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What Causes Blood Sugar To Rise Overnight

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Best Snacks Before Bed

Why Is My Morning Blood Sugar Higher After Sleeping All Night, Than at Night After Eating All Day?

People can tailor their snacking based on their weight goals and how their body reacts to sugar overnight. A dietician can help.

The best snacks for each person will depend on how the body responds to the dawn phenomenon and the Somogyi effect, as well as personal preferences and goals.

The ADA recommend that people develop a personalized meal plan with their healthcare team, and this can include snacks and their timings.

Little scientific evidence points to an ideal bedtime snack, but researchers believe that beneficial snacks will contain:

  • high levels of protein
  • healthful fats
  • limited carbohydrates

Foods with this composition may help limit blood glucose spikes during the night and ensure lower blood glucose levels in the morning.

Try one the following healthful snacks before bed to help manage blood sugar levels and satisfy nighttime hunger:

High Fat/carb Meal Spikes

Consuming too many carbs and too much fat elevates blood sugar. Since fat digests slower then carbs, it can cause a problem for people taking insulin.

“Fast-acting insulins like Humalog, Novolog and Apidra work in the body for three to four hours. After enjoying a high-fat meal, these insulins might begin working before a significant amount of glucose reaches the bloodstream and the insulin may be done working before all the glucose gets there.”

“This means a glucose reading can be in-range two hours after a high-fat dinner, but the level can elevate above normal five or more hours later.”

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What To Eat To Maintain Blood Sugar Levels At Night

Blood Sugar Secret: Exercise causes blood sugar to rise

If you’re hungry at night, eat a low-carb snack to keep your blood sugar from spiking. If you’re managing the Somogyi effect, you’ll likely need to include some carbohydrates to prevent low blood sugar and the resulting rebound hyperglycemia. Rizzotto says an evening snack should be eaten about two hours before bed.


Protein does not spike blood sugar or insulin levels, making it an ideal bedtime food choice. Protein also slows the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, according to a June 2015 systematic review published in Diabetes Care. The slower the body absorbs carbs, the less your blood sugar levels will rise. Smart high-protein options include a hard-boiled egg, tofu, low-fat yogurt or a few slices of low-fat deli meat, such as turkey.


Fats also play an important role in controlling blood sugar levels. According to the National Institute on Aging, they give the body energy without raising blood sugars. They also help the body absorb essential vitamins. Therefore, it’s wise to include a small amount of healthy fat in your evening snack.

Healthy fats are found in low-fat cheeses, seeds, nuts, avocados and olive oil. But though these fat sources are nutritious, it’s important that you enjoy them in moderation so as to avoid consuming too many calories and gaining weight. A healthy serving size for nuts, seeds and cheese is about an ounce, or 1 to 2 tablespoons.

Read more:How Long Does It Take for Blood Sugar Levels to Peak After Eating?


Also Check: How To Bring Down Sugar Level Quickly

What Can You Do

To keep your blood sugar in balance, try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

If you work at night or have rotating shifts: Try to maintain regular meal and sleep times, even on your days off, if you can. And get some exercise during your breaks, like short walks or stretches.

If youâre concerned about your blood sugar: Getting a good nightâs sleep on a regular basis will go a long way toward helping your body use insulin efficiently. Along with getting enough sleep, avoid eating late at night, and try to get some exercise after dinner, like going for a walk.

If you have diabetes: If your blood sugar is often too high in the morning, talk to your doctor. You may need to do some extra blood sugar testing or use a continuous glucose monitor to figure out whatâs going on, which will determine how you should handle it. Your doctor may suggest a tweak to your diabetes medicines or your exercise routine.

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Helpful Hints For Treating Hypoglycemia

Here are a few helpful hints for low blood sugars:

  • Keep a small night light within easy reach, so you can see in the night.
  • Leave your blood glucose monitor by the bed so it is easy to check during the night.
  • Leave a treatment right by the bed so you dont have to get up in the night.
  • Once you treat a low in the night and are above 4.0 mmol/L , eat a snack that contains a starch and a protein to maintain your blood glucose level.
  • If you have had or are at risk for a severe low, be sure to have a glucagon treatment by your bedside. In the event of a severe low, the glucagon treatment would need to be administered by another person who has been instructed in its use.
  • In the morning and before the next night, try to figure out if this was a predictable low and change what needs to be changed. If it is an unpredictable low and it occurs more than once, it may be time for a change of insulin routine or insulin type.
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    Shades Of Chia Pudding: A Diabetes Breakfast Revolution

    Adam Brown

    What weve learned from over 75,000 people about making awesome chia pudding for breakfast: new recipes, new flavors, and how to overcome common stumbling blocks

    Chia pudding has struck a resounding chord with diaTribe readers: over 40,000 people have viewed the original column, The Three-Minute Diabetes Breakfast That Changes Lives, and more than 30,000 people have now viewed our original how-to video on and .

