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What Causes High Blood Sugar In The Morning


Preventing A Low Blood Sugar Level

Reasons for High Blood Sugars in the Morning

If you have diabetes, you can reduce your chance of getting a low blood sugar level if you:

  • Check your blood sugar level regularly and be aware of the symptoms of a low blood sugar level so you can treat it quickly.
  • Always carry a sugary snack or drink with you, such as glucose tablets, a carton of fruit juice or some sweets. If you have a glucagon injection kit, always keep it with you.
  • Do not skip meals.
  • Be careful when drinking alcohol. Do not drink large amounts, check your blood sugar level regularly, and eat a carbohydrate snack afterwards.
  • Be careful when exercising eating a carbohydrate snack before exercise can help to reduce the risk of a hypo. If you take some types of diabetes medicine, your doctor may recommend you take a lower dose before or after doing intense exercise.
  • Have a carbohydrate snack, such as toast, if your blood sugar level drops too low while you’re asleep

If you keep getting a low blood sugar level, talk to your diabetes care team about things you can do to help prevent it.

Why Is My Blood Sugar High Even With Insulin

This could be a consequence of Type 2 diabetes, where the body does not respond to insulin in the way it should. Hence people with type 2 diabetes experience high levels of sugar in bloodstream, even with insulin.

Another explanation could be Somogyi effect. If a person takes too much of insulin, it would result in low blood sugar level. This would initiate the somogyi effect, leading to high blood sugars.


Complications Of High Blood Sugar

Diabetes is one of the main causes of high blood sugar levels, but there are other causes that can impact your blood glucose and your risk for hyperglycemia.

Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar levels. You can have temporary spikes in blood sugar after eating a large meal or as a result of medication side effects. Chronically elevated blood sugar levels are dangerous and common in those with diabetes. Without treatment, you run the risk of a diabetic coma.

Ketoacidosis is a condition that develops when elevated blood glucose levels go untreated. Without glucose to use for fuel, your body begins to burn fat instead and produces ketones. When there are too many ketones in the blood, it will turn acidic, which can very quickly lead to ketoacidosis, a diabetic coma, and even death.

People without diabetes can develop a similar condition known as ketosis, but they can tolerate a certain level of ketones because inulin is still effectively working.

Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome is another serious complication of high blood sugar. This is more common among individuals with type 2 diabetes and is triggered by an infection or illness.


As a result of the high blood sugar, your body tries to push out the excess glucose by passing it through your urine. Without treatment, this can result in life-threatening dehydration so prompt medical attention would be necessary.

Also Check: Hyperglycemic Diet Plan

Why Fasting Sugar Is Higher Than Pp

Fasting sugar higher than postprandial levels is termed as fasting hyperglycaemia. Fasting blood glucose level is determined by the insulin secretion, and whether the body is responding to it. PP sugar level is measured after the meal, hence it depends on the meal and our metabolism.

Generally, fasting sugar is lower than pp. But if this scenario is reversed, then it means that the body is not producing enough insulin, or not responding to it properly. This could be a sign of a serious health issue and in such a situation, the person should contact a doctor.

Morning Rituals Proven To Lower Morning Blood Sugar Naturally

Diabetes Type 2 Facts: high blood sugar in the morning causes

If youre a diabetic, you may find that your blood sugar levels are at their peak in the morning. This is due to the fasting period overnight. Its common for blood sugar tests to require a period of fasting beforehand to get the best natural levels.


You need to get your blood sugar levels down right away. The good news is you dont necessarily need to rely on medication. While you will want to take medication in the way that your doctor has prescribed, you will still want to follow these seven-morning rituals. It is possible to reverse type II diabetes and focus on a healthier and more natural lifestyle.

Even if youre not a diabetic, you will want to keep your morning blood sugar levels down. Here are the seven must-follow morning rituals that have proven to lower the blood sugar levels on a morning completely naturally.

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What To Expect From Your Blood Sugar In The Morning

After an overnight fast, a normal blood sugar level is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter , according to the American Diabetes Association . But, according to Susan Spratt, MD, an endocrinologist and associate professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, not everyone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes has to shoot for “normal” levels.

“If you’re young, the goal may be to get your fasting blood sugar levels to less than 120 mg/dL,” Dr. Spratt says. But if you’re older and have other health conditions, that number may be higher, she says.


The ADA points out that not everyone will have the same blood sugar level goals. Instead, your endocrinologist or doctor will calculate your target number based on your age, how long you’ve had diabetes, whether you have health conditions like heart disease and other factors.

Keep in mind, too, that your fasting blood sugar levels can be too low. For example, a morning blood sugar reading below 70 mg/dL can indicate a hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.

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Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up In The Morning Without Eating

While sleeping, the energy requirement is low. Hence the production of glucose decreases. Also, because of the secretion of growth hormones, the production of insulin is suppressed.

As the early morning hours approach, the liver produces more glucose to provide the extra energy required to wake up. This leads to high morning blood sugar. This is commonly known as dawn phenomenon. Another reason might be somogyi effect.


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Is Your Fasting Blood Sugar High Every Morning

    I recently had an issue where no matter what I did, my fasting blood sugar levels were always high every morning. They were in the range of between 12 mmol/L to 16 mmol/L. At first I chalked it up to overdoing it around the holiday season. Eating way more carbs than usual, especially late at night and very close to bedtime. I figured that I was off with my bolus for the meals I ate at night. However, after I cut out the extra carbs and still got high readings in the morning, I knew something was off.

