A statistical study of 500,000 middle age Brits over a 9 year period finds that those with a combination of diabetes and trouble sleeping have an 87% higher risk of death than their peers without these issues. Diabetes itself raises the risk by 12%.
Obviously, we’re talking about a shorter life expectancy, and this is before COVID. Everyone dies. The question is how short do you want your life to be?
We also know from other research that overweight and diabetes are associated with worse outcomes from COVID. So we would expect the results of this study, if repeated in the COVID era, to be even more dramatic.
The study was conducted by researchers at Northwestern University (Chicago) and the University of Surrey (UK).
The study doesn’t distinguish between sleep apnea, insomnia, stress, incontinence or other factors that make for a bad night. Poor sleep with diabetes puts you at much higher risk of “The Big Sleep”, to borrow the title of Chandler’s famous crime novel.
Diabetes, as I’ve written often in this blog, is a huge problem. Type 1 is a problem, but Type 2 is largely discretionary and can be controlled through diet and exercise. It takes willpower, but it can be done, and it has been shown in clinical trials that a 10% weight loss can put diabetes into remission. I’ve done it, as have others I know. I remain a major fan of intermittent fasting, the 8/16 version. It works.
The combination of poor quality sleep and diabetes is disastrous.
While there has been little public discussion, this problem is known to the life insurance industry. If you require a CPAP device for sleep apnea, you will have trouble getting life insurance. If you’re diabetic and use a CPAP device, most companies will not write insurance for you.
That’s why, if you want life insurance, you need to set it up before these conditions develop. Whatever your age, certain medical conditions will make you uninsurable.