    As I shared in Bright Spots & Landmines, chia pudding is an awesome diabetes breakfast: little impact on blood sugar, super filling, three minutes to make without cooking, under $0.60 per meal, infinitely customizable, tasty , and yes even life changing. Simplifying breakfast which is almost certainly the hardest meal of the day for blood sugars can be transformative.

    Over the past year, weve learned how diaTribe readers make chia pudding in their own clever ways. This article organizes more than 50 tips and tricks into a single, choose-your-own adventure guide to making chia pudding with new “bases” and “toppings.” It’s like the Chipotle approach, but re-applied to my favorite breakfast: Chia-potle?

    Causes Of High Blood Sugar At Night

    why does blood sugar rise without eating

    There are many causes of high blood sugar at night, including:

    • A dinner or bedtime snack high in carbohydrates: Eating starchy or high-sugar foods late in the day can lead to high blood sugar at night, as well as high blood sugar in the morning.
    • Illness or injury: Trauma can trigger a hypermetabolic response , leading to high blood sugar.
    • Too little exercise: Exercise helps the body more effectively use insulin, so lack of exercise could contribute to high blood sugar.
    • Too little insulin or diabetes medicine: When the body does not produce insulin or does not use insulin effectively and you dont properly take your injectable insulin or diabetes medicine, glucose can accumulate in the bloodstream.
    • Menstruation: Estradiol and progesterone are two hormones linked to a decreased production of insulin, which affects glucose metabolism and can potentially lead to high blood sugar.
    • Pregnancy: Hormone levels fluctuate during pregnancy. Diabetes that occurs during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes.
    • Stress: Stress, as measured by levels of a hormone called cortisol, is linked to decreased insulin production. When your body doesn’t have enough insulin, glucose cannot get into your cells and be used for energy. As a result, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to high blood sugar. When people are stressed, they may also overeat sugary foods or adopt other unhealthy eating habits.

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    What If I Have Severe Low Blood Glucose And Cant Treat Myself

    Glucagona hormone that raises blood glucose levelsis the best way to treat severely low blood glucose. Available as an injection or a nasal spray, glucagon will quickly raise your blood glucose level. Your doctor can prescribe you a glucagon kit for use in case of an emergency.

    If your blood glucose level drops very low, you wont be able to treat it by yourself. Be prepared to address severely low blood glucose by

    • talking with your doctor or health care team about when and how to use a glucagon emergency kit. If you have an emergency kit, regularly check the date on the package to make sure it hasnt expired.
    • teaching your family, friends, and coworkers when and how to give you glucagon. Tell them to call 911 right away after giving you glucagon or if you dont have a glucagon emergency kit with you.
    • wearing a medical alert identification bracelet or pendant. A medical alert ID tells other people that you have diabetes and need care right away. Getting prompt care can help prevent the serious problems that low blood glucose levels can cause.

    Read Also: What Is Signs Of High Blood Sugar

    /5all You Need To Know About It

    It is regular for everyone to wake up once or twice at night to drink water or use the loo. After we are done with the work, we get under the sheet and within minutes we fall back asleep to complete our 8 hours of sound sleep. For those suffering from diabetes, things are a little different.

    Most diabetic patients wake up almost every night at the same time, around 3 pm, not by some noise or anything else, but because of the sudden spike in the blood sugar level. It can happen due to two reasons – the Somogyi effect or the dawn phenomenon.

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    Take Advantage Of Technology

    If you are fortunate enough to own a continuous glucose monitor , you should make the most of its features. Keep the alarms set to a high and low blood sugar number that you are comfortable with to help wake you if damage control is needed. You can also share Dexcom with a loved one who could alert you of dangerous numbers if you are unable to wake from the alarm on your own. Pumps like Tandem Basal Control have become extremely popular, as they can release insulin if your blood sugars get too high allowing you to focus solely on dreaming of a cure!

    Monitoring Sugars Is Vital

    When Diabetic Blood Sugars Rise Overnight

    When youre ill or just dont feel like eating much, its important to monitor your blood sugar levels more closely than ever. How often depends on whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and what medications you take.

    For Type 1 diabetes: Be sure to monitor your blood sugar before meals and before bedtime, typically four times per day, says Garvey.

    Beyond that, check your blood sugars if you notice symptoms of low blood sugar. Those symptoms include:

    • Anxiety.
    • Weakness.

