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Why Is Blood Sugar High In The Morning

Not Taking Enough Meal Time Insulin

Reasons for High Blood Sugars in the Morning

This is the first thing to look into. Make sure that you correctly determine the number of carbohydrates in your last meal of the day and take the insulin to suit. Be sure to also look out for sources of hidden carbs as well. Our bodies react to food and insulin differently at different times of the day. Many individuals including myself have a different carb to insulin ratio at night. I normally have to take a bit more insulin at night especially if the meal is high in carbohydrates.

Try eating your last meal at least 2 hours before bed so that you can check the 2 hour post dinner blood sugar reading. This will indicate if you are indeed giving the correct amount of insulin. If you have a good reading before bed but its much higher in the morning, then there is definitely another issue.

Poor Overall Glucose Control

If your daily averages are coming in well above the normal healthy range for blood sugar levels, chances are your fasting levels are going to be high as well.

Good blood sugar control means keeping your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. And if you can keep them within the healthy range, thats even better.

You need to know your numbers

Aim for fasting levels:

  • Between 70-100 mg/dL or 4-5.6 mmol/l
  • 70-110 mg/dL or 4-6 mmol/l
  • 70-130 mg/dL or 4-7.2 mmol/l
  • 2 hrs post meal the ideal is under 140 mg/dl or 7.8 mmol/l the lower your postprandial blood glucose is post meal , the better.

There is some variation in numbers worldwide and your physician may also set you more stringent goals, or more lenient goals.

The point is: keep an eye on your numbers. If youve constantly got numbers that are running high during the day, chances are they are going to be even higher in the mornings.

Your goal is to bring your blood sugar levels within a healthy range, then naturally the morning levels do come down as well.

Still, even when you have good control of your daily levels, those morning numbers may still be a little high.

So what can you do? Lets look at some proven strategies.

How To Prevent Morning Hyperglycemia

While morning hyperglycemia could be the bodys automatic response, you can certainly take steps to try to prevent it.

General steps

You could try some general steps that could help lower blood sugar in the night, such as eating your evening meals earlier in the day or having fewer carbs in your evening meal.

Alternatively, you could consider doing exercise in the evening, such as a brisk walk before bed. You might also consider changing your medication doses for the night or changing the type of insulin you use. As always, make such changes in consultation with your healthcare professional.

Dawn phenomenon

If you think that the high blood sugar might be caused by the dawn phenomenon, then try to make sure that you are well-rested. If your body is getting enough rest, with a full eight hours of sleep, then it might not think that it needs to release that extra energy. More generally, stress and diabetes leads to higher blood sugar levels so it is worth getting enough sleep.

Somogyi phenomenon

With the Somogyi phenomenon, youll want to take the opposite steps because you want to prevent low blood sugar during the night. It may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but you might need to take less insulin, or eat more carbs, or do less exercise before bed.

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Reduce Your Stress Levels Through Meditation

If you find your stress levels are high on a morning, you need to find a way to handle them. Stress is bad for you overall. Its known as a silent killer, as it raises your blood pressure and has no symptoms at all until you start to suffer from health problems seriously.

While exercise is a good way to reduce your stress levels, its not the only option. Nor is it the perfect option.

Meditation is a powerful way to keep your stress levels to a minimum. You can take in deep breaths, allowing your body to get all the oxygen it needs. Your mind focuses elsewhere, helping to release the tension and problems that are affecting your current levels of cortisol.

As your body can release more happy hormones, your stress hormones are suppressed. You can use breathing and meditation techniques regularly to keep your hormone levels balanced. Not only will you improve your morning glucose levels but youll find your overall health benefits considerably.

If You Are Having Trouble Controlling Blood Glucose Levels Please Talk To Your Doctor Or Your Diabetes Management Team

Why Is Blood Sugar High In The Morning?

They will help you figure out why your blood sugar levels are high and develop a plan specifically tailored for you. This is important, as good control of blood glucose levels can help avoid serious health problems.

For more information and support, see your GP, your endocrinologistor your diabetes management team.

For information about how glucose and insulin are regulated, see our information about the pancreas.

The Diabetes Australia website has more information and resources.

Expert review

Dr Kimberly Cukieris an endocrinologist at Geelong Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinic and a senior clinical lecturer at Deakin University. She specialises in diabetes care and is actively involved in teaching medical students and training new physicians. Dr Cukier is a member of the Endocrine Society of Australia.

Robyn Perlsteinis a Senior Dietitian at Geelong Endocrinology and Diabetes Clinic and is a Research Fellow at Deakin University. She has specialist interests in type 1 and type 2 diabetes and is actively involved in ensuring future doctors have a better understanding during their training about nutrition.


Jehan S, Myers AK, Zizi F et al . Obesity, obstructive sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes mellitus: Epidemiology and pathophysiologic insights. Sleep Med Disord, 2, 52-58.

