Does Eating Cheese Before Bedtime Really Give You Nightmares?
In 2005 The British Cheese Board (yes, they really are called that!) carried out an experiment in which a number of people were given a 3 ounce piece of cheese to eat just before bedtime. Different people were given different types of cheese and a report was then taken to record the dreams and nightmares of all the participants to detect any patterns.
Overall, the good news for the Cheese Board was that an impressive 75 % of the participants said they slept pretty well each night, with no occurrence of nightmares and that most of them could clearly remember their dreams. This led to the conclusion that the essential amino acid in milk, and therefore cheese– tryptophan– was having its effect on the cheese eaters by stabilising their sleep patterns and reducing stress levels.
Different cheeses produce different types of dream
Strangely enough though, the different cheeses eaten resulted in different types of dreams:
Cheddar cheese tended to produce dreams about celebrities, including sitting in a pub with Jordan and playing football with Gazza. Cast members from popular soaps like Coronation Street and Emmerdale also made appearances in cheddar induced dreams
Red Leicester caused nostalgic dreams often related to childhood, whilst Lancashire cheese produced dreams about work, which could arguably be termed a nightmare for some people.
Stilton cheese produced the most vivid, unusual and downright strange dreams, including talking soft toys, lifts that move sideways and soldiers fighting each other with kittens instead of guns. Not nightmares, but certainly very off the wall dreams.
Of all the cheeses eaten, Cheshire cheese led to a peaceful, night’s sleep without any dreams at all.
No nightmares, but plenty of dreams
So does eating cheese before bedtime give you nightmares? No it doesn’t. Well at least according to research by The British Cheese Board it doesn’t. What it does seem to do though is produce a whole variety of different dreams that all seem to be fairly memorable. Which means if you’re one of those people who like to dream and really want to dream more often, then cheese for supper might just do the trick.