Why Is My Morning Blood Sugar So High
A complex array of factors affects blood sugar levels, including hormones, diet, and lifestyle.
Q: I have prediabetes and now eat minimal carbs and sugar. My doctor told me to monitor my sugar levels, morning and night. At night, two hours after eating, my sugar levels are between 112 and 130 mg/dL . But in the morning, my fasting sugar level is always higher than the night number. Why is that? What am I doing wrong?
There are a few reasons why your blood sugar may be elevated in the morning. First, its important to understand that certain hormonal changes that occur overnight may lead to high blood sugar levels in the morning.
Eat More Fibre On A Morning
Like protein, fiber is a great way to lower blood sugar levels in a morning /natural way to lower blood sugar. This can be difficult to get, especially without added sugar. Think about the way you eat your oats. There are high chances that you pile on sugar refined or natural or bake it into a bar with dried fruits and other ingredients.
Its time to get your fiber in natural forms and consider low-GI options. That can mean cutting back on the fruit, especially first thing in a morning. Look for fruits that are lower on the glycaemic index to eat with your breakfast, such as apples and pears.
You should also look at enjoying oats with more savoury ingredients. Nuts and seeds are the perfect alternatives, packing your breakfast full of protein and fats, as well as fiber.
When you have these three ingredients working together, they will break down in the body slowly. You will find that they reduce the amount of glucose released into the body, so you dont have the same insulin response.
The extra fiber will also help you feel fuller for longer. This is important in the long term, as it will help you lose weight.
Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up At Night
There are many factors that can cause your blood sugar to increase at night. For example: what food you ate during the day, how much and when you exercised, whether you ate snacks before bed, the timing of your insulin doses, and your stress level. You can experience different patterns of high blood sugar at night. You may start with high glucose when you go to bed, start the night in range but go high several hours later, or spend most of the night in range until the hours just before you wake up. By identifying your bodys patterns, you can figure out what is causing your high blood sugar and how to address it.
Common causes of a glucose increase at night include:
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What Causes Your Blood Sugar To Rise Causes Symptoms Prevention
Individuals that have been struggling with diabetes need to understand what exactly causes blood sugar to rise. Carbohydrates are often seen as the only thing that can cause blood sugar to rise, but there is much more to it.
So, in this article, we will help you better understand how different factors can spike blood sugar levels and the complications that come along with blood sugar spikes. Here is a quick summary to get you started before we get into the details.
What Causes Your Blood Sugar to Rise? Blood sugar spikes often occur in those with diabetes, as their body cannot process glucose properly. Many factors can cause your blood sugar to rise other than the types of foods you eat. The types of drinks we consume, the medications we take, and our physical condition all affect blood sugar levels.
Chronic high blood sugar levels can be detrimental to ones health, which makes understanding the different factors that spike blood sugar crucial.
Wake Up To Better Blood Sugar
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*The information provided above is provided for educational purposes only. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice and care. If you have specific needs, please see a professional health care provider.
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What Are The Signs Of Hypoglycemia
An individual may frequently wake up in the middle of the night as a result of nighttime hypoglycemia. In other instances, though, people may know if they experienced hypoglycemia during their sleep if they notice the following symptoms:
- Waking up with a headache
- Waking up in a sweat
- Getting unusual feelings of tiredness throughout the day
- Experiencing anxiety or heart palpitations
- Feeling confused, dizzy or weak
If You Are Taking Levemir During The Morning
Levemir is a long acting insulin that has duration of between 18 and 24 hours.
If you take Levemir in the morning, this can mean that the effects of the insulin can wear off during the night.
This may also be the case, albeit to a lesser extent, if you are on a split dose of Levemir, that is taking an injection during the evening and an additional dose at breakfast.
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Sleep Habits And Diabetes
While diet and obesity are big contributors to your odds of having diabetes, studies have found that sleep habits are, too, probably because over time, they can affect how well your cells respond to insulin.
In one study, more than 4,000 people reported the amount of sleep they got each night. Those who got less than 6 hours were twice as likely to have cells that were less sensitive to insulin or to have full-blown diabetes. This was true even after the researchers took other lifestyle habits into account.
Other sleep disruptions and disorders, such as sleep apnea, also seem to raise a personâs odds of having diabetes.
