Cheese Dreams

I’ve heard it said that eating cheese before you go to bed can give you nightmares but it’s not a fact backed up by science, as far as I can tell. Want to have a guess where it comes from?

Yep, it was probably Dickens. The notion can be traced by to the publication of A Christmas Carol, where Scrooge sees the ghost of Marley and tells him flatly that he doesn’t believe in him:

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!

No one seems to know why the public imagination linked nightmares to cheese but not to any of the other foods mentioned, but more professional researchers than me have found no mention of this idea prior to the end of 1843 when A Christmas Carol was published.

(Unless otherwise stated, I get a small commission if you buy through one of these links)

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