Diabetic Dreamin’


Are you a diabetic in you dreams? Not your idyllic musings, of course, but your dreams while sleeping.

I often have dreams about diabetes and being a diabetic– the common pattern goes like this:

In some context, usually a weird one like I’m at my parents’ house organizing a party for a collection of acquaintances from elementary school plus plus David Bowie wearing a bear costume, I am presented with one of the forbidden foods of diabetes. Chocolate cake. With ice cream. And a bagel.

I eat; I spend the rest of the dream being high, or fretting about being high, or both.

Not a fun dream-pattern, but not very surprising either; clearly, I am often anxious about my blood sugar and how I must manage my diet to keep it in control. Doesn’t take Freud to psychoanalyze that one.

But are you a diabetic in other dreams? Dreams not specifically about diabetes?

I was thinking about it the other morning while recollecting the night’s dream, and I realized I don’t think I’m a diabetic in my dreams unless the dream is specifically about diabetes. Not that I’m explicitly not a diabetic, but there’s no checking of blood sugar, or bolusing, or constant monitoring of my continuous glucose monitor output, or careful carbohydrate allocation, or any of the hallmarks of diabetes that accompany my waking moments.

In other words, my dreams seem to be all-diabetes or no-diabetes. Is that typical? Is it a good sign or a bad sign? I’m inclined to be flattered by my dream-consciousness; gee, you think of me as a normal person, and not just A Diabetic? Does this imply I can have a non-diabetic psyche and sense of self when my diabetes is cured? Does this mean I won’t always be constantly thinking about milligrams per deciliter of glucose?

Or is it just that my dreams have tunnel vision and focus on only one thing at a time, either diabetes anxiety or escaped kangaroos or learning to fly a helicopter or anything as long as it’s one basic concept at a time? Why is diabetes, the background of every moment I’m awake, so intermittent in my dreams?

The internet, unfortunately, is not much of a psychoanalyst; searching for anything about diabetes and dreaming gives me stories about specific dreams and nightmares people have had, articles about the link between sleep regularity and Type 2 diabetes, and content about the other kind of diabetic dreaming– for a cure.

Any dream analyst volunteers? How do your dreams compare? Or does it all just mean I want to kill my father and sleep with my mother?

Notify of
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
13 years ago

I seem to require hyperglycaemia to remember dreams – the beautiful triptych etched into my mind when awaking from ketoacidotic coma 15.7 years ago at diagnosis, involved a lion walking across a Styrofoam plain; a pet meerkat swimming into an etymologically fitting sea and long-haired females using their tresses as nesting material… Nowadays I usually wake up with BG-values of less than 72 and my dream-slates wiped clean. This morning, 167 left faint traces of irritation at receiving a bag of green bananas !? (I’m always a teenager in my dreams/nightmares and presumably not diabetic, as I was diagnosed when… Read more »

Jessica Apple
13 years ago

I haven’t had supply dreams, but maybe now I’ll be inspired :).  I have recurring panic dreams about my teeth getting loose and falling out.  I haven’t been diabetic for very long… so maybe I’ll transition from teeth  into dreams about spilling my test strips…

13 years ago

Very funny – I blogged about being diabetic in my dreams last week.  I find myself doing a lot of finger sticks in my dreams.  My counselor suggested maybe it has to do with feeling “okay”…worrying about highs or lows  could be a concern with anything going on in your life.

Dr. Margaret A. Morris
13 years ago

Interesting; I have supply dreams, but they’re always Supply Dreams, in which that becomes the focus of the dream. Maybe that means I let myself be consumed by worry more than you do :)
Happy 30th, by the way, Scott, and thanks for the input!

Scott K. Johnson
Scott K. Johnson
13 years ago

Hmm!  Great question!  I think I remember it being a peripheral part of many dreams I have.  Such as seeing supplies, or being worried about being separated from stuff I need.

Copyright © 2009-2021 Diabetes Media Foundation, All Rights Reserved.
ASweetLife™ is a trademark of the Diabetes Media Foundation, All Rights Reserved.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x