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Why a quarter of adults avoid eating cheese

31 percent named the dairy item as one of their all-time favorite foods.

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food and eating concept - different kinds of cheese on wooden cutting board
(Ground Picture via Shutterstock)

By Alice Hughes, 72Point via SWNS

A quarter of adults avoid eating cheese throughout the year fearing it will give them nightmares - but are willing to indulge at Christmas.

A study of 2,000 Brits found 23 percent have experienced a bad dream after eating cheese - naming cheddar as the worst culprit - with 43 percent believing the old wives’ tale rings true.

But in the lead-up to Christmas, 40 percent plan to eat cheese daily, with 32 percent tucking into the food more than usual at this time of year.

Mozzarella, brie, goats' cheese and Cheshire cheese also featured among the top 20 cheeses people believe are most likely to give them nightmares.

The research was commissioned by Emma Sleep, which has teamed up with cheesegeek to launch a competition to find the biggest cheese-lovers to participate in an experiment to reveal if it really does give you nightmares.

To see if the old wives’ tale is true, participants will receive a hamper of British festive cheeses to eat for 15 days in order to test the effects on their sleep and dreams.


Featured cheeses for the experiment include some of the most popularly consumed from the research, including cheddar, blue and brie.

Theresa Schnorbach, sleep scientist at Emma Sleep, said: “When it comes to cheese, we know there are elements at work that can have both a positive and negative impact on our sleep - from increasing your REM sleep density to inducing hormone production which aids in regulating your body clock.

“Through this experiment we’ll explore the extent of these elements and put this old wives’ tale to the test.”

The study found that, whether a nightmare or not, 56 percent of adults think cheese has some effect on the quality of sleep they are able to achieve, with a third believing it causes vivid dreams.

And 27 percent think a cheese-heavy night can make it more difficult to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow.

Though an intrepid 21 percent would feel inclined to eat more cheese if it was proven to cause more vivid dreaming.

Of those who have avoided eating cheese before bed in the past, 56 percent will shelve the stilton and say bye to the brie before 8 P.M. - just in case.

It also emerged Christmas Day and Boxing Day are the cheesiest days of the season, with 31 percent expecting to spend both days tucking into the cheese board.

Though 27 percent admit they sleep less during the festive period than ordinary, which could be linked to their cheese intake.

And 12 percent sometimes feel sleepy or tired shortly after indulging in a cheesy treat.

It seems Brits are willing to power through the potential subconscious effects of a cheese-heavy meal though, as 36 percent professed their love for cheese.

And 31 percent named the dairy item as one of their all-time favorite foods.

In the study, conducted by OnePoll, Brits were found to eat cheese three times a week.

While a savoury 18 percent would choose cheese over chocolate given the ultimatum, and 26 percent can’t imagine cooking without incorporating it into the recipe.

Dr. Dennis Schmoltzi, CEO at Emma Sleep, said: “Whether scientifically proven or just an old wives’ tale, there’s no doubt that Brits have identified a link between their cheese intake and the strange visions that feature in their dreams.

“Unfortunately for those who believe they have had a cheese-induced night-fright, ’tis the season to be cheesy, and vivid dreams may be part and parcel with Christmas celebrations.

“The admiration and love for cheese felt by Brits is clear to see, and with Christmas on the horizon, I have no doubt that households across the country and dusting off their cheese boards.

“It is interesting to note the number of cheese-lovers who feel snoozy after indulging in their favorite snack - a relationship which might account for a portion of the unscheduled festive naps taken this Christmas.”

A quarter of adults avoid eating cheese throughout the year fearing it will give them nightmares - but are willing to indulge at Christmas. (SWNS)


  1. Cheddar
  2. Mozzarella
  3. Brie
  4. Goats' cheese
  5. Cheshire cheese
  6. Emmental
  7. Gruyère
  8. Parmesan
  9. Stilton
  10. Red Leicester
  11. Gouda
  12. Camembert
  13. Feta
  14. Gorgonzola
  15. Edam
  16. Grana Padano
  17. Halloumi
  18. Mascarpone
  19. Cotija
  20. Pecorino Romano

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