    For Type 2 diabetes: If youre taking a sulfonylurea medication, check your blood sugars at least twice a day in the morning and at bedtime.

    Its important to keep in mind that sulfonylureas may cause your blood sugar to drop during the day if you dont eat anything after taking your medication, Garvey says.

    If your only treatment is metformin, you may not need to check your blood sugar more than once a day. This medication doesnt typically cause hypoglycemia.

    Its important to be aware of the symptoms associated with low blood sugars, says Garvey. Be ready to check your blood sugar and eat or drink 15 grams of simple sugar such as glucose tablets or 4 ounces of juice to correct a low blood sugar if needed. This treatment is also recommended for Type 1 diabetes, she says.

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    Which Set Of People Have High Blood Sugar At Night

    Source: CDC

    High blood sugar at night is a serious complication and no different from other sugar highs. Blood spikes can affect any individual during the night and arent just limited to people with diabetes. In other words, while people with diabetes are the major population that suffers from blood sugar increase, other people can still experience the phenomenon.

    According to a research article on PLOS Biology titled Glucotypes Reveal New Patterns of Glucose Dysregulation, high blood sugar spikes are just as common in people without diabetes as those with diabetes. The 2018 study, which involved 57 healthy respondents, showed that people who have never suffered from diabetic symptoms also experience blood sugar rise at night. The findings were contrary to the prior belief that glucose dysregulation was diabetes-related symptoms.

    Healthy people suffered from a range of sugar rise with the severity ranging from low to medium to high variability. The primary cause of the spikes in healthy people was their food choice. However, the healthy respondents beta cells could produce enough insulin to reduce the consequences of abnormal glucose production.

    It was, however, predicted that consistent high sugar consumption in healthy people will overwhelm their insulin production and leave them open to a range of conditions common with diabetes, like cardiovascular diseases.

    What Causes Your Blood Sugar Spikes

    If you suspect overnight high blood sugar levels, the best way to tell whats causing it is by checking your blood glucose level between 2 a.m and 3 a.m. A low blood sugar level at this time is indicative of the Somogyi Effect, while a high reading suggests its the Dawn Phenomenon.

    Tracking your sugar levels before going to bed, between 2 a.m and 3 a.m and again, first thing in the morning, through continuous glucose monitoring or a finger-prick test, can help you take the necessary steps in checking any blood glucose imbalance.

    Read Also: Sugar Tablet Before Or After Food

    Shades Of Chia Pudding: Bases And Toppings Menu

    Step 1: Make the Base

    1/4 Cup Chia Seeds

    1/2 Cup Liquid. Choose one:

    • Water

    • Almond milk

    • Coconut milk

    Combine the seeds and the liquid, stir for about 60 seconds with a spoon, and then let it sit for a minute. The seeds will soak up the liquid and make a pudding-like gel.

    Many readers make this base” the night before and let it sit overnight. This also helps with texture if you want a slightly thicker feel. The recipe above can also be doubled or quadrupled and left overnight, making enough for multiple breakfasts.

    Step 2: Add toppings and flavor to the base

    A. Flavor boosters:

    • Protein powder

    • Stevia

    • Dark chocolate cocoa powder

    B. Creamy add-ins. This is optional, and I recommend only choosing one and using a small amount:

    • Ghee this vanilla bean option from 4th and Heart has been my recent go-to choice if you buy ghee, make sure its grass fed and not a vegetable option

    • Peanut butter

    • Almond butter

    • Coconut oil – part of the original recipe, but I find ghee mixes much better

    • Greek yogurt

    C. Crunchy toppings :

    • Almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts

    • Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds ,

    • Cacao nibs

    • Berries – raspberries, blueberries, strawberries

    • Coconut flakes or chips

    • Dark chocolate chips This is one diaTribe readers have shared, but Ive since discovered I have NO self-control around chocolate chips if they are in my pantry, I will eat too many. Lillys brand chocolate chips are the best low-sugar choice Ive found, but even with those I eat way too many at once.

    Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up At Night

    Overnight Fasting Blood Sugar Test

    There are many factors that can cause your blood sugar to increase at night. For example: what food you ate during the day, how much and when you exercised, whether you ate snacks before bed, the timing of your insulin doses, and your stress level. You can experience different patterns of high blood sugar at night. You may start with high glucose when you go to bed, start the night in range but go high several hours later, or spend most of the night in range until the hours just before you wake up. By identifying your bodys patterns, you can figure out what is causing your high blood sugar and how to address it.

    Common causes of a glucose increase at night include:

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