Dawn Effect

(Todd Chester) #1

Hi All,

T2 and drug free for the last eight years.

Some grousing about the dawn effect.

My blood Glucose before bed is around 95 to 105 mg/dL. It is exactly the same if I wake up by my alarm clock. If I wake naturally, it is ~20 points higher. I presume this is the dawn effect.

My last Friday’s full fast: Friday bed time 93 mg/dL, natural waking the next day 115 mg/dL. The ONLY thing consumed over the period was water and some salt. Two hours after breakfast on Saturday, I dropped 15 points. This is typical.

I am beginning to think the “Dawn Effect” is a natural part of your circadian waking cycle and I should stop fretting over it. Your take?


(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

(Jack Bennett) #3

I’ve been playing with a glucometer for a few weeks.

My morning BG level is:

  • reliably about 10 mg/dL higher than bedtime of the previous day
  • higher after days when I eat more or have a longer feeding window

From what I’ve read, it’s a pretty common thing, and happens in both diabetics and non-diabetics. It tends to be associated with diabetes because it’s been studied much more in that context.

Probably nothing to worry about unless it’s extremely high or a very large change, in which case it might be worth checking out with your doctor.

(Todd Chester) #4

Hi Amwassil,

The article is a bit long winded, but very well done. Basically, it tells me that this is normal part of the circadian waking cycle and not to obsess over it. Thank you!

Pointed to by your article:

Just before awakening (around 4am), the body secretes higher levels of Growth Hormone, cortisol, glucagon and adrenalin. Together, these are called the counter-regulatory hormones. That is, they counter the blood sugar lowering effects of insulin, meaning that they raise blood sugars. The nocturnal surge of growth hormone is considered the primary cause of the DP [Dawn Phenomenon] (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2859524).

(Todd Chester) #5

Hi Jack,

It seems that this is all a normal part of my circadian waking cycle.

I have also noticed that when I fish started fasting, my BG would drop into the low 80’s (mg/dL). But not for several months now. I think that is a good thing as it means my liver is converting my internal fat to maintain my BP.

I seldom go over 130 after I eat and it always drops two hours afterwards.

As far as doctors (allopaths) goes, the only one in the area that knows anything about diabetes is an Emergency Room doctor – he is brilliant – but you have to hurt yourself to see him. Naturpaths and Full OMD’s (oriental doctors of medicine, same eight year degee as allopaths plus sever years herbal pharmacology) are all 1-1/2 hours drive one way from here. So I am on my own. But I still have my toes after eight years, so raspberries to allopaths and their drugs (controlled dosages of poisons) and carbs.


(Bob M) #6

Everything you said is spot-on. This is only 6 days, but it shows the pattern I’ve been getting (this uses a Free Style Libre from Sweden):

5.5 = 99 in US units, 4.7=84.6 (multiply by 18). Here’s a later one (this uses a US Free Style Libre), about 1.5 years after that one:

(Edit: Wow, these are almost exactly the same over that time! I knew they had the same shape, but it’s interesting they are almost identical in values, too.)

I have a theory that if I ate breakfast early, there would be a lot less rise. But I don’t eat breakfast.

My Swedish version read slightly less typically than my US version. The US’s A1c estimate is actually what I got via a blood test, though A1c is imperfect (depends on how long your red blood cells live, for instance).

Like you when I started (about 5 years ago) fasting 4.5 days, I could get my blood sugar into the low 60s. The last time I fasted 4.5 days (last year), my blood sugar only got into the 70s or maybe 80s.

By the way, if Apple or Samsung actually do produce a watch this year able to take blood glucose measurements, it’ll be on my list of things to buy.

(Bob M) #7

It’s a little easier to see like this:

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #8

I tend to agree. Especially if HbA1C looks good. Not all natural behaviour of the body is detrimental.

I firmly believe that one of the risks of adopting a scientific approach to managing our bodies is that we can start to believe it possible to out-think two million years of evolution.


Another topic here brought up the possibility of sleep apnea being a cause…

(Bob M) #10

I have no doubt sleep apnea would raise morning blood sugar, as would cortisol (ie, stress).