Does Blue Cheese Cause Weird Dreams? (Explained!)

  • There’s no scientific proof that blue cheese causes weird dreams, although it contains tryptamine and tyramine, which have psychoactive properties
  • Eating food before bed can impact sleep quality and potentially influence dreams due to changes in body temperature and digestion
  • Tryptophan in blue cheese may affect serotonin levels, potentially altering sleep and dream patterns
  • A study by the British Cheese Board suggested different cheeses might influence dream themes, but results could be influenced by participants’ expectations
  • The belief that cheese affects dreams might be more about suggestibility and expectation than direct cause and effect

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 affect our mental well-being, so it may influence our dreams.

As an example, your body’s core temperature needs to drop approximately one degree 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 certain ingredients 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 influence people.

We believe it to be true, and therefore it actually happens.

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 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.

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.

200 participants 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?

My Final Thoughts

So, I hope you understand that there is no real scientific evidence to prove that blue cheese causes weird dreams.

The impact of cheese, in general, on our dreams could simply be down to suggestibility.

We’ve all heard the rumor about cheese causing weird dreams, nightmares, etc., and therefore we 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 for us to sleep.

However, a late-night snack can affect digestion, which in turn means that our body temperature can increase as we try to digest the food we’ve eaten.

This can 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.

What other foods or habits have you observed to influence your sleep or dream patterns?

Let us know in the comments below!

Leave a Comment