Why do I have high blood sugar levels in the morning?
Some people experience very high blood sugar levels in the morning. But what implications does this have for a person's health?
There are two main causes of high blood sugar in the morning, the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect
This article explores these two causes of high blood sugar levels in the morning. It also discusses what risk factors may cause people to experience them and gives practical advice around how to better manage blood sugar levels.
Contents of this article:
The dawn phenomenon
The dawn phenomenon has to do with natural body changes that occur during the sleep cycle:
Midnight - 3 a.m.
While most people are sleeping, their body has little need for insulin. During this period, however, any insulin that may have been taken during the evening causes the blood sugar levels to drop off drastically.
Between 3 - 8 a.m.
The body automatically begins to dish out stored sugar (glucose) in preparation for the upcoming day. In addition, hormones that actively reduce the body's sensitivity to insulin are also being released.
During this time period, counter-regulatory hormones are being released. This can interfere with insulin, which may lead to a rise in blood sugar.
These include growth hormones, such as:
These events are all happening simultaneously as bedtime levels of insulin are beginning to taper off. Each of these events ultimately plays a part in causing blood sugar levels to rise at "dawn" or in the morning.
Who the dawn phenomenon affects
Although people with diabetes are generally more aware of the dawn phenomenon, it ac Continue reading