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What Are Sweet Dreams Really Made Of?

cheese

At Bedpost we know that the key to a great night’s sleep is the perfect match of a mattress and pillow to suit your body and sleeping style.

But once we’ve kitted you out to ensure you get the right amount of sleep, we’re still a little interested in what happens once you close your eyes and drift off to dreamland.

Our favourite research into sleep is the British Cheese Board’s “Cheese and Dreams” study which investigated the old wives’ tale that munching on a block of tasty before hitting the sack gives you nightmares.

The research involved 200 volunteers eating a 20g piece of various types of cheese 30 minutes before each bedtime over a week, and then recording their dreams each morning.

The results showed that, far from giving you nightmares, cheese seemed to actually promote a good night’s sleep with 72% of those tested reporting their slept well every night, 67% remembering their dreams and a resounding 0% experiencing nightmares!

“One of the amino acids in cheese – tryptophan – has been shown to reduce stress and induce sleep so cheese may actually help you have a good night’s sleep,” said Dr Judith Bryans, Nutrition Scientist at The Dairy Council.

And Neil Stanley, PhD Director of Sleep Research HPRU Medical Research Centre at the University of Surrey said: "The Cheese and Dreams study conducted by the British Cheese Board is the first study of its kind and suggests that eating cheese before you go to bed may actually aid a good night’s sleep.”

Strangely, the study also seemed to show that you could determine the type of dream you’re going to have by choosing a specific type of cheese.

The weirdest dreams were reported by 85% of the women and 75% of the men who ate stilton – with dream highlights including talking soft toys, a vegetarian crocodile and soldiers using kittens rather than guns.

Cheddar caused 65% of people to dream about celebrities, more than 60% of those who nibbled on Red Leicester revisited their schooldays, long-lost childhood friends or former homes; all female participants who ate brie had nice relaxing dreams whereas male participants had cryptic dreams; two-thirds of all those who ate Lancashire had a dream about work and more than half of Cheshire eaters had a dreamless sleep.