Jump to content

jstanlick Takes on the Dawn Phenomenon


jstanlick

Recommended Posts

Look at all you people with your challenge threads up the first day of zero week. Good on ya! Mine is going up the first day of the challenge.

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c8fbcf6536b747549

 

Any-who, for any of you that followed me last year, you know my challenges have revolved around blood sugar and reversing diabetes. Thank you all for supporting me through that! There is one thing out there though that still plagues me to this day...the Dawn Phenomenon. It's not the end of the world and I might be making too big of a deal out of it, but it still bugs me that it's there. Basically, my morning blood sugars are high and continue going up until I eat something (makes IF difficult) or exercise or both. That handy link there from the Mayo Clinic offers some suggestions. You may notice that of the 5 suggestions, only one of them does not involve medication and most you know by now that I try to find other ways of solving problems before trotting off to the pharmacy. I'm fairly certain I'm a victim of the dawn phenomenon and not the Symogi Effect (see here) but I need to wake up in the middle of the night and check my blood sugar to make sure. So, there's your step 1. Step 1 is super important because if you check that link, the first suggested things to try are exact opposites of each other. Yep. 2 causes of high blood sugar with not only different suggested solutions, rather polar opposite solutions of each other.

giphy.gif?cid=3640f6095c8fbf9f347457784d

To be fair, its the same symptom with 2 different causes, so it makes sense the solutions would be different. But, they couldn't be more different.

 

Now, eliminating the effect is not the goal as I'm not sure that's realistic. The goal is to get everything back in the normal range as quickly as possible to keep the overall numbers lower.  This challenge is going to be a month long experiment to see what works best from a blood sugar standpoint.

 

  1. Name it - So, I'm fairly certain I know what it is, but given the opposite directions of potential solutions, fairly certain isn't good enough. This one is going to suck for 3-4 nights I need to get up between 2 & 3 AM to test my blood sugars. That's the hard part. Testing it every morning when I get up is easy. Once I have a the right diagnosis, it's on to step 2.
  2. To carb or not to carb - The non-pharmaceutical suggestions that are first given out for these 2 issues is related to not consuming carbs before bed, or consuming carbs before bed. So, I'll go down the path indicated by Step 1. And we will take morning blood sugar readings to see what the outcome is and how its changing that starting point.
  3. Get up and move - This will be a change. After getting said number, I will do something. It's not easy for me to do something strenuous first thing in the morning. So, for this challenge I will either be doing some stretching exercises or take the dog for a walk depending on the weather. The idea is that some mild exercise should also bring those numbers back to a normal range sooner.
  4. Most important meal of the day - I suck at breakfast. I prefer not to eat it to be honest. But, the fact of the matter is that I do without realizing it. Coffee + almond milk or coffee + heavy cream is enough to break any fast and not enough to bring my numbers back down. So, I don't get the autophagy effects of extended fasting, nor do I get the bonus of bringing down the glucose numbers. I'm playing the hunch here that it is the Dawn Phenomenon and I shouldn't be eating stuff before bed, and eating in the morning. My hope is that I can go for 12 hours or so without eating from dinner time to breakfast time and work on keeping that time without food to as long as possible. This way I hope to at least get my blood sugar numbers lower faster. But, still a breakfast must be made.

 

And that's it for challenge goals. I'm still planning on HIIT, increasing my weekly running miles, lifting 2-3x/week and writing some more blog posts. But, I've spent a lot of time on exercise lately. Time to get back to some nutrition type goals.

  • Like 5

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

Link to post

Step 1 seems to be elusive as my body really likes sleeping. Especially after attempting CF 19.1 yesterday. I know, that was from 4 weeks ago. But, I figured it would be fun to try and it would count as my HIIT workout. My quads and glutes were toast after that. Walking was wobbly. But, I was slept like a baby at night. So, I failed on getting up between 2 and 3 to get a blood sugar reading last night. Sadly, yesterday the morning glucose number was 121. Today was 135. Boo!

 

However, #3 was a success this morning. I did a bunch of hip mobility exercises when I got up. I am so not limber or flexible. But, that's why one does the exercises, right?

 

#4 was kind of a success. Well, if you can count a protein bar breakfast :P 

  • Like 3

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

Link to post

Wow, three days into week 1 and I have 3 updates? Nearly unheard of. I'm quite certain the streak will end sometime, but might as well keep things going.

 

I did manage to get up at 2:45 and check my blood sugar which was higher than when I went to bed. Checked it when I got up at 6:30 and it was higher still. My liver is trying to kill me I think. Its busy throwing sugar into my bloodstream and likely a bunch of stress hormones as well. But, some more hip mobility exercises and some running this morning and the blood sugar came back down. While that's just one night and I really need to do a couple more to be certain, this does lend itself to the Dawn Phenomenon as opposed to the Somogyi Effect. On the plus side, the runs are getting slightly longer with no side effects on the left calf. It seems to enjoy being outside more  than the treadmill. Can't say as the rest of me disagrees. Soooo much better than the treadmill. And it brought the blood sugar back quickly. I need so more testing to see if it's better to just exercise in the morning and get it back to normal quickly or exercise at night, sleep low and see if it stays lower over night.

