Thursday, July 10

Choose The Right Cheese To Dream Of Love, Nostalgia And Wacky Things

Forgive me, I'm off on a tangent today. I think it's because I'm trying to cut down on cheese - one of my favourite foods - and I find myself seeing cheese everywhere!

Back when I was a child I was always told that I mustn't eat cheese before going to bed, as it would give me nightmares. But, according to the British Cheese Board, this isn't true:

"A British Cheese Board study asked 200 volunteers to eat 20 grams of hard cheese about half an hour before they went to bed. None of the participants experienced nightmares, in fact most recorded a good night's sleep with pleasant dreams. Interestingly the type of dream experienced appeared to be influenced by the type of cheese eaten."

All well and good, but there's been more research on this important issue (well, it must be important to someone, somewhere). This time research was carried out at the Middlesex University. Professor Ian Hindmarch, said:

"The relationship between cheese and sleep is a particularly complex one, but it was interesting to see that the study suggested no causal relationship between eating cheese and nightmares"

Being a lover of British cheeses this is good news for me. But it does appear from the study that different cheeses have different effects on sleep and dreams. A few examples:
  • Eating Somerset Brie will make you drop off to the Land of Nod quickly and you are then likely to have abstract dreams about love.
  • Munching of Red Leicester will make your dreams more vivid.
  • Stilton will make you sleep more deeply.
  • But, interestingly, if you are still with me, Cheshire stops you dreaming! Or maybe it just helps you to forget them.
  • Red Leicester seemed to be produce very nostalgic dreams that people were having about things that happened in their childhood or with their families
And a couple of dreams caused by Blue Stilton, which were the nearest to being nightmares: One of the volunteers said that she dreamed of a vegetarian crocodile who was upset because he couldn't eat children. And another one dreamed that they had soldiers fighting with each other with kittens instead of guns. Sound pretty normal to me!

So, why the variations on dreaming to what type of cheese you eat? Tryptophan is the said to be the answer.

Tryptophan is one of the amino acids found in cheese and has positive effects on mood and sleep. It could well be that the different effects of various cheeses on dreams and sleep are due directly to the effects of this substance.

Professor Ian Hindmarch concluded, "Overall, this study suggests that in changing the levels of tryptophan, cheese can assist in improving our mood and help to promote a good night’s sleep."

And not part of the study in any way was Natasha Mukhina, but she reached a conclusion about another cheese: "I've noticed that each time I eat Stilton blueberry cheese I have wacky dreams. Just last night I dreamt of a building flooding and I get on the elevator, on my way up I see floating heads... I'm pretty sure that I met the Charlie's Angels too..."

I've therefore added Stilton blueberry cheese to this weeks shopping list!

Dreamy cheese - or maybe not - with my favourite: a strong, English Mature Cheddar. Heaven!

"Cheddar originated from Somerset around the late 12th Century and took its name from the Gorge or caves in the town of Cheddar that were used to store the cheese. The constant temperature and humidity of the caves provided a perfect environment for maturing the cheese. The town also gave its name to a unique part of the cheese-making process – known as Cheddaring - which is the process of turning the slabs of curd and piling them on top of each other in a controlled way to help drain the whey.It also stretches the curd. The process helps to create a harder cheese with firm body and is unique to Cheddar making." Source

Okay, that's enough cheese for today.

P.S. One more, just remembered, when Karin was a teenager in Germany she had to milk sheep for cheese making while at agricultural college. She was obviously meant to be a farmer's wife but somehow ended up with me.

More Dream Posts:
Ancient Egyptians And Their World Of Dreams
Evil Nightmares And The Number 2
10 Story Posts Featuring Dreams

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  1. Shared your story with my colleague and you had us giggling... but in the nicest possible way. That said, I'm actually a mouse and eat cheese all the time.... couldn't live without it.

  2. I love cheese. Can't live without it. So count me among the mice, too!

    1. There seems to be a lot of mice about!

  3. Suzie16:41

    I'm the third mouse!

  4. I used to eat Swiss Cheese before bedtime,but found I would be left with too many holes in my dream recollections when I woke up .-)