If you’re anything like us, you will have noticed that indulging in a late night cheeseboard can sometimes lead to some freaky dreams.
While it’s not entirely clear why this is the case (it hasn’t been scientifically proven) there is enough anecdotal evidence from our cheesemongers, customers and the internet to have us wondering… why do we get weird cheese dreams?
The myth has been kicking around since the Dickens era, when famous protagonist Ebenezer Scrooge blames a bit of blue cheese for his freaky visits from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
That would be enough to make anyone lay off the Roquerfort late at night!
Back in 2005, the British Cheese Board tried to put the rumours to rest with a little study of their own.
While not particularly scientific in their approach, the Board gathered 200 volunteers and fed them 20 grams of cheese each about half an hour before their bedtime, then asked them to record their dreams and sleep quality (it’s worth noting there was no control group involved here).
Of the 200 studied, 67% recalled their dreams clearly and none of those participants reported having any bad nightmares whatsoever.
What they did find, however, was interesting - that the type of dreams you have depends on the type of cheese you eat!
Stilton will reportedly make you trip out. There were reports of talking teddy bears, soldiers using warrior kittens in place of guns and a vegetarian crocodile who was distressed that he couldn’t eat children featured among those dream diaries.
Cheddar will allegedly make you dream about celebrities, a good choice if you’d like to solve world problems with the Kardashians while you sleep.
There was no research into why exactly cheese might cause weird nocturnal visions but one internet theory makes sense to us - that the bacteria and mould contained in cheese (particularly potent in blue cheeses) might have psychoactive effects on the brain’s chemicals (It certainly works for mushrooms!)
Another interesting outcome from this informal study was the finding that cheese can actually help you fall asleep.
It contains an amino acid known as tryptophan - this same chemical compound is found in turkey, and is to blame for those unavoidable afternoon naps after Christmas and Thanksgiving lunches.
Tryptophan helps the body produce melatonin and serotonin, both hormones which contribute to a restful night. Just so long as you choose the right cheese, it appears!
If you’re interested in exploring the world of weird cheese dreams, our blue cheese hamper might just do the trick. If you dare!