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You may have heard the term “the dawn phenomenon.” Our bodies produce a surge of hormones around 4 a.m. to 5 a.m. that increases our fasting (pre-meal) glucose levels.
Because you lack the insulin needed to regulate the increase, your fasting glucose levels in the early morning (or dawn) are high. Managing these early morning highs can help you gain better control of your diabetes.
Here are three strategies that may help:
1. Eat an earlier dinner, with fewer carbohydrates. Both when you eat and what you eat can affect your early morning blood glucose levels.
By eating earlier, you can better match the “blood glucose raising” effect of carbs to your insulin dose. If you are hungry for a night snack, opt for ones that do not increase your blood glucose, such as a handful of nuts, a chunk of cheese, or a boiled egg.
Tip: Try substituting grilled vegetables or a salad in place of rice or potatoes, or cut your usual portion of carbs in half.
2. Do something active after dinner. A little exercise can help to lower blood glucose levels during the night and into the early morning hours.
Tip: Go for a walk, practice yoga or spend 15-20 minutes on a stationary bike after dinner.
3. Track your morning blood glucose levels. For a week or two, test your blood glucose every morning. Look for patterns that relate to your activities or what you ate the previous night.
Tip: If your morning blood glucose levels are consistently high, checking your blood sugar once during the night—around 2 a.m. or 3 a.m.—for several nights in a row will help you and your doctor determine if what you’re experiencing is the dawn phenomenon.
With the new OneTouch Verio Reflect™ meter, the Blood Sugar Mentor™ feature provides personalized guidance, insight and encouragement that may help you avoid highs and lows*. In addition, the feature analyzes patterns and tracks trends that could help guide you toward better diabetes management. Learn more about the new OneTouch Verio Reflect™ meter here.
*Treatment decisions should be based on the numerical result and health-care professional recommendation.
http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/dawn-phenomenon.html Last accessed: June 25, 2019
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-answers/dawn-effect/faq-20057937 Last accessed: June 25, 2019
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor, and do not necessarily reflect those of Diabetes Canada.
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