Does Eating Cheese Cause Nightmares?

July 2, 2018 Published by Leave your thoughts

For many years there has been a significant subset of people who believe that eating dairy, particularly cheese, can give you nightmares, if done too closely to bedtime. Somehow this came to be a rather common perception, but according to researchers and nutritionists, there is little if any research that actually supports this conclusion.

In fact, there has been little investigation into the relationship between specific foods and nightmares at all, so if anyone has ever told you eating a specific food near bedtime is likely to cause bad dreams, there isn’t going to be any evidence to support that—and as purveyors of bulk cheese in Albuquerque, NM, all of us at High Desert Provisions LLC are very thankful!

Past research

There was one frequently cited study by the British Cheese Board that investigated the relationship between cheese and nightmares. This study occurred in 2005. However, the researchers did not find any evidence to support the notion that dairy results in bad dreams.

However, researchers did find evidence to suggest that cheese can have some level of influence on the content of your dreams, and that certain types of cheeses can have certain results. For example, cheddar before bed had a stronger correlation with dreams involving celebrities.

These findings, though, should be taken with a grain of salt (or cheese). The study was never officially published in any scientific journal. Plus, the very fact that it was funded by the British Cheese Board could very well mean there was a conflict of interests involved in the study.

Still, there has been some research that did get published. One study in 2015 investigated the relationships between dreams and dairy products. Scientists asked 382 people if they believed what they ate had any effect on their dreams. Approximately 18 percent of people believed food could influence what they dream about, and of that 18 percent, 44 percent pointed to dairy as being a likely influencer. These people also reported having more frequent nightmares and other unsettling dreams, as well as a lack of sleep and a higher coffee intake, which could in itself make a big difference in the study as well.

Less than half of that 18 percent of respondents is still not a particularly significant number of people, though, so it’s hard to place any level of importance on that study as an indicator of cheese’s ability to influence dreams. Plus, the survey wasn’t necessarily based on any factual evidence, but rather whether people believed their food (or specific foods) influenced their dreams.

One hypothesis that does seem reasonable is that people have the perception of having bad dreams after a restless night of sleep. Gastrointestinal distress can cause restless or poor sleep, meaning foods more likely to cause gastrointestinal distress (such as cheese and dairy) could be associated with poor sleep, if not necessarily with nightmares.

For more information about the positive and negative aspects of cheese, we encourage you to reach out to a provider of bulk cheeses in Albuquerque, NM, and we’ll happily answer your questions.

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