So, you want to know, does blue cheese cause weird dreams?
I’m sure you’ve heard about cheese, dreams, and nightmares before.
Then again, there are those who claim that blue cheese, in particular, gives them the weirdest and most vivid dreams.
But is there actually any truth to this?
Will blue cheese really give you a freaky, eerie, and kooky night’s sleep?
Let’s find out.
There is no actual scientific evidence that blue cheese causes weird dreams. In fact, there is no evidence that cheese, in general, can affect your dreams or even give you nightmares. That being said, blue cheese, and most highly-matured cheeses, can contain tryptamine and tyramine, which are known to have psychoactive properties. These are typically by-products of the bacterial cultures usually found in blue cheese. Therefore, this may cause changes in mood, thoughts, and feelings.
1. Is the Blue Cheese Weird Dream a “Myth”?
So, there is no actual real hard evidence that blue cheese gives you weird dreams.
The same can be said for any cheese affecting your dreams and perhaps even giving you nightmares.
That being said, the food you consume, especially if you eat just before bed, can have an impact on your night’s sleep.
Okay, we’re probably all more used to not being able to sleep because we’ve gorged on a late-night snack, and your belly hasn’t settled down yet.
But food, in general, does have an effect on our mental well-being, so it may influence our dreams.
As an example, your body’s core temperature needs to drop approximately one degree in order to get a good night’s sleep.
But, eating just before sleep, irrespective of the type of food, can throw your body out of whack, increase your core temperature, and you, therefore, have trouble sleeping.
The tossing and turning you go through could potentially lead to some strange dreams once you drop off, although it’s unlikely.
However, I don’t want to completely disregard the notion that blue cheese gives you weird dreams.
The main reason for this is that there are certain ingredients that can indeed potentially affect your mental state (more on this in a moment).
So, if you happen to go to sleep straight after eating blue cheese, you MAY have a weird dream.
However, I also believe that we as humans are very suggestible.
So, the simple fact there has been an ongoing rumor for many years about cheese and dreams can obviously influence people.
We believe it to be true, and therefore it actually happens.
2. How Could Blue Cheese Give You Weird Dreams?
Okay, there may be something to the blue cheese-weird dream phenomenon, but I want to emphasize the word “may.”
Firstly, many foods contain the amino acid tryptophan.
So, as this is an amino acid, it is typically found in high-protein foods.
Therefore, tryptophan is found in chicken, turkey, some fish, and most dairy products.
However, cheese, especially aged cheese (such as blue cheese), contains naturally high levels of tryptophan.
And it just so happens that our brains manufacture the neurotransmitter and hormone serotonin from tryptophan.
Serotonin mainly acts as a mood stabilizer; it helps to produce healthy sleeping patterns, as well as boosts your mood.
So, what has this got to do with blue cheese?
Well, the bluer and smellier a cheese, the higher the levels of biologically active compounds.
These compounds actually occur as a by-product of bacterial cultures, generally associated with blue cheese.
Two of these compounds, namely tryptamine (which is related to tryptophan) and tyramine, are known to have psychoactive properties.
In other words, these compounds can cause changes in mood, thoughts, behaviors, and awareness.
So, this could potentially be an explanation for those weird dreams you get after eating blue cheese.
3. Are There Any “Scientific” Studies of Dreams?
The British Cheese Board conducted a study back in 2005.
Now, this isn’t exactly what I’d call a “scientific” study.
Plus, as I’ve already mentioned, we as human beings are very suggestible.
So, the results from this study have potentially been swayed by the participant’s expectations of eating cheese and having weird dreams.
There were 200 participants who took part in the study, and they had to eat two-thirds of an ounce of cheese an hour before going to sleep.
Here are some of the highlights from the British Cheese Board’s study:
- Cheddar Cheese made many participants dream of celebrities.
- Blue Cheese gave some volunteers weird dreams.
- Cheshire Cheese produced no dreams whatsoever.
- Red Leicester led to nostalgic dreams about childhood, family, etc.
- Lancashire Cheese led to dreams about work and careers, and one participant even dreamed of being prime minister.
Can Eating Cheese Before Bed Change Your Dreams?
So, I hope you understand that there is no real scientific evidence to prove that blue cheese causes weird dreams.
In fact, the impact of cheese, in general, on our dreams could actually simply be down to suggestibility.
Basically, we’ve all heard the rumor about cheese causing weird dreams, nightmares, etc., and therefore we actually experience it because it’s what we expect.
That being said, eating cheese, or any food for that matter, just before bed can affect your body’s core temperature, which needs to drop by approximately one degree in order for us to sleep.
However, a late-night snack can obviously affect digestion, which in turn means that our body temperature can increase as we try to digest the food we’ve eaten.
This can clearly lead to it being a struggle to fall asleep, which may potentially affect your dreams.
If this is one of your favorite snacks, here’s an explanation of why you can safely eat blue cheese mold.