    I realized that every morning religiously, I would wake up between 3 am and 4 am with a high blood sugar. Unfortunately if my blood sugar is above 8 mmol/L I cannot sleep. This problem prevented me from getting good quality sleep. I would often have to correct and monitor before I could go back to bed. I started to analyze my diet and my habits to see where I was going wrong. If you are experiencing a similar issue you can start with the below recommendations.

    Causes Of High Blood Sugar

    High Blood Sugar in the Morning – The Dawn Effect Fix

    The leading causes of high blood sugar or hyperglycemia include:

    Diet: Glucose comes from food, so what you are eating causes high blood sugar. Carbohydrates are the most common culprit as they are broken down into glucose very quickly in the body. High-sugar foods, high-fat foods, and processed foods also cause blood glucose spikes and should be replaced with healthier options.


    Stress: When you are stressed, more stress hormones and chemicals are released, which drives blood sugar levels up too. If the stress is only temporary, this is not a serious issue, but if you experience chronic stress or an anxiety disorder, you may experience high blood sugar levels more often.

    Metabolic Syndrome: These are a collection of conditions that occur at the same time and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. High blood pressures, excess fat around the waist, and high cholesterol or triglycerides are examples of these conditions. When these occur in the body together, your risk for diabetes increases as does your blood sugar and the risk for potential complications.

    Physical Inactivity: A lack of physical activity contributes to elevated blood sugar. When you are physically active each day, insulin works more efficiently, and your blood sugar can be maintained.

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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.

  • Ask A Dces: Dawn And Somogyi Effect: Morning High Blood Sugars Explained

    Dear DCES: I have noticed that I go to bed with my blood sugar looking good but I wake up with much higher blood sugar than I expected. Why is this the case?

    Dear Reader: I know waking up with higher-than-expected blood sugars can be frustrating for you. There could be various reasons for this, but I am going to focus on two common ones.

    The first one is known as the Dawn Effect. Everyone has a body clock that responds to daytime and nighttime. When dawn arrives and the sun starts to come up, your body reacts by secreting hormones that get you ready for your day. These hormones cause a rise in blood sugar that is harder for your body to compensate for if you have diabetes.

    Another cause of higher morning readings is the opposite of the dawn effect, called the Somogyi Effect, but the end result is the same higher than expected blood sugars in the morning. In this case, the cause of the rise in blood sugar in the morning is the result of having a low blood sugar overnight, known as nocturnal hypoglycemia. Symptoms of nocturnal hypoglycemia may include restless sleep, nightmares and sweating. This may be caused by too much basal insulin or the effects of exercise, for example. Whatever the reason, your body responds to the low blood sugar with similar hormones that lead to the dawn effect. But the rise in blood sugar is due to your body responding to raise your blood sugar to a safer level some people refer to it as a rebound high blood sugar.

    Recommended Reading: Bad Effects Of Insulin


    Delayed Effects Of Fatty Foods

    Blood sugar levels typically peak within an hour or so after eating. However, a high-fat dinner containing fried foods, pizza, or cheesy casseroles might delay this normal jump in blood sugar until the morning. Why? Large amounts of dietary fat can make it harder for insulin to do its job, explains Scheiner. Plus, fat slows down digestion and absorption, which could cause blood sugar to peak later than usual.

    Possible solutions: Opt for fish, skinless poultry, beans, and vegetables sautéed in olive oil over foods high in saturated fat like fried foods and those covered in cheese. Filling up half your plate with vegetables can also help cut portion sizes of other foodsand your fat intake from those foods.

    Other Reasons For High Morning Blood Sugar Levels

    Why Do I Have High Blood Sugar in the Morning? Causes and ...

    If you continuously wake up with high blood sugar levels and haven’t eaten a bedtime snack the night before, your doctor may need to prescribe you more basal insulin , says Dr. Spratt.

    However, if you typically eat a snack that contains carbohydrates before going to bed and don’t counteract it with rapid-acting insulin, your blood sugar levels may be higher in the morning as a result. Switch to a snack that won’t raise your blood sugar levels for example, a pairing of ham and cheese or a few bites of non-sweetened peanut butter, she says.

    Read more:How Long After Eating Does Blood Sugar Peak?


    Lastly, if your blood sugar levels dip too low in the middle of the night, your body may release hormones that “rescue” you from dangerously low levels, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The result is that your liver releases stored glucose, causing your blood sugar levels to be higher than usual in the morning. This is called the Somogyi effect.

    If you’re experiencing low blood sugar in the four to six hours after a meal, that’s a sign that your basal insulin dose is too high, says Dr. Spratt.

    “A lot of people have lows of which they are not aware of,” she says. “They wake up and their blood sugar is high and assume they must need more insulin at night.” But, she explains, it’s important to check your blood sugar at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. to make sure you aren’t experiencing a drop in glucose levels.

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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.

    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.


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    How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy

    Follow these steps:

  • Put the person in the recovery position and do not put anything in their mouth so they do not choke.
  • If an injection of glucagon is available and you know how to use it, give it to them immediately.
  • If they wake up within 10 minutes of getting the injection and feel better, move on to step 5. If they do not improve within 10 minutes, call 999 for an ambulance.
  • If they’re fully awake and able to eat and drink safely, give them a carbohydrate snack.
  • They may need to go to hospital if they’re being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.

    Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.

    It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need

    Why Blood Sugar Is High In The Morning | Reasons for High Blood Sugars In The Morning

    See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.


    Whether you know it or not, every morning you experience a natural biological event called the dawn phenomenon. For most, this passes without health risk. Thats not the case, however, if you have diabetes.

    But to ease your concerns, if you do have diabetes, Miguel Parilo, MD, of Bull Family Diabetes Center, offers advice on ways to control the effects of dawn phenomenon on your health.

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