Generally a person will wake up in the morning and their blood sugar will be slightly elevated. This “dawn phenomenon” is the result of normal hormonal changes which cause the body to create insulin regardless of whether or not a person has diabetes. Whilst a person is asleep, the body produces growth hormones, cortisol, glucagon and epinephrine which, in turn, makes the body’s resistance to insulin even stronger.
If a person does not have diabetes, the body creates more insulin to balance everything out so that a person does not notice anything. If they do have diabetes, the body cannot produce enough insulin to counteract the effect of the hormones and, as a result, blood sugar readings are elevated in the mornings.
What can an individual do to reduce their morning blood sugar level?
If a person has high blood sugar in the morning, they can try the following:
- Eat a low-carbohydrate dinner earlier in the evening
- Take some exercise after dinner
- Eat a hearty breakfast to bring the blood sugar back to normal and send a signal the body that it is time to reduce the anti-insulin hormones
- Consume a light snack with carbohydrates and protein before bed
Ideally, fasting blood glucose should be between 70 and 130 mg/dl.