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Observations placeholder

Cheese and dreaming



Type of Spiritual Experience


I wonder what dreams you get with french cheese?  Ooh la la eh?

A description of the experience


Sunday, 25 September 2005 Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Cheese

The age old myth that cheese gives you nightmares has finally been laid to rest this week following the release of a new study carried out by the British Cheese Board.

The in-depth Cheese & Dreams study, a first of its kind, reveals that eating cheese before bed will not only aid a good night’s sleep but different cheeses will in fact cause different types of dreams.

Of the 200 volunteers who participated in the week-long study, 72% slept well every night, 67% remembered their dreams and none recorded experiencing nightmares after eating a 20g piece of cheese half an hour before going to sleep.

A lot of people still believe the old wives tale that cheese gives you nightmares but this study endorses the scientific facts.

One of the amino acids in cheese – tryptophan – has been shown to reduce stress and induce sleep so cheese may actually help you have a good night’s sleep,” says Dr Judith Bryans, Nutrition Scientist at The Dairy Council.

85% of females who ate Stilton had some of the most unusual dreams of the whole study. 65% of people eating Cheddar dreamt about celebrities, over 65% of participants eating Red Leicester revisited their schooldays, all female participants who ate British Brie had nice relaxing dreams whereas male participants had cryptic dreams, two thirds of all those who ate Lancashire had a dream about work and over half of Cheshire eaters had a dreamless sleep.

Commenting on the study, Neil Stanley, PhD Director of Sleep Research HPRU Medical Research Centre at the University of Surrey says: "The Cheese and Dreams study conducted by the British Cheese Board is the first study of its kind and suggests that eating cheese before you go to bed may actually aid a good night’s sleep. What is particularly interesting is the reported effect different types of British cheese have on influencing the content of dreams. It seems that selecting the type of cheese you eat before bedtime may help determine the very nature of often colourful and vivid cheese induced dreams

The origins of the cheese gives you nightmares’ myth are inconclusive. Some believe that it may have originated from Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge, who blamed “a crumb of cheese” on his night-time visitations; others people believe that its origins may lie with a Fifties’ health scare when cheese was found to be problematic for people taking a certain anti-depressant.

Now that our Cheese & Dreams study has finally debunked the myth that cheese gives you nightmares we hope that people will think more positively about eating cheese before bed,” says Nigel White, British Cheese Board secretary.

In fact, our results show that eating different types of British cheese can make your dreams more interesting so sleep could now become a whole new adventure.”

The British Cheese Board’s Cheese & Dreams study was undertaken during a seven day period with 200 participants (100 male and 100 female). Six different types of British cheese were given to an equal number of participants. There are over 700 varieties of British cheese available, with a British Cheese for every occasion.

The work of the BCB is supported by British dairy farmers through the Milk Development Council and also by associate members who are involved in the cheese supply chain.

For further information please call 020 7404 6777 and ask for:

Victoria Johnson – victoriaj@harrisoncowley.com /  07989 32585

Sarah Bentley – sarahbe@harrisoncowley.com / 07801 462518

For more information about British Cheese in general, please visit  www.britishcheese.com

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items





Science Items

Activities and commonsteps