damage from diabetes may contribute to decreased sleep quality. Making a habit of going to bed eight hours before you must wake up is a crucial habit to develop.
Check your dinner menus. Reduce the portion size of high glycemic carbohydrates such as refined sugar, white flour and white rice--which cause spikes in your blood sugar -- and increase your portions of foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and olive oil, and low-glycemic carbs such as brown rice, lentils and other whole grain foods.
Take the dog for a walk. A vigorous stroll for 10 to 20 minutes late in the evening may be enough to reduce your fasting blood glucose. If you don't have a dog, ask a neighbors if they would like you to walk their pets or take your favorite person for a before-bed walk around the neighborhood. If you take insulin, be sure to calculate this exercise regimen when selecting your bedtime, long-acting dose.
Nibble at night. A bedtime snack that contains a small amount of a low-glycemic carbohydrates, such as half an apple, together with a source of protein and fat, such as a tablespoon of peanut butter or 1/4 cup of walnut halves, will keep your blood glucose level at a constant level as you sleep. If you allow your glucose to go too low overnight, your liver will see this as dangerous and will release excessive stored glucose.
Managing diabetes, especially if you are taking insulin, requires a high degree of collaboration between you and your medical team. Discuss your plans to lower your fasting blood glucose levels with your physician and/or diabetic nurse educator.