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Dawn Phenomenon - What Is It and How Does It Happen?

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Updated January 12, 2009

Definition:

The dawn phenomenon is a term that describes an unexpected rise in blood sugar during the night. It is believed that hormones released during sleep send a message to the body to release stored glucose. This in turn raises the concentration of sugar in the blood. This rise in overnight glucose is often a source of confusion and frustration for people with diabetes and occurs more often in people with type 1.

Eliminating a bedtime snack and checking your blood sugar during the night (around 3 a.m.) will help you and your doctor assess whether high morning glucose readings are the result of the dawn phenomenon or something else.

Source:

Kaufman, F.R. The Dawn Phenomenon. American Diabetes Association. Retrieved November 21, 2008. http://docnews.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/full/3/7/5

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