But the risk goes up at the other end of the spectrum, too. For reasons that arenât clear, people who sleep too much — more than 9 hours a night — might also have higher chances of getting diabetes.
Always Follow Up With The Doctor
It is very important to call your doctor as soon as possible after experiencing nocturnal hypoglycemia. The patient and doctor should try to figure out what caused the episode and how to prevent it from happening again.Often the doctor will suggest:
Changing the dose or timing of insulin or other medications
Setting an alarm for the early morning so that the patient can test their blood glucose levels and determine how often the episodes occur
Having the person wear a continuous glucose monitor that checks blood glucose every five minutes with an alarm that wakes the patient from sleep if levels start to drop too low. This option is usually reserved for patients who experience frequent or severe nocturnal hypoglycemia
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Avoid Alcohol The Night Before And Sugar In Anything The Next Morning
Like to enjoy a tipple the night before you go to bed? Its time to cut down or back on that completely. The alcohol dehydrates the body and will mean your blood glucose level will be more saturated. The smaller amounts of glucose will affect you in bigger ways.
But this doesnt help you on a morning, right? Well, look out for drinking anything sugary on a morning. This includes your glass of orange juice. You may even want to avoid plain water!
You want to drink something that is going to keep your sugar levels to a minimum and not spart the release of insulin. That means looking for something that packs plenty of protein. Remember that protein berry smoothie? Consider that as your morning drink/breakfast. You can follow it with a glass of water if youd like.
A green smoothie would be another excellent option. It packs you full of nutrients, and you can add in the protein to get that filling element.
If you really want water, add a slice or two of lemon. You get some sweetness but without the large amounts of sugar hitting your system causing a problem.
Keeping your morning drink routine perfect will also help you reduce the stress hormones. Coffee is a stimulant and will just make your stress levels even worse. Anything with caffeine will do the same and thats usually what youll add sugar to. Opt for lemon water for a refreshing drink and then a smoothie for a no-caffeine, nutrient packed breakfast.
What Should I Do If This Happens
People and their partners or roommates should learn to recognize the signs of nighttime hypoglycemia. Be prepared! Ask your doctor for an emergency glucagon kit. This kit contains a fast-acting medication that can be injected if the person cant be woken up. Store the kit in a bedside drawer for easy access.
DO NOT PUT ANYTHING INTO A PERSON’S MOUTH IF THEY ARE ASLEEP OR CANNOT SIT UP.
If the person cannot be woken: If there is no emergency glucagon kit, call 911. If the person has a glucagon kit, the partner or roommate should follow the instructions to fill the syringe and inject the medicine. Once fully awake, he/she should eat a meal and check their blood glucose every few hours using a home test kit. After giving the injection, the persons doctor should be notified.
If the person can be woken up and sit without support: They should be given a fast-acting glucose source. Good options include hard candy, fruit juice or glucose paste or tablets, which can be purchased at most pharmacies. Once the person is fully awake, they should eat a meal and check their blood glucose every few hours using a home test kit.
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What Can You Do
To keep your blood sugar in balance, try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
If you work at night or have rotating shifts: Try to maintain regular meal and sleep times, even on your days off, if you can. And get some exercise during your breaks, like short walks or stretches.
If youâre concerned about your blood sugar: Getting a good nightâs sleep on a regular basis will go a long way toward helping your body use insulin efficiently. Along with getting enough sleep, avoid eating late at night, and try to get some exercise after dinner, like going for a walk.
If you have diabetes: If your blood sugar is often too high in the morning, talk to your doctor. You may need to do some extra blood sugar testing or use a continuous glucose monitor to figure out whatâs going on, which will determine how you should handle it. Your doctor may suggest a tweak to your diabetes medicines or your exercise routine.
Supporting Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels during the day is a good way to prevent high blood sugar at night. That means exercising regularly, taking the right amount of diabetes medications if you use them, and managing stress levels.
Lack of sleep itself is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, so it is important to maintain a healthy sleep cycle as part of a healthy lifestyle.
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Causes Of High Blood Sugar At Night
There are many causes of high blood sugar at night, including:
- A dinner or bedtime snack high in carbohydrates: Eating starchy or high-sugar foods late in the day can lead to high blood sugar at night, as well as high blood sugar in the morning.
- Illness or injury: Trauma can trigger a hypermetabolic response , leading to high blood sugar.
- Too little exercise: Exercise helps the body more effectively use insulin, so lack of exercise could contribute to high blood sugar.
