Why Avoid Cheese Before Bed?

Cheese is indeed one of the most delectable snacks out there. It is often included in cooking different dishes but can also be enjoyed as a snack alone. There are many different types of cheese out there, and each of them offers unique tastes and aromas. However, when it comes to issues about health, many people find cheese to be unhealthy due to the high fat it contains, which is one of the drawbacks of cheese. It is also often linked to obesity. In addition to that, some also say that eating cheese before bed often had some negative effects associated with it. Some of these are nightmares, insomnia, and indigestion. 

There is a common myth that surrounds the consumption of cheese at night. It says that it can cause vivid and terrifying nightmares. It has been passed around for years. Have you ever heard about this myth, or has anyone told you to avoid eating cheese at night? If you have and you’d like to know if it is true, read on and find out why many people say we need to avoid cheese before bed. 

Cheese-Nightmares Myth

In September 2005, the British Cheese Board studied 200 participants. With that study, they found out that, in reality, there was no link between cheese consumption and nightmares. In fact, most of the subjects said that they slept well. Aside from that, the subjects of the study also said that they could clearly recall the dreams they had throughout the night. This might be the possible explanation for where the cheese-nightmares myth came from. 

Another study was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology in February 2015. This study found that the type of food consumed has very little impact on the likelihood of dreams or nightmares. It is on the lifestyle choices of the individual in question. This means that when the food was eaten, whether the person binge-eats and his overall health all affect the possibility of dreams more than eating cheese or any other kinds of foods. 

Is It Still Not Good to Eat Cheese Before Bed?

sliced cheese

Even though there’s no proof about the cheese-nightmares myth, some people still avoid eating it before bed. Cheese may not necessarily give you nightmares, but it might well keep you up due to the chemical it has that makes the brain work even harder. This means that eating cheese before bed might make it difficult for you to fall asleep. 

While cheese is considered one of the best comfort foods out there, it is among the worst foods to eat before bed. Cheese that is strong or aged, and as well as preserved meats like ham, pepperoni, and bacon have high levels of tyramine. It is an amino acid that makes people feel alert. It is what causes the adrenal gland to release the fight or flight hormone, increasing our alertness for a few hours. 

Aside from cheese, there are other foods that can keep you awake at night, which you need to avoid before bed. These include fatty foods, as the acid production from fatty acids can cause indigestion and heartburn. You also need to avoid alcohol because even if it can help you fall asleep, it is harmful to the later stages of sleep, leading to disrupted sleep cycles. Chocolates should also be avoided as it contains high levels of caffeine that will definitely keep you awake. 

What are the Best Foods for Sleep?

Eating cheese before bed doesn’t necessarily mean you will suffer from insomnia or indigestion. Cheese is not the enemy, especially if you ensure that it is low-fat cheese. You should also remember to eat it in moderation to avoid any issues. Keep in mind that all that is consumed in excess can be bad for the health. 

If you are looking for the best foods that you can eat at night for a good sleep, here are some that we can recommend:

  • Nuts: Nuts like cashews, walnuts, and almonds can help boost serotonin levels in the body, helping people fall asleep faster. 
  • Herbs: Herbs like basil and sage are helpful in relieving tension that could keep people awake. Try sprinkling them on pasta for dinner.
  • Fish: Eating fish at night is also good as it is high in vitamin B6, which promotes the production of melatonin. It allows healthy and regulated sleep cycles. 
  • Milk: Drinking milk before bed is also recommended to aid sleep. It’s because high levels of calcium are stress relieving and can stabilize the nerves. 


Studies show that cheese is not proven to cause nightmares. However, since it is high in fat, it is still not advisable to eat cheese before bed, especially large amounts of it. But remember that cheese comes in different kinds. Therefore, if you really like to eat some at night, try to pick the healthiest among the options you have. Also, eat cheese in moderation to avoid any health issues in the long run.