Everyone experiences a hormone surge called the “dawn phenomenon” each morning several hours before they wake up. For people with diabetes, however, this hormone surge results in higher-than-normal blood sugar levels because they don’t have a normal insulin response to adjust for it.

The dawn phenomenon happens because during the night the body produces less insulin while at the same time the liver produces more glucose. The lack of insulin results in a blood sugar rise in the morning.

If your fasting blood glucose is higher or lower than ideal most mornings, it may help to eat dinner earlier and avoid carbohydrates late at night. Exercising in the evening also may help keep your morning blood sugar within range.