If you’re getting low sugar levels before breakfast, it’s important to tackle the problem as low blood glucose levels over night can lead to problems including tiredness through the rest of the day and headaches.

Low blood sugars during the night or morning may raise the risk of severe hypos occurring and could reduce hypo awareness

This guide takes a look at common causes of pre-breakfast hypos and helps you to address them.

Too much background insulin

If you are regularly getting low blood glucose levels in the morning, it is possible that your background insulin (long or intermediate acting insulin ) is set too high.

Make sure you take into any other factors, such as those in this article, that may also influence low blood glucose levels.


Reduce your background insulin and monitor blood sugar levels regularly to see whether blood glucose levels have improved.

Forgetting snack before bed

If you usually have a snack before bed but occasionally forget to, this could result in low sugar levels over night and before breakfast. This could also result if the snack you have before bed contains less carbohydrate than usual.


Set up a reminder, if necessary, to have a snack before bed or aim to achieve a consistent amount of carbohydrate for your pre-bedtime snack.


Hypos can result from having been drinking alcohol the evening before.


If you are getting low sugar levels following drinking alcohol , you will need take more carbohydrate before going to sleep.


Intense or prolonged exercise during the previous day can lead to a steady reduction in blood glucose levels over night as your muscles take in glucose from the blood.


If exercise on previous days is causing low sugar levels during the night or before breakfast you may need to take additional carbohydrate before going to sleep.

If low blood glucose levels last for most of the next day, you may wish to reduce your background insulin following a day of strenuous or prolonged activity.

Discuss the changes with your diabetes team if you have any questions about adjusting insulin doses.

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