High blood sugar in the morning

Does anybody know a reason why my sugar levels are high in the morning even though before I fall asleep it is usually at about 6/7 mmol/L (100-120mg/dl). When I wake up it seems to always be at 9mmol/L (160-170mg/dl) no matter what I eat the night before. Is it possible for blood sugar to rise during the night with no food or drink?

Hi @Edina , you can blame Nature at least partially for high / higher BG in the morning. It is the way we are Created; the basic internal clock for us mortals instruct our body to release a “steroid” to help awaken us - and steroids almost always cause a rise in glucose. There really isn’t anyway we can avoid this happening.

If you had shared your therapy methods - such as the type and timing of insulin, or if you use an insulin pump to infuse insulin, I could offer you ways to manage this “dawn phenomenon” - as this condition is called. You can search [upper right] and see a few “strings” with this topic.

1 Like

Edna, what you may be experiencing is called “dawn Phenomenon” when you haven’t eaten in a long time, IE: dinner at 6-7 pm and then you go to bed, your liver thinks you are starving because it’s been so long since you have eaten it will deposit sugar in your blood stream so you don’t starve. The way to stop this is to eat a little snack before you go to bed Ie: a few crackers with P-nut butter just a few, your liver will be happy and not flood your system with sugar . 160-170 is not too high for the majority of us. Hope this helps. Bye Jan

1 Like

You are not alone. A lot of us have the dawn effect or sometimes it is called the morning effect. It was explained to me that your liver does it and some people it is more pronounced. It isn’t bad other than tell your doctor about it so your basel can be set to help correct it.


I would not recommend eating extra to prevent dawn phenomenon - if it is dawn phenomenon you’ll probably go even higher. If you use an insulin pump, discuss with your doctor how to adjus your basal rates. I have mine raised slightly starting 4 AM to 8 AM, for example,

I agree with what @mikefarley says about NOT eating more to overcome a very natural and expected “Dawn Phenomenon”, but rather making necessary adjustments in insulin dosing / timing.
In a way @Edina you should feel a little thankful that this part of your body’s operating system is working as it should - I suggest that you read about “Circadian System” for more understanding… At wake-up time your internal clock causes your body to release adrenaline and sugar to get your body moving, increase your heart rate and feed your brain - sugar/glucose is the brain’s only food. People who do not have diabetes, not using insulin, also experience [slightly] elevated glucose levels shortly after getting up.
Talk with your doctor about the most effective way for you to manage this better.

There’s a lot of studies about “dawn phenomenon” which is the raising of BG in the early morning. I have a higher basal rate in the AM for a couple of hours!

Not as likely, but still possible, is Somogyi Syndrome. This is what happens when we have a hypo that doesn’t wake us up in the middle of the night, particularly for those with Hypoglycemia Unawareness (aka HGU). What happens if we don’t treat a hypo is that the body’s alarm system kicks in (without waking you up) and dumps glycogen in to bring the bg back in line. Unfortunately it almost always overdoes it, so you end up with a high bg.
That’s why it was suggested that you eat before bed, BUT this is not normal, and if you almost always end up high in the morning it’s most likely Dawn Phenomenon as many have said already.

If you had a insulin pump , you could raise your basel rates a little the couple hours before you wake up , ut would take care of it easily. If you don’t have a pump find the peak periods if your shots , working time