This company will pay you $1,000 to eat cheese before bed every night
Don’t you hate it when you wake from an especially Gouda dream, and then later on, you Camembert it?
There’s a scene in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (the Muppet one, of course) when Scrooge dismisses the ghost of his old partner Marley as an artifact of dinner. “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!” he scoffs.
It’s an old idea, then, that a heavy meal can affect our dreams, and it’s cheese that’s often singled out for blame when it’s a bad one. The snooze experts at Sleep Junkie, online home of mattress reviews and sleep research, want to get to the bottom of this dreamy, creamy legend. The company is paying a few lucky participants to record their dreams after eating different cheeses every night for three months. The cheese-eaters’ compensation, other than all that free cheese? $1,000. That’s a lot of cheddar!
Dorothy Chambers, an in-house sleep expert with Sleep Junkie, tells TODAY.com that the researchers have several questions in mind. “Do testers feel they sleep better or worse after eating cheese right before bedtime? Are they more energized when they wake up? Are they experiencing more nightmares? Are there nutritional aspects to consider if we hear that certain cheeses trigger similar responses among participants?”
“How can I apply?” you might be thinking — and you wouldn’t be the only one. Just one week since posting the application online, the company has received over 15,000 requests to participate.
There’s quite a bit of research on the effects of our late-night meals on our chances of getting restful shut-eye. Things like tryptophan, B vitamins, histamine, tyrosine and lactose are all implicated in changes to the quality of sleep, for better or worse — some of them might make sleep deeper, and some might increase chances of waking from a dream in order to remember it.