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What is the dawn phenomenon?

Your body has a normal mechanism that wakes you up and gives you energy to start the day. Your body responds to this wake-up call of the growth hormones. These hormones depress the activity of insulin, allowing blood glucose to rise between around 4 and 8 a.m. This is called the dawn phenomenon. The dawn phenomenon can be one reason for blood glucose readings and ketone levels that are high when you wake up.

If high morning blood glucose levels seem to occur mysteriously and you have diabetes, discuss the problem with your health care team and talk about the best way to treat it. You may need to eat less food at breakfast or the night before or increase your pre-breakfast or evening insulin dose.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.