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Can My Dinner Affect My Morning Blood Glucose

Can My Dinner Affect My Morning Blood Glucose? Q: I have type 2 diabetes and control it with diet and exercise. My blood sugar is 130-142 mg/dl in the morning. What can I eat in the evening to get it lower in the morning? The rest of the day is fine: 100-104 mg/dl before meals and 130-135 mg/dl after meals. A:Fasting blood glucose is largely influenced by the livers overnight activity. The liver converts stored glucose into usable blood glucose during the night to keep the body from developing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, while asleep. In type 2 diabetes, however, the liver tends to release too much glucose into the bloodstream overnight. This can result in elevated fasting blood glucose. Following a carbohydrate- and portion-controlled meal plan and staying physically active are smart things to do to manage diabetes good effort on your part! But type 2 diabetes is progressive, meaning your body cant efficiently use the insulin it makes, and it produces less and less insulin over time. You may need medicine to better use your bodys own insulin or to replace insulin it no longer makes. The medication metformin is now recommended on diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, in addition to using food and exercise, to keep blood glucose in control. Read our guide on oral medications for people with diabetes to learn more about metformin and other drugs. Virginia Zamudio Lange, R.N., M.S.N., CDE, is a member of Diabetic Livings editorial advisory board.Continue reading > >

Speak To Your Physician

Make sure you speak to your physician and healthcare team about making dietary and lifestyle changes.

And, if you think your morning levels are way too high, or no matter what you do you cant get them down, talk to your physician or health practitioner to see if you might need to alter your medication.

When it comes to lowering morning blood sugar levels, it really is a combination of things that can help.

Start with the apple cider vinegar and cheese before bed and see how that goes. Then, try working on all the other things in this list.

Give it some time and no doubt you will begin to see some great improvements.

Have you tried something else that worked? Have some comments youd like to add? Leave them below and lets chat about it.

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Why Your Blood Sugar Is High In The Morning And How To Lower It

  • Your blood sugar levels might be high in the morning if you are experiencing the dawn phenomenon or the Somogyi effect.
  • The dawn phenomenon is most common in people with type 2 diabetes, while the Somogyi effect is more common for people with type 1 diabetes.
  • To lower your morning blood sugars, you can try light exercise before bed, limit carbohydrates in the evening, and put more time in between your last meal and bedtime.
  • This article was reviewed by Jason R. McKnight, MD, MS, a family-medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at Texas A& M College of Medicine.
  • This story is part of Insider’s guide to Diabetes.

People with diabetes have a more difficult time regulating their blood sugar. Those with type 1 diabetes are not able to produce insulin, the hormone that helps the body convert blood sugar into energy. And those with type 2 diabetes cannot use insulin effectively.

As a result, blood sugar levels are often much higher for people with diabetes, especially in the morning. Here’s why.

What To Do About The Dawn Phenomenon

Real Reason Why Blood Sugar is High In The Morning? Quiz below!

The dawn phenomenon can be more of a problem if you have type 1 diabetes, in which the body struggles to make enough insulin, compared to type 2 diabetes, the more common form of diabetes, Dr. Parilo says.

People with type 2 diabetes can usually do something about it limit the amount of snacking the night before, reduce carbohydrates to lessen the impact, or reasons, for blood sugar elevation overnight, he explains.

Dr. Parilo said that a sign that you may need help managing the effects of dawn phenomenon on your diabetes is when, despite positive lifestyle changes that youve made, youre still noticing this escalation of blood sugar beyond the goals that you and your health care provider have set for you.

When this happens, he said, your doctor will likely recommend further changes to overcome the effect of the dawn phenomenon. Perhaps, timing exercise or timing the types of meals or timing your medications to peak or work . Then the blood sugar may not escalate to the same extent.

If you use insulin, he said, we can change the type, the timing of it, and that can often positively affect the problem.

When you have diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar is a must for helping you live with the disease and limit its impact on your well-being. Continuous glucose monitors, available by prescription, can be especially helpful in controlling the effects of dawn phenomenon, Dr. Parilo said.

Other Causes Of High Morning Blood Sugar

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A Good Nights Sleep Can Help Control Morning Blood Sugar Levels

Experts recommend 6-9 hours per night, as poor sleep can aggravate insulin resistance and contribute to high blood sugar levels.

If you snore or wake up feeling unrested, talk to your doctor or your diabetes management team. You may have a condition called sleep apnoea , caused by your airway becoming partially blocked while you sleep. Sleep apnoea causes oxygen levels in the body to fall, which in turn causes some hormonal changes that lead to impaired glucose control. Sleep apnoea is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for sleep apnoea .

Expert tips about sleep and blood glucose levels

Dr Kimberly Cukier recommends monitoring your sleep habits and discussing sleep concerns with your health care professional.

