You may be experiencing a common phenomenon known as the “Dawn Effect.” The body releases glucose back into the bloodstream from glycogen stores in the liver in the early morning hours. It’s the body's way of giving you a little fuel to wake up and take on the day. While the Dawn Effect can be of some concern for those with diabetes, it's usually not considered a problem with non-diabetics.
It may also be related to the following:
1. Alcohol: If you consume alcohol in the evening, you might notice that your glucose spikes are delayed (sometimes for several hours). The reason behind this is the concept of oxidative priority. Your body prioritizes what it metabolizes first based on what’s most easily stored. Since your body cannot store alcohol, it gets metabolized first, followed by carbs, protein, and fat. This prioritization delays the breakdown of carbs into glucose until later in the night.
2. Nightmares/Stress: If you experience vivid dreams or nightmares can cause a stress response at night, thus spiking glucose levels for some. This, too, is okay, as dream cycles are a part of the natural sleep process. However, if you feel that life/day stress may contribute to overall restless or nightmare-prone sleep, you may want to explore breathing or stress relief techniques to help alleviate such.
Several factors could influence a spike at night, such as eating right before bed. Even if you ate earlier at night, a higher carb and higher fat meal combination could cause delayed spikes (up to 5 hours later).
Other factors may include poor or interrupted sleep, stress, dehydration, and lack of activity. A great tool is using the “notes” section within the app to help identify what’s going on during the day and how your glucose responds!
To help prevent sleep spikes, here are some tips:
- Finish eating at least 3 hours before bedtime. Avoid a carb-heavy meal and treats in the evening
- Take an evening walk or increase activity/movement during the day
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day
- Incorporate stress management techniques
- Log all meals and snacks in the Signos app to see how you individually respond.
- Aim for at least 7 hours of quality sleep per night
Learn more about Sleep and Weight loss here.