In the beginning, the alerts woke me up overnight whenever needed.
After a while, my brain decided to tune the alerts out while I was asleep.
My Dexcom G6 app: Beep beep beep! Me: Zzzzzzzz….
Then I started using a smartwatch that beeps and vibrates for lows.
I was able to wake up again. Hooray!
Then I started to even sleep through those alerts at night.
My Dexcom G6 app: Beep beep beep! My smartwatch with alerts set for above and below target glucose levels: Buzz buzz buzz!!!! Me: Zzzzzz….
Then, when my son was diagnosed, my brain (THANKFULLY) started to respond to those alerts at night again.
Until my brain started tuning them out again.
My son’s Dexcom G6 app and my cell phone’s Dexcom Follow app: Beep beep beep!!!2 My smartwatch: Buzz buzz buzz!!! My son and I: Zzzzzzzzz……
I added a great app that can text and call me about low glucose levels for my son. It works great. It works great AS LONG AS I turn the volume up full blast on my cell phone every single night and then remember to turn it down during the daytime. And then remember to turn it up again before bed every night.
If I forget to turn it up? Then it goes like this:
My son’s Dexcom G6 app and my cell phone’s Dexcom Follow app: Beep beep beep!!!2 My smartwatch: Buzz buzz buzz!!! My cell phone quietly texting and calling me for my son’s above or below target glucoses: Beep, ding, buzz, ring ring ring! My son and I: Zzzzzzzzz……
Thankfully none of our slept-through-alerts have been severe hyper or hypoglycemia that put either of our lives at risk.We needed a new plan!
We learned about SugarPixel and IDS decided we should try it out!
After using SugarPixel the world’s first dedicated blood glucose pixel clock of BG readings and alerts, I can give you an honest review and overview of the system.
SugarPixel Overview: A secondary glucose display and alert system for following Dexcom G6 CGM or Nightscout that provides random tone audio alerts and vibration alerts to help reduce the likelihood you will sleep through a glucose alert.
Pros: VERY LOUD, can set alerts for specific times of day, can show glucose for 1 to 2 individuals, color change for glucose levels is helpful, includes direction of change indicator on the display, and includes a small vibration puck to place on your bed or nightstand. Customer service provides quick turnaround responses to e-mails. Good instructions are provided in their online instruction guide. Customizable colors, display options, and alerts. NEW since September 2022 is the Sugar Pixel app to improve the entire set up and settings adjustments process!! The app is available on Android and iPhone.
Cons: Can be somewhat finicky to set up for the first time, and can have intermittent issues staying connected to your home Wi-Fi.
My teenager with T1D can sleep through just about anything. To wake him, I must physically move him, say his name loudly, and/or provide a good sternal rub (Google search that one!). With SugarPixel on the nightstand in my son’s room down the hall from me, even if it doesn’t always wake up my sleeping teenage son, it absolutely wakes up his younger brother and it wakes me up. It does even wake up my teen with T1D most of the time.
Now it goes a little like this in our home at night:
Cell phone and watch alerts? WHO KNOWS!?!?!?
Sugar Pixel alerts? We are AWAKE and taking care of dia-business and back to sleep quickly. I, for one, and very glad to be sleeping safer with the help of SugarPixel.
Tavia Vital BSN, BA, RN, CDCES
Director of Intensive Diabetes Management
Tavia is a Registered Nurse, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, and Certified Trainer on most makes/models of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Regis University in Denver, Colorado after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Iowa.
After working as an inpatient nurse, Tavia shifted her career focus to work as an outpatient nurse and diabetes educator. She worked many years as a diabetes educator in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism clinics, a high-risk diabetes and pregnancy clinic, and in family care/primary care provider clinics before joining Integrated Diabetes Services.