It’s normal to feel overwhelmed about managing type 1 diabetes, especially when life gets busy. After all, dealing with diabetes isn’t always convenient. While each day is different, adding some simple strategies into your daily routine can help you stay on track and live well with type 1 diabetes.

You can take steps to manage your type 1 diabetes soon after waking up. Your blood sugar levels change during sleep and addressing these changes early can help you start the day well.

Rise, shine, and check your blood sugar

Check your blood sugar as soon as possible after you wake up. This will give you an idea of what your blood sugar was like overnight. You can correct it right away with food or insulin if you find it too high or too low.

You may also consider recording your blood sugar levels and other important information in a diabetes journal. This can help you keep track of your day-to-day management.

Start your day with a healthy breakfast

Eating well is an important part of managing type 1 diabetes. You can start your day off on a positive note with a nutritious breakfast that follows your eating plan. A healthy plan for type 1 diabetes typically includes foods from each food group, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Learn more about foods for type 1 diabetes here.

Since you’re taking insulin, you should also include a moderate amount of carbohydrates at each meal. This will prevent your blood sugar from dropping too low.

Moderating your carbohydrate intake may help you to regulate your blood glucose levels. While some studies show that a low-carbohydrate diet can help lower blood glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes, further research is necessary to assess these diets fully.

It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all carbohydrate level for managing type 1 diabetes. Make sure to keep track of your carbs and match your intake with your insulin dosage. You can record this information in your diabetes journal.

Some quick and easy breakfast ideas for people with type 1 diabetes include scrambled eggs, oatmeal with low-fat milk, or fruit and yogurt. Don’t forget to test your blood sugar before and after each meal, including breakfast.

Take your medications

Remember to take your insulin and any other medications. For busy mornings, it can be helpful to make a diabetes kit with a glucose monitor, insulin, syringes, and any other supplies you need.

Being organized will save you time. If you have trouble remembering to take medications, try using a pillbox or keep medications in the bathroom with your toothbrush.

Drive safely

Whether you’re going to work, school, or running errands, make sure that you get there safely. Check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel and never drive if your blood sugar is too low.

You should also keep some snacks in your car, including a source of glucose like glucose tablets or fruit juice.

Have a snack

If you need a mid-morning snack to keep your energy and blood sugar up, some ideas include a handful of almonds, raisins, or an apple.

As you approach lunchtime and the rest of the afternoon, the tips below can help you continue managing your type 1 diabetes.

Eat a nutritious lunch

Recheck your blood sugar, and then have a healthy lunch. It may be easiest to eat well if you plan and pack your lunch.

Good options include a salad topped with cottage cheese and nuts, hummus and veggies, or a cup of chili. And, of course, recheck your blood sugar after you eat.

Get some exercise

Staying active is an important part of managing your type 1 diabetes. It can also boost your mood and reduce your stress levels. Some activities you might enjoy include going for a jog, taking your dog for a long walk, or dancing.

In general, you should get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Make sure to check your blood sugar before and after you work out. You should also bring a source of glucose with you.

People who experience low blood sugar during or after exercise should talk with their doctor about their physical activities and potential adjustment of their medication.

Your food choices and actions in the evening will affect your blood sugar levels through the night. Making helpful choices late in the day can help set you up for a good night’s rest and a positive morning.

Make dinner

Eat a balanced dinner if possible, and don’t forget to check your blood sugar again before and after eating. If you’re often too tired to make a healthy meal at the end of the day, try planning ahead.

Keep your kitchen stocked with nutritious food choices. You can also try preparing some parts of your meal when you have more time, like on the weekends.


Make some time at the end of the day to relax and enjoy yourself. Read a book, watch a movie, or visit a friend. Taking time out every day for yourself is an integral part of managing stress and staying healthy.

Get some sleep

Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Getting enough sleep is especially important for people with type 1 diabetes because lack of sleep can make it harder to control your blood sugar.

Let your doctor know if you’re having trouble sleeping at night. Sleep problems could result from a blood sugar level that’s too high or too low. Make a habit of checking your blood sugar before you go to bed. If your blood sugar tends to drop at night, it may help to have a snack before bed.

When you have type 1 diabetes, staying healthy can add extra stress to your already busy day. Planning is the key to managing your diabetes. Follow your daily diabetes schedule to make living well with type 1 diabetes a little easier.