- Too little insulin or diabetes medicine: When the body does not produce insulin or does not use insulin effectively and you dont properly take your injectable insulin or diabetes medicine, glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream.
- Menstruation: Estradiol and progesterone are two hormones linked to a decreased production of insulin, which affects glucose metabolism and can potentially lead to high blood sugar.
- Pregnancy: Hormone levels fluctuate during pregnancy. Diabetes that occurs during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes.
- Stress: Stress, as measured by levels of a hormone called cortisol, is linked to decreased insulin production. When your body doesn’t have enough insulin, glucose cannot get into your cells and be used for energy. As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar. When people are stressed, they may also overeat sugary foods or adopt other unhealthy eating habits.
Type 1 Diabetes Sugar Spike Overnight
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin.
The insulin receptor sites may be in perfect condition, and there may be plenty of them, too, but glucose will never make it to these sites if theres no insulin to shuttle over the glucose.
Type 1 diabetics, then, must take insulin injections.
If theyre careless with managing this autoimmune disease, an overnight surge in blood sugar can result due to insufficient insulin.
Dr. Besser provides comprehensive family care, treating common and acute primary conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing approach allows her the opportunity to provide accurate and critical diagnoses of more complex conditions and disorders.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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How To Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Overnight
The most important thing you can do to stabilize your blood sugar is monitor your glucose levels at bedtime, during the night, and when you wake up to look for patterns. This will help you determine whats going on in your body and how you can fix it. While there are many strategies people use to stabilize blood sugar at night, every person is different youll have to look for trends in your body, experiment with ways to lower glucose levels over a period of time, and learn what works best for your body.
Check your blood sugar before bed. If its already high, your blood sugar levels may remain high throughout the night. To address this, youll want to start by adjusting when you eat your evening meal and what it consists of, and how much mealtime insulin you take to cover it.
Avoid eating lots of food close to bedtime. For diaTribe writer Adam Brown, the key to staying in range overnight is low-carb, early dinners, with no snacking after dinner.
Consider eating less food at night and taking more basal insulin to cover your evening meal.
Check your blood sugar during the night, between midnight and 3am. If you were in range before bed but have high glucose levels between midnight and 3am, you may need to adjust your basal insulin dosage and timing. If you are low during that time, you may experience a rebound high blood sugar later on this is usually associated with overcorrecting the low.
Give Yourself Some Grace
Its important to keep in mind that diabetes management is HARD work. If it were easy, everyone would have perfect blood sugars and A1c! Our bodies are constantly growing and changing, and so should our diabetes management.
Be flexible with what your body needs, and work with your doctor when making any drastic changes to your insulin therapy. And perfection is not the ideal.
Continually making progress on diabetes management includes mental health and well-being too, so dont stress out too much over blood sugars that arent perfect overnight. If youre having stubborn issues, enlist the support of family and friends to help.
Managing the ups and downs of diabetes is hard any time of day, but can be especially difficult overnight when were supposed to be sleeping and getting the rest we need, but with these strategies, hopefully, overnight high blood sugars will become a thing of the past.
Always work with your medical team before instituting any major changes to your diabetes management and/or insulin therapy.
I Saw A Rise In My Blood Sugar In The Morning
If youâve been looking at your CGM data from your ZOE test, Paul cautions against over-analyzing every little bump and blip.
âWe shouldn’t interpret every bit of data that we see as being significant,â says Paul. âIt’s not just about your biology – itâs also about the technologies that we use to measure blood sugar, which arenât perfect and can have some variability.â
So if you see a small rise in blood sugar in the morning, or a single larger blip, but have good blood sugar control throughout the day, you probably have nothing to worry about.
âBiological feedback from devices like CGMs is very powerful, but it can also be a source of anxiety,â says Paul.
âItâs understandable that people who see spikes on their CGM might be worried about having pre-diabetes or diabetes. But we must balance the probabilities and ask, is it a one-time thing? Is it real? Is there a pattern? If there is a pattern, thatâs when you might want to be concerned and seek out a medical opinion, but if not, it is probably not worth worrying about.â
If youâre worried about your blood sugar levels or are experiencing any symptoms of prediabetes – such as being unusually thirsty or hungry, peeing more often, feeling abnormally tired , or blurred vision – you should see your doctor.