Feet to Floor Phenomenon

img_4801Feet to Floor Phenomenon is exactly what it sounds like. A rise in blood glucose upon physically waking and standing up. Its cause is unknown and not everyone experiences it. It’s also not clear if it is related to Dawn Phenomenon or not; however, I would surmise that it is different as it is essentially dependent on when you physically wake up and get out of bed. My most educated guess is that Feet to Floor is a result of increased cortisol levels.

Do you experience Feet to Floor Phenomenon? 

I do, but not always. And that is the truly frustrating part; I can’t plan for it. I can’t set my basal rate higher, as it is dependent on when I physically get out of bed AND it doesn’t happen consistently.

I’ve noticed a few trends, but they are not consistent. For example, when I do experience this phenomenon, it’s during the week when I’m getting ready for work in the morning. Weekends I have never experienced Feet to Floor. This could have something to do with in increase in cortisol levels (Cortisol is often called the “stress hormone” because of its connection to the stress response… –Hormone Health Network)

Even during the week it is not promised. Take these two CGM graphs as an example, February 13th and 14th, respectively:

(Pictures taken upon arriving at work, after bike ride)

The first graph shows a steady glucose reading until about 7:20 (woke up at 7:00). Since I ride bike to work, I do not like to bolus until I’m physically at work in order to mitigate any lows from insulin and exercise. However, the bike ride spiked me even further. This is very rare and quite questionable. It’s also quite defeating to start the day with such an unexplained, silly, high blood sugar.

The second graph shows a steady glucose reading just like the other. A slight rise starting at 7:30, about 30 minutes after waking. However, this is the funky part; during my morning bike ride to work, my glucose levels started to drop. This is literally the complete opposite effect that I experienced the morning before. The conditions were the same. No active insulin for over 8 hours, no food, etc. Arguably, the intensity of  my morning bike ride was probably the biggest influence in the different results, nevertheless, Feet to Floor is annoying.

I would love to hear your take on Feet to Floor Phenomenon. There’s not a lot of research done on it, so I rely on the expertise from my bellow diabuddies!


Just to note: I usually fast from 7pm until 12-noon the next day, so it’s safe to say that I KNOW it doesn’t happen every day. I’m not covering up a possible Feet to Floor spike with a breakfast bolus because I don’t eat breakfast (therefore no morning bolus).


  1. I am like this about 5 days a week. I was told to increase Lantus at night and when I did my sugars were 3 when I woke u. Going to take a small correction dose before breakfast to see if it helps.


  2. Happens to me too but also on weekends. Very intermittent. On a possibly related note, do you shower in the morning, every morning? (Not to get personal). I learned a while back (probably later than I should have) to take a small (1 unit for me) bolus before disconnection for a shower otherwise I spike a little. I doubt if it’s just the short disconnection/loss of basal but that combined with getting up and exerting energy (I’m usually running late at that point😔) I haven’t determined if the F2F phenomenon correlates with being unplugged for that short time.


    1. I shower at night, almost habitually. I don’t think the small time being unplugged could cause a rise like that. A normal 5-10 minute shower wouldn’t do that. But bolusing before would help the blood circulation and help the insulin start working faster due to the hot water.


  3. Yes I can relate to this! I seem to suffer more on a Monday morning with it too, although again no frequent pattern.


Leave a Reply to Cassandra Caudle Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s