Articles Home » Biology » Dawn phenomenon
Dawn phenomenon occurs when the liver secretes hormones and glucose in the morning (between 4am and 8am).

This causes blood sugar to rise for people with diabetes, and is one reason why as many as 80-100% of adults with diabetes experience increased fasting blood sugar.

It is believed that this process is a natural part of waking up and preparing the body for a new day.

Through processes where (Glycogenolysis and Gluconeogenesis) the liver produces glucose through the night which increases the blood sugar in the body. Since people with diabetes do not have insulin production to compensate for the increased blood sugar level, many therefore experience elevated blood sugar in the morning when they get up.

There are some methods one with diabetes can improve fasting blood sugar:

  • Get a good night's sleep - 6 to 8 hours every night - and go to bed before midnight to reduce cortisol and improve the body's ability to tolerate glucose.
  • Reduce your carbohydrate intake to lower your blood sugar.
  • Eat your last meal earlier in the day. Preferably no later than 6 p.m.
  • Be active after dinner. For example, go for a walk.
  • Eat a breakfast with less carbohydrates. This is because blood sugar is already high, and you are usually more insulin resistant in the morning.
  • Do not wait too long to eat breakfast. Breakfast breaks fasting and with it the liver's release of glucose.
IMPORTANT. Dawn phenomenon and alcohol: Alcohol is a poison that the liver prioritizes at night to clean up. This means that one can experience lower fasting blood sugar when drinking because the liver has prioritized alcohol over glucose production. This also means that adjustment of insulin / medication may be needed when drinking.