How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar

It seems strange to be able to keep blood sugar levels in control throughout the day and have morning blood sugar high, right?

I mean, it doesnt seem logical. After all, you havent eaten anything so it should be lower shouldnt it?

Its a common assumption and it would seem logical, but it is common for people with type 2 diabetes to have high blood sugar in the morning.


Because your body continues to produce glucose even when you dont eat. Its called gluconeogenesis.

This is a natural process for all of us. But in diabetes many people have increased gluconeogensis.

Another reason is that cortisol is the hormone that slowly increases in levels from around 3 am onwards to reach its peak early in the morning. Cortisol has a direct influence on blood sugar levels too elevating them.

Still, there are practical things you can do to lower morning blood sugar levels, heres how

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Target Blood Sugar Levels For Pregnant Women With Diabetes

Its possible for diabetes to cause problems during pregnancy. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who have uncontrolled blood sugar levels could experience an increased risk of having a premature baby, needing a C-section and more.

Gestational diabetes a type of diabetes that occurs in a pregnant woman who has never been diagnosed with diabetes before can also cause complications. These include giving birth to a baby who is larger than average and an increased risk of needing a C-section. The ADA suggests that pregnant women shoot for a target fasting blood sugar level of 95 mg/dL or less before a meal.

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What You Can Do About High Morning Blood Sugar

Why Is Blood Sugar High In The Morning?

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

Blood sugar control is the name of the game when it comes to managing diabetes, but what happens when you start getting unexpectedly high blood glucose values in the morning? High morning blood sugar can be an indication that something is not quite right with your blood glucose management program. Once you figure out the cause, you and your doctor can work together to figure out what to do about it to get your blood glucose numbers right back on track.

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Exercise In The Afternoon

Exercise lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, which allows the body to use insulin and glucose more effectively, increasing glucose movement during and after exercise. Studies have shown that exercise will lead to optimal insulin regulation. Exercise after dinner will set you up for steady glucose levels through the morning.

Research has also shown that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise before breakfast reduced the morning rise of blood glucose in type 2 diabetes patients, partially counteracting the dawn phenomenon. The same study also found that exercise significantly reduced blood glucose fluctuations and improved blood glucose control throughout the day.

Some of the best exercises for avoiding morning blood sugar spikes include:

  • A walk

Battle Your Morning Blood Sugar And You Can Tackle The Rest Of The Day Easier

Youll find that your blood sugar levels during the day are much easier to handle when you tackle the morning levels. This is when you will find your levels are at their highest and most dangerous. Its completely normal, but that doesnt mean you should have to put up with the side effects.

Its important to follow a routine. Once youve got your morning schedule in order, it will all fall into place no matter what youre doing or where youre going.

Your diet is the most important thing to change. You want to focus more on protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Get rid of the carbs, especially on a morning. They will only send your blood sugar levels soaring.

Focus on eliminating stress on a morning, and you will find your glucose levels will even out better. Meditation and exercise are both extremely beneficial for this. If you want to work both together, consider taking up yoga on a morning.

With more protein on a night and a better nights sleep, you will find your morning glucose levels arent as high as they once were. From there, they will be easier to manage.

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What Should My Blood Sugar Be When I Wake Up

Checking your blood sugar first thing in the morning is important. In fact, fasting blood sugar readings really help you determine how to approach the rest of your day. You have to take steps considering how low or high your fasting blood sugar is, and understand how to set your morning target and what to do to achieve it. Let’s find out more about it.

Why You Should Track Your Blood Sugar

Why is your morning blood sugar so high? (Find the fix!)

Most people consider blood sugar tracking a chore or medical necessity that only people with diabetes have to do. While it is inherently important for people with diabetes to track their blood glucose, people without diabetes can benefit, too.

Tracking your blood sugar allows you to identify patterns, such as glucose spikes in response to certain foods you eat. Continuous glucose monitoring can also notify you of seemingly non-food-related blood sugar happenings, including the dawn phenomenonĂ¢this occurs when your blood sugar rises in the morning before waking.

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Some Foods Can Increase Morning Blood Glucose Levels

Having a healthy diet with regular mealtimes is important to keep blood glucose levels under control. Getting advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian about which foods you can eat and the best time of the day to eat them, is an important part of your diabetes management. It is important to have this individualised to meet your needs as everyone is different.

Expert dietary tips for avoiding high morning blood glucose levels

Robyn Perlstein, an Accredited Practising Dietitian specialising in diabetes management, recommends that if you eat snacks before bed, always include some protein along with some carbohydrates, e.g. yoghurt, milk, or cheese & biscuits. Eating breakfast can also help lower morning blood glucose levels as it interrupts the continued release of glucose from the liver.


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