Why Your Blood Sugar Might Be Higher In The Morning

If you have diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar is an important aspect of ensuring your health and well-being (per Mayo Clinic), but it can be alarming to see a blood sugar level that is higher than expected. It is not uncommon for this to happen in the morning, which can be fairly confusing because you have just gone hours without consuming any food.

Sometimes this may simply be due to high-carb snacks you ate before bed (per Cleveland Clinic). You could also be taking your insulin too early in the evening or at too low of a dosage, so it wears off by the time you wake up, causing your blood sugar to rise (via American Diabetes Association).

Another possible culprit is the dawn phenomenon. According to Healthline, this is when your body produces more blood sugar in order to give you the energy to wake up and start your day. For most people, insulin also increases to stabilize blood sugar, but diabetes and prediabetes can hamper this response. Your morning high may also be due to the Somogyi effect, also known as rebound hyperglycemia. If your blood sugar reaches dangerously low levels while you are sleeping, your body reacts by releasing higher amounts of glucose than usual, causing you to wake up with high blood sugar. This may be more likely to happen if you skip dinner or take too much insulin.

This is what to do about your morning high

The American Diabetes Association recommends using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to track when your blood sugar levels rise. If your blood sugar levels are high when you go to bed, then it is probably due to food or insufficient medication. Healthline recommends eating complex carbs in moderation, avoiding the types of carbs that spike blood sugar, and fixing yourself a protein-rich dinner with fiber and healthy fats.

If your blood sugar levels are normal when you go to bed, your morning high may be because your medication has worn off. The solution could be taking your insulin later in the evening. Alternatively, you could talk to your doctor about switching to an ultra-long-acting insulin or a twice-daily basal insulin.

If your blood sugar levels are high early in the morning, this may be due to the dawn phenomenon. This may be resolved with an insulin pump programmed to release extra insulin in the morning. The Cleveland Clinic also advises eating a lighter breakfast and increasing your morning dose of medication.

If your blood sugar levels are low while you are sleeping, your culprit is likely the Somogyi effect. According to the Cleveland Clinic, you may want to reduce your dose of medication, exercise earlier in the day, consume some carbs before bed, or use an insulin pump that releases less insulin overnight.