I dropped two IQ points overnight.
How do I know? Well, after being woken at two in the morning by my five year old daughter, Milly, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I hit the internet. I Googled ‘sleeplessness’ and discovered some research that claims you lose one IQ point for every hour of sleep you missed the previous night.
I don’t know if the loss of IQ accumulates if you continue to lose sleep over the course of time. I sincerely hope not. If it does, I am sure to be well into the minus figures by now. I don’t think my IQ was that high to begin with, but Milly is a highly accomplished night-time waker. Never mind tackling a ‘fiendish’ sudoku over breakfast, my IQ has now dropped so low that I couldn’t even tell you the name of our current prime minister (which I understand is one of the questions asked when testing people for Alzheimer’s Disease).
So, there I was at two thirty in the morning pondering the effects of lack of sleep on my brain and body (my Googling also led me to discover that missing out on sleep can make you fat – I knew it wasn’t the chocolate biscuits that are making my clothes too tight!), when it struck me that if, after a poor night’s sleep, I feel grumpy, uncoordinated and unwilling to take on simple tasks like the housework, it is not surprising that Milly sometimes stomps about dramatically, refuses to eat her ‘growing food’ and cries at the thought of learning her spellings.
However, although my nocturnal musings may lead me to be more understanding of Milly’s behaviour in future, how I get her to sleep through the night is another story…!