A common topic of discussion among the jet set crowd as we fling ourselves around the world is what you do and what you take to find 6 hours of consecutive sleep. And if you’re not sleeping, what are you doing? (Me? I’m writing this blog post at 4 a.m. in Toronto. It’s 4 p.m. back in Guangzhou!) Here are the strategies I’ve heard over time: Ambien (and all its trademark variations – and then immediately followed by the question”where do you get it?”), melatonin, Zopicloone (nasty metalic mouth side effect) NyQuil, stay awake on the plane, stay asleep on the plane, gin, scotch or your drink of choice, stay hydrated, don’t eat on the plane and my all-time favorite, get a 2 hour massage when you land. The only thing I can confidently advise is don’t try all of these strategies at once. Personally, I just plan to be really productive from 4 a.m. to about lunch and then catch my second wind in the evening. Socialize in the afternoon on my first days back? I don’t think so. Deep sleep and drool on the couch? For sure.
But when the 1 a.m. wide awake, “let’s get the day going” experience happens, it’s gross and I reach for the sleeping pills. But as an insulin pumping person, I’ve started to wonder if this is such a great idea. My brain is a mess when I wake up in the middle of the night with a low blood sugar on a normal night sleep … I’d be a disaster trying to treat a low blood sugar with a deep sleep stupor interfering with my decision making skills. And what if I don’t wake up, no matter how many alarms are set on my CGM because the sleeping pill of choice is so darn effective? Eeek. That would be bad news.
So, to you jet setting Type 1 diabetics out there … what do you do?