In the morning, blood sugar levels typically drop significantly due to the extended period of fasting during the night. If you or someone you know suspects that there may be a risk of either having or developing diabetes, this is the first number that you are going to need to be concerned about. When you visit a doctor to find out if you are or are becoming diabetic, a morning blood sugar reading, also known as a fasting glucose reading, is one of the first things that gets checked.
A normal morning blood sugar level is going to run between 70 mg/dL and 100 mg/dL, though there are some doctors who speculate that a fasting blood sugar over 90 to 95 mg/dL is an indicator that you are at high risk for developing diabetes over the next ten years. The general consensus is that a reading between 100 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL indicates insulin resistance, or prediabetes, and levels over 126 mg/dL on two separate occasions are enough to warrant a diagnosis.
One of the most important things that newly diagnosed diabetics need to do is to almost religiously check their morning blood sugar, as well as at various times of the day to not only study how their bodies respond, but also to ensure that what they are doing helps to keep their blood sugar under control.
After diagnosis, some diabetics notice that they have high blood sugar in the morning. The two primary causes of high morning blood sugar are the dawn phenomenon, as well as something called the Somogyi effect.
The dawn phenomenon is the result of the body’s natural use of insulin and how it responds. Overnight, the body needs little insulin because there is no food being consumed, and the body becomes more and more resistant to the insulin that builds up. Therefore, blood sugar levels in the morning are much higher because as the body starts producing blood sugar to prepare for the day, the insulin is ineffective at using it.
The Somogyi effect, however, is a bit different. It generally occurs as a result of poor blood sugar control, and is basically your body rebounding from low overnight blood sugar levels. In this case, the best way to prevent it and to maintain a normal blood sugar level is to have a snack before going to bed.
As you can see, morning blood sugar is an important consideration for a diabetic or anyone who may be at risk for similar metabolic problems. It is one of the primary methods of diagnosis, and is an important indicator of how well controlled your blood sugar really is.