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March 10, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Akron, Ohio, USA:

My friend has diabetes, and she told me lately that when she tests her blood sugar levels before going to bed they are normal, but when she wakes up they are high. What can make your sugar level go up while you are sleeping?

Answer:

This could be either because your friend’s blood sugar level fell overnight, and she is naturally counteracting this by releasing hormones which will raise the blood glucose level [the Somogyi effect], or she is experiencing the dawn phenomenon in which the nighttime insulin levels fall early morning and are not sufficient to keep the blood sugar levels down. She should discuss this with her diabetes team.

JS