Sunday, August 19, 2007

This would explain Packer fans...

Having bad dreams? You know, the kind where you realize you are standing naked on the floor of the Board of Trade and suddenly your second-grade teacher shows up with a hippopotamus...

No? Well, never mind...

Part of your problems could be eating cheese.
The chemistry of dreams goes back to before biochemistry began.

Scrooge blamed his nocturnal ghosts on a "crumb of cheese", and I know what he meant. I find it almost impossible to get an undisturbed night's sleep after eating the stuff and - worse - after drinking red wine.

The effect is very real - the last time I tried a refreshing bottle of red late at night I ground my teeth so hard that I smashed a molar.

Now the substances behind such unwanted nightmares are being tracked down. Tyramine, the main culprit, is based on the carbon ring of Kekulé's dream, and is broken down by the same enzymes as those hard at work during paradoxical sleep.

Aged cheeses, like Stilton, and heavy red wines are most to blame, while soy sauce and smoked fish are both rich in the stuff. [More]
But wait - it gets even better. You can choose your dreams.

85% of females who ate Stilton had some of the most unusual dreams of the whole study. 65% of people eating Cheddar dreamt about celebrities, over 65% of participants eating Red Leicester revisited their schooldays, all female participants who ate British Brie had nice relaxing dreams whereas male participants had cryptic dreams, two thirds of all those who ate Lancashire had a dream about work and over half of Cheshire eaters had a dreamless sleep.

Commenting on the study, Neil Stanley, PhD Director of Sleep Research HPRU Medical Research Centre at the University of Surrey says: "The Cheese and Dreams study conducted by the British Cheese Board is the first study of its kind and suggests that eating cheese before you go to bed may actually aid a good night’s sleep.

What is particularly interesting is the reported effect different types of British cheese have on influencing the content of dreams. It seems that selecting the type of cheese you eat before bedtime may help determine the very nature of often colourful and vivid cheese induced dreams”

This is all well and good for the Brits. But my question is will a Double Cheese Whopper make me dream about Carol Drinkwater and me surfing off Baja California?

It's all about science, ya know.


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