Dawn Phenomenon, and should I really care?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 09, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Just concluded a 90 day monitoring of my blood sugar. Sampled 3x a day:

  • Morning (dawn) FBS (average: 90)
  • 2 hours after lunch (average: 85)
  • Bedtime (average: 81, 79 when I throw out a 'couple benders, but even a whole bottle of wine can't get my BS above 95.)

Total average was 85. Diet is solid "Bulletproof". 60% fat, 20% carb (~100g), 20% protein. No energy/health issues. Feel awesome. 10% bodyfat.

Some notes:

  • My FBS spikes (>90) when I wake to "stress". Early meeting, catch a flight, went to bed late.
  • My FBS spikes are also seemingly correlated to a lower bedtime BS. i.e. bedtime BS is 68, my FBS will be 90+. if my bedtime BS is 85, my FBS will be <90.

Obviously my FBS being the daily highpoint average is the work of the sleep-cycle waking horomones.

Over the next 90 days I aim to experiment with Carb backloading and sleep monitoring and am curious...

  1. Anyone corroborate similar results?
  2. Anyone play with sleep pattern, monitoring to adjust. Meditative waking.
  3. I aim to experiment with Carb backloading. Anyone have experience with what this will do to FBS?




on August 09, 2012
at 08:50 PM

90 is not "dawn phenomenon" Step away from the glucometer.



on August 09, 2012
at 08:41 PM

Many people with real dawn phenom are overeating protein at dinner. Dawn phenom is usually taken as a sign you are on the road to pre-/diabetes. Are you truly experiencing dawn phenom? I'd try cutting back the protein at dinner and see if that helps.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

1 Answers

best answer


on August 11, 2012
at 04:58 AM

You don't have Dawn phenomenon, your blood sugars are completely normal. Blood glucose spikes due to the Dawn phenomenon are perhaps an order of magnitude higher than what you're experiencing.

As to your question about higher morning blood glucose following lower bedtime blood glucose it has been proposed that this is due to counterregulatory hormones and called the Somogyi effect:


Note that the Somogyi effect is still quite controversial and (to my knowledge) does not have empirical support.

Answer Question

Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!