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  • Writer's pictureJulie Hagan

Is Your Morning Blood Glucose High and What You Can Do About It

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

The American Diabetes Association recommends:

Fasting or premeal blood glucose:

80-130 mg/dl.

5 Reasons for High Morning Blood Glucose:

1. Your body may have enough insulin, but it is not as effective as it should be.

2. You ate more than planned or exercised less than planned.

3. You have stress from an illness, such as a cold or flu.

4. You have other stress, such as family conflicts or school or dating problems.

5. You may have experienced the dawn phenomenon

The Dawn Phenomenon

The Dawn Phenomenon is the term used to describe an high early-morning increase in blood sugar (glucose) — usually between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. Some researchers believe the natural overnight release of some specific hormones increases insulin resistance, causing blood sugar to rise. (Mayo Clinic)

What can you do?

There are a number of options to help you prevent or correct high blood sugar levels in the morning:

  • Avoid carbohydrates at bedtime

  • Talk to your doctor about changing or adding your diabetes medication and other means of improving your overall diabetes control

  • Exercise in the evening - Better control of morning glucose levels has been demonstrated by increasing the amount of exercise in the evening

  • Increase protein to carbohydrate ratio of the evening meal

  • Eat Breakfast - Eating breakfast is also very important. While it seems counterintuitive, an early morning meal serves to can help insulin secretion

Should You Eat an Evening Snack?

Don't eat an evening snack to prevent the Dawn Phenomenon…and the resulting high fasting blood glucose. If, on the other hand, you have low blood glucose in the middle of the night, your body could compensate by pumping out extra glucose from the liver. This is more likely in people with type 1 diabetes or Type 2 on specific medications. To know if this is the case, start by testing a few nights before you go to bed, in the middle of the night, between 2 and 3 am and first thing in the morning. And then talk to your doctor.


Mayo clinic

Diatribe and

Mott Children’s Hospital

O'Neal TB, Luther EE. Dawn Phenomenon. [Updated 2020 May 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from:

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