A Test You Can’t Fail – Part Two – The Dawn Phenomenon

Remember, you cannot fail your daily glucose test; you can only fail to test!  There is so much more to testing than we are sometimes told, I am going to have to make this a three-parter.  This entry is about the Dawn Phenomenon – a topic every testing diabetic should know about.

You are doing your twice daily tests – maybe even more often.  One of your tests should be in the morning after you get up and before you eat or drink anything.  This morning test theoretically provides a fasting glucose reading – provided you have not had a midnight snack.  If you have a midnight snack, it will likely elevate your glucose, and it will show up in your morning reading. Common sense, huh?

And, you are keeping a record of your test readings, or they are being kept in your meter.  Over a few weeks you see them go up anywhere from 10 to 20 points.  Why?  Welcome to the Dawn Phenomenon (DP because it’s easier for me to type).

The DP happens sometime in the early morning.  For me it’s sometime after 6:00 am – others might find it happening earlier or later.  What does it do?  Well, it’s your body’s response in getting ready to get up and moving – it releases some sugar (glucose) to get you going.  Why does that matter?  Your blood sugar reading goes up and does not provide an accurate morning reading.  So, if you test before it happens, you get a lower score; if you test after, your reading will be higher.  There’s not a whole lot you can do about it, either.  It just happens.  I will tell you that I try to test in the morning before 6:00 so I see my lowest reading.  Want to know more about DP – read it here.

I learned about the DP because my night readings were lower than my morning readings.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I thought it was my meter.  I was wrong.  It seemed that I was testing a bit later in the morning AFTER the DP had taken effect.

All you can do is to just be aware of the DP and how it might effect your readings.

That you are testing at least twice a day is great – good job!


I am not a doctor or health professional. I am just a guy who is working everyday to control Type 2 Diabetes. My goal is to offer hope, help and solutions for day-to-day living for the diabetic. The disease can be controlled. It can be managed. And, you can do it!

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Posted in Testing
One comment on “A Test You Can’t Fail – Part Two – The Dawn Phenomenon
  1. […] before eating breakfast.  Imagine that we’ve determined that these levels are not from the dawn phenomenon that we’ve talked about before.  These levels are high because of the bedtime snack that you […]

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