Have you ever experienced high sugar levels during your sleep and wondered why is that happening?
You’ve had a good day, went to sleep at a good level, and then you wake up with High BGL’s and you cant explain why?
Read this article below, I think these 2 causes might help answer some questions
The Somogyi effect, also known as the “rebound” effect, was named after Michael Somogyi, the researcher who first described it. When blood glucose levels drop too low, the body sometimes reacts by releasing counterregulatory hormones such as glucagon and epinephrine. These hormones spur the liver to convert its stores of glycogen into glucose, raising blood glucose levels. This can cause a period of high blood sugar following an episode of hypoglycemia. These help reverse the low blood sugar level but may lead to blood sugar levels that are higher than normal in the morning.
An example of the Somogyi effect is:
- A person who takes insulin doesn’t eat a regular bedtime snack, and the person’s blood sugar level drops during the night.
- The person’s body responds to the low blood sugar by releasing hormones that raise the blood sugar level. This may cause a high blood sugar level in the early morning.
The Somogyi effect is most likely to occur around 3-4am resulting in high blood sugar levels in the morning. People who wake up with high blood sugar may need to test their blood glucose levels in the middle of the night (for example, around 3 AM). If their blood sugar level is falling or low at that time, they should speak with their health-care team about increasing their food intake or lowering their insulin dose in the evening. The only way to prevent the Somogyi effect is to avoid developing hypoglycemia in the first place.
The dawn phenomenon is a normal rise in blood sugar as a person’s body prepares to wake up.
- In the early morning hours, hormones (growth hormone, cortisol, and catecholamines) cause the liver to release large amounts of sugar into the bloodstream. For most people, the body produces insulin to control the rise in blood sugar.
- If the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, blood sugar levels can rise. This may cause high blood sugar in the morning (before eating)
How can you tell the difference?
The Somogyi effect can occur any time you or your child has extra insulin in the body. To sort out whether an early morning high blood sugar level is caused by the dawn phenomenon or Somogyi effect, check blood sugar levels at bedtime, around 2 a.m. to 4a.m., and at your normal wake-up time for several nights. A continuous glucose monitor could also be used throughout the night.
- If the blood sugar level is low at 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., suspect the Somogyi effect.
- If the blood sugar level is normal or high at 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., it’s likely the dawn phenomenon.
Diabetes Self Management