Posted by: Jodi | October 18, 2010

Cheese Influenced Dreaming

Some of us pull our ideas from personal experience, some from movies or music, some from the air, and some visit us in the dark hours of the night.

Dreaming has never been a reliable way of conjuring up new story concepts.  It usually happens, at least in my case, when I’m neck-deep in a different project and don’t have the luxury of starting something new.  I have a file where these ideas are kept, often jotted down as soon as I can clear the grit from my eyes.  Most of the time when I return to look at these ideas they make about as much sense as a dream can be expected.  Perhaps this is why the experimental genre has grown in popularity, so that these ideas have somewhere to go.

The British Cheese Board did a study on the effect of cheese on dreaming.  Turns out that several people had noticed more vivid and intense dreams after consuming their favorite cheese before retiring.  According to the 2005 study different cheeses affected dreams in specific ways.

Click here to read the study results

I tried Stilton for the first time last week.  For those unfamiliar with Stilton imagine a firm Roquefort or Gorgonzola – both hearty blue cheeses.  Stilton is one of the cheeses on the study.  Turns out that 85% of woman and 75% of men have more vivid dreaming after consuming a 20 gram serving of Stilton 30 minutes before bed.  No one reported bad dream experiences, just bizarre.

The first night I didn’t have any bizarre vivid dreams.  However, the second night . . . dang.  Here it goes:

I was walking along a small sandy beach when without warning the sand changed from cool to blistering hot.  Someone mentioned that it was some geothermal event and everyone needed to run. I wasn’t fast enough and fell in the sand but had the presence of mind to crawl to the safety of the rocks.  I knew that I was burned, perhaps terribly so, but couldn’t feel it.  The scene changes to that of a medical facility unlike any I had ever seen.  They are in the process of treating the burns which I still cannot feel more than a dull ache.  I receive visitors and well wishers and am annoyed that everyone is acting like life is over for me.  I prove them wrong and fight to regain functionality.  Walking feels alien and awkward, like I’m trying to control someone else’s body. Then I wake.

I didn’t find the dream disturbing, which now thinking about it, perhaps should have.  It was so intense that it woke me and I wanted to churn it over and over in my mind instead of returning to sleep.

I’ve only had the one vivid cheese enhanced dream, but I would like another.

Stilton anyone?

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Responses

  1. Ah, that explains my dream featuring Colin Firth, a motor cycle and lots of soap suds …
    Bring on the Stilton!

    • Wow, I think your Stilton was a bit better than mine.

  2. Sounds like fun.

    The only hard part for me would be remembering the dream after I woke up – I’ve had some weird ones that I rolled over & forgot.

    • I’ve heard that if you make a more conscious effort to remember you can teach your brain to recall dreams better. Of course I have a tendency to be woken up mid dream more frequently with night visits of the monkeys.

  3. Stilton – here I come! I could do with a bizarre dream. In fact I could do with some sleep!

    • I don’t think that Stilton will help with the getting to sleep or staying asleep part, but it might make what you get more fun!

  4. VERY interesting.

  5. Perhaps that’s why my wife’s response to some of my initital story ideas is “that’s just cheesy.” I prefer cheeses with hot peppers embedded therein.

    • Methinks that you might be suffering heartburn… Ideas always sound cheesy when you try to explain them in their conceptual phase. Believe me I’ve tried.

  6. I don’t need cheese to have strange dreams 🙂

    I’ve had dreams where I was running around with Indiana Jones on a cool adventure. Another where Godzilla was attacking London and I was hiding for him and a couple of others where I’ve turned into some kind of furry animal. I’ve been a squirrel and a rabbit 😉

    Who knows what kind of dreams I’d have IF I had Stilton…the prospect is a bit scary with my crayz imagination!

    • As a kid I used to dream of being a Power Ranger in Indiana Jones type settings – very odd since I never watched the show. They said that no one had scary dreams with it, but you might be the first!

  7. Teaching yourself to remember your dreams (a learned skill) is well worth your time.

    While I do not believe that there is, or could be a single-source dream dictionary (we’re all too different for that), I do think that a good many, and perhaps all of our dreams are our sub-conscious working out, or reviewing issues from our waking lives and our pasts.

    I love dreams, and many of my stories–some of my better stories–are directly from dreams.

    • I read that most nights our brains have the equivalent of a nightmare but we rarely remember them. It’s a coping mechanism to help the brain sort things out.

  8. I don’t need dreams that are weirder than the ones I already have. They keep me from getting a straight night of sleep most of the time.

    Just say no to cheese!

    • Never! I’ll be a cheese eater forever.

  9. We’re having lasagna tonight with ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan . . . I’ll dream in triplex.

    Last night, we had mac and cheese. One dream that I recalled this morning included being attacked by a man with a chain saw.

    Decidedly unpleasant.

    Maybe I’ll become a vegan and say no to cheese!

    • Come now, a chainsaw wielding madman is no reason to become vegan. Think of all the lovely gooey goodness you’ll miss!

  10. tried stilton with fresh peeled pears – love at first bite. thx for the introduction. let’s see how i dream.

    • It was a fun night, thanks for having us over!


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