 

Spent the day working from home because my wife's car needed a new water pump and radiator. Ugh. Not a cheap fix since its a lot of labor. Plus, the radiator the mechanic ordered showed up cracked. He's hoping another shows up in time for him to finish it today. Otherwise, I'll be working from home again so she can use my car for things. While I'm happy to have a job that is super flexible on where I get my work done and when, I seem to work better in the office. I guess I'm just old school...or old. Take your pick :P 

  • Like 1

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

Link to post

I've really enjoyed reading this thread, including the links. You are the best n=1 test subject around! Sorry you have to miss all that sleep to figure it out, but I'm still super curious. And will also be curious to learn more about how the exercise around bedtime or waking helps to moderate it.

  • Like 1

Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

Link to post

How did the rest of the week's experiment go?

Wisdom 18   Dexterity 11   Charisma 12   Strength 16  Constitution-12

Elastigirl Endeavors, Experiments, , and Explains - Current Challenge: May 9 to June 12 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

Link to post

giphy.gif?cid=790b76115c9e65e13370455467

Wow!! How did Friday get here?!

 

On 3/21/2019 at 7:27 AM, Sylvaa said:

 

If it makes you feel any better, I am totally the same way and I work from home regularly!

Very hard to do that regularly.

 

On 3/25/2019 at 7:56 PM, Xena said:

I've really enjoyed reading this thread, including the links. You are the best n=1 test subject around! Sorry you have to miss all that sleep to figure it out, but I'm still super curious. And will also be curious to learn more about how the exercise around bedtime or waking helps to moderate it.

 

On 3/25/2019 at 9:10 PM, Elastigirl said:

How did the rest of the week's experiment go?

 

On 3/26/2019 at 5:04 AM, Salinger said:

How you doing J?x

Might as well answer all three of these at the same time. So, after a few nights lacking in sleep, I have the evidence to prove my hunch correct. It's the Dawn Effect, but I prefer it's other name, The Dawn Phenomenon. Sounds cooler, right?

 

So this week has been testing out various theories to fend it off. Sunday night I tried both working out at night and not eating any carbs after 7 PM. The result was 20 points lower blood glucose than had been my average the next morning. However, my workout was CrossFit 19.5 (scaled for age group because my shoulders were already mad at me at the time). If I have to do that on a nightly basis to keep my blood sugar low in the morning, just hand me the chocolate cake with extra frosting because I might as well enjoy my death instead of gasping for air and having every nerve ending in my body scream at me. I was pretty happy that I finished it before the time cap though. That felt like I achieved something at least. But, there is no way my body could handle that daily. So, the next night I attempted just limiting carbs at night and it was 15 points lowering than the average. So, was it the carb limiting that produced 75% of the gains the night before, or was there some residual effect from the exercise on Sunday night (or even the 5 miles of running on Saturday? Did that effect Monday's numbers or was it just Sunday's corssfit). The next night was carb limiting again and it maintained the 15 points. The last 3 mornings have been back up higher again. Why? Well, lack of exercise due to having to eat at weird hours of the day.

 

I have 2 kids in different drama productions. They both had opening night last night in two different venues. Driving them to and fro and keeping everyone else on schedule has made it impossible for me to exercise at night. Additionally, I've had numerous days where I didn't even get a chance to eat until shortly before bed. Since I clearly was doing enough to stress myself out, I volunteered to chaperone my youngest child's trip to the public museum. While 8 year-olds are a great reminder to not take life too seriously and take some time to laugh at things, they also are a great deal of work. So headache inducing to make sure none of them get lost in the big museum full of strangers, not to mention the inordinate amount of butt and fart jokes. As far as experiments go, it would seem I have a few uncontrolled variables to account for. Stress being variable number 1. Time being number 2 (see, that would have been met by raucous laughter yesterday). It would appear both exercise and limiting carbs before bedtime help. Walking and stretching in the morning don't seem to help as much, but stress will throw off anyone's numbers. Additionally, exercising at night is not the easiest thing to pull off as it depends greatly on other people's schedules as to when I will have the time to exercise. Plus, I'm not sure how to measure the cumulative effect of exercise day in and day out and know if that accounts for differences in numbers. I think I could rule it out, but I'm not sure I could rule it in. Did I mention track season started on Monday and I tweaked my back at Wednesday's practice muddying the waters even more? No? No matter, it's better now, but again, not sure the numbers mean enough yet. Need more testing.

