Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Do you dream of cheese?

September 29, 2014

Cheese Slicer | UncommonGoods

Well, that seems like a bit of a personal question. But we can at least say that what dreams you do have may in fact be under the influence of cheese. It has long been believed that cheese before bed would result in vivid nightmares, as seen in Winsor McCay’s 1904 comic strip Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, or in A Christmas Carol when Charles Dickens has his character Ebeneezer Scrooge blame his ghostly visions on an undigested crumb of cheese. However, science is shining a new light on this particular folklore. According to a 2005 study in the United Kingdom (which, it should be said, was sponsored by the British Dairy Board), not only did cheese not provoke nightmares, but variety of cheese before bed appeared to actually influence the kind of dreams one would have. Test subjects who sampled cheddar before bed reported high rates of dreams about celebrities. Stilton, a particularly potent blue cheese, apparently produced more bizarre, surreal dreams, while those who ate Red Leicester reported very restful sleep, and dreams about past events. Results may vary from person to person, of course, but the song may be true after all (with a slight variation to the lyrics): “Sweet dreams are made of cheese.”

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