Recently I addressed morning routines for a diabetes lifestyle. Included were drinking a glass of water, monitoring blood glucose, checking feet and doing a good morning stretch.

To continue strong with self-management of diabetes, there are wise nighttime habits also. The key to healthy evening habits is realizing what is important for you. Everyone is different.

Many test their blood glucose before going to sleep. Comparing nighttime values with morning results helps analyze how your body can handle the sugars produced by your liver overnight. Talk to your doctor about controlling these two blood sugar results.

Drink a large glass of water or some hot tea two hours before bed. Decaffeinated or herbal tea will not affect sleep. Staying hydrated, especially after eating a salty supper, helps sleep.

Stay away from high carbohydrate snacks too close to bedtime. Approximately 20 grams of total carbs with a small amount of a protein source like meat, cheese, nuts or milk will help control blood glucose longer. A snack at least one hour before lying down to sleep shortens the time span that the liver is providing blood sugar while you sleep.

Prepare for the next day by laying out clothes or creating a to-do list for the next day. It will help you fall asleep knowing that you don’t have to remember everything because it’s already been done or on the list.

Stretch or massage your feet to relax your body into sleep. While comforting tired feet, check for hot spots, callouses or open areas that could spell trouble later on. Rub non-scented lotion on the tops and bottoms; avoid lathering lotion between your toes.

People with diabetes have a higher risk of gum disease. Don’t forget to brush your teeth and floss regularly. Flossing can be annoying, but once ingrained as a healthy habit, you’ll hardly realize you are doing it.

Begin meal planning for the next day. Pack a lunch, set out breakfast foods and begin defrosting something for supper in the refrigerator. By the way, never defrost at room temperature. People with diabetes are high risk for food-borne illness, and food should be kept out of the temperature danger zone. The extra energy spent to prepare your food the night before will pay off the next day when you’ve got healthy food ready to go.

Go to bed early enough to make sure you get adequate sleep. Not getting enough sleep will make it harder to get through the next day. Feeling tired makes decisions more difficult and impacts overall health.

Turn off the television and put down your cellphone at least one hour before closing your eyes to sleep. Exposure to TV and cellphone screens can send messages to your brain that do not allow you to fall asleep when you want. For some people, being too stimulated by artificial light before bed interferes with an inability to fully relax.

Dealing with diabetes requires healthy habits and, for some people, a lifestyle change. Make a difference to remain as healthy as possible.

Bobbie Randall is a Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered, Licensed Dietitian. She supervises a Diabetes Self-Management Training Program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital, Orrville, OH. Contact her at bobbie.randall@aultman.com 330-684-4776.