 

Sorry, that's all I've got time for as far as updates go. Off to the next thing.

 

  • Like 3

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

Link to post

I'm impressed with how you study about it, and really work on seeing what improves your numbers. I think your consistently working at it will have a big effect.

  • Like 1

Wisdom 18   Dexterity 11   Charisma 12   Strength 16  Constitution-12

Elastigirl Endeavors, Experiments, , and Explains - Current Challenge: May 9 to June 12 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

Link to post
On 3/29/2019 at 3:34 PM, Elastigirl said:

I'm impressed with how you study about it, and really work on seeing what improves your numbers. I think your consistently working at it will have a big effect.

 

Agreed!

 

I think your general exercise habits have a very positive effect on your health. Jockeying things around to try to specifically exercise at night might lead to more frustration, missed sessions and maybe even messed up sleep. From what you've said, it sounds like when you have to eat later in the evening, it might be extra important to keep that meal low carb (?)

  • Like 1

Xena, Level 14+ Valkyrie Ranger

January 2017  December 2016

Oct/Nov 2016

 

Link to post
On 3/29/2019 at 2:34 PM, Elastigirl said:

I'm impressed with how you study about it, and really work on seeing what improves your numbers. I think your consistently working at it will have a big effect.

Well, thank you! I seem to get into trouble we I get complacent about it and stop paying attention to things.

 

On 3/29/2019 at 2:56 PM, Salinger said:

Thanks for the update!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend xx

Sorry the updates have been so few and far between!

 

On 3/31/2019 at 7:12 PM, Xena said:

 

Agreed!

 

I think your general exercise habits have a very positive effect on your health. Jockeying things around to try to specifically exercise at night might lead to more frustration, missed sessions and maybe even messed up sleep. From what you've said, it sounds like when you have to eat later in the evening, it might be extra important to keep that meal low carb (?)

Well, that is the $1,000,000 question. I think I may be more worried about the morning numbers than necessary. Which is essentially what this challenge is all about. Spring seems to be the time of the year that I experiment in my challenges. I went back the last couple of years looking at my challenges and sometime in the spring I always seem to have one where I tinker with things and try new things to see if it works. That is this challenge this year I guess.

 

So, this last week was the week I worked on simply not eating 3 hours before bed and trying to keep the majority of my carbs earlier in the day. The results? Oddly, it depends on whether or not I exercised the day before. I didn't workout at night any of those days. My workouts were largely at lunchtime or mid-afternoon. And if I did workout (running or HIIT), the next mornings blood sugar readings were lower than after days I did not. If I only walked the dog for a couple of miles the numbers were lower, but as it turns out, not enough to be significant. Especially with only 1 week's worth of data. Kind of hard to get enough data for statistical significance that way, but I'm impatient and therefore not going to keep doing it and getting crappy readings long enough to decide empirically what I believe is true.

 

This seems to suggest that intense exercise seems to have a lasting effect of quite a few hours (24-48) on blood glucose after the exercise is complete. So, what happens if you're in the middle of that and exercise again? That will be the upcoming week's plan. Intense exercise will be the goal more than the timing of meals/carbs. We'll see if that has a bigger effect. The tricky part there would be sustaining that over a prolonged period of time, but that's an experiment for another time.

  • Like 3

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

Link to post

So the experiment continues...kinda. I’m a little bummed, a little angry and a little proud of myself. I know, it’s all the feels.

 

So, I’m all out of test strips for my glucometer and I can’t get refills from the pharmacy. Why? Because the prescription has expired. I need to go see the doc before they’ll write another script. It’s not like they’re going to say “Hey, you don’t need to worry about testing that diabetes anymore.” Just gimme the damn strips. I’m paying for them for crying out loud. It’s not a Vicodin refill either. Grrrr.

 

So, that’s the angry. I’m a little bummed because without those strips, my experiment is hard to get conclusions from. I really don’t know if things are better or worse. And I’ve had a few killer workouts this week...like I came close to dying. Okay, so I’m exaggerating, but so far I’ve had a 4 mile run and two HIIT workouts that have left me a bit tired. I don’t think I could be burning glucose at a faster rate via exercise. 

 

Which brings me to the pride part. Those were not easy workouts, and some were at a time of day when all I wanted to do was sit on my ass on the couch. And I’m feeling a little pride in my self for not sitting on the couch. 

  • Like 4

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

Link to post
On 4/10/2019 at 4:30 AM, jstanlick said:

 

Which brings me to the pride part. Those were not easy workouts, and some were at a time of day when all I wanted to do was sit on my ass on the couch. And I’m feeling a little pride in my self for not sitting on the couch. 

 

BRILLIANT JS!!!! Good job - i need to follow your inspiration and GET to the gym!!!!! x

  • Like 1
Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines