The rise in your morning glucose levels called the “dawn phenomenon” which describes an abnormal early-morning increase in blood sugar (glucose) — usually between 2 and 8 a.m. — in people with diabetes.

The many explanation researchers giving to describe this phenomenon is that the natural overnight release of hormones — including growth hormones, cortisol, glucagon, and epinephrine — increases insulin resistance, causing blood sugar to rise.  Yes, glucose can increase from sources other than digested foods.

The dawn phenomenon is a natural body reaction that we all going.  However, diabetic people challenged with insulin levels will be affected by that rise more.

Your Hemoglobin A1C (AbA1C) will challenge your glucose morning reading as well. The higher your HbA1C is, the higher your morning reading will be.

Medications can affect your morning glucose reading too because the impact of the drugs wears off overnight. This applies to medicines like insulin, sulfonylureas, and metformin.

If you wake up in the middle of the night with headaches and sweating most likely facing what we call “Somogyi effect” – it’s nighttime hypoglycemia where your glucose levels drop too low.  When that happens, your body will release glucagon and epinephrine so the liver could release stores glycogen and convert it to glucose. This mechanism will rise back sugar levels and affect your morning sugar levels.


  • Avoid carbohydrates at bedtime. Eat proteins and fats instead
  • If glucose levels are too low during night time, adjust your dose of medications or insulin (if needed switch to a different medication).
  • Some research suggesting having half a glass of water with a tablespoon of cider vinegar will help controlling morning reading