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National Cheddar Day – Eating Cheese Before Bed

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Written By Connie

CPD Sleep Consultant

Featured image for eating cheese before bed

29 April 2024 6 min read

This is one of the most memorable days for cheddar and cheese enthusiasts. But is eating cheese before bed a good idea, let's find out.

Cheddar cheese was originally made in the village of Cheddar in Somerstan, England. It was created in the 12th century, and in 1894, a cheesemaker called Peter Mclntosh taught the townspeople of Tillamook County everything he knew.

He possessed a high level of cheese-making skills, which is why he was called the “Cheese King of the Coast”. Local farmers then formed a cooperative – the Tillamook County Creamery Association. Since then, we cannot imagine most dishes without a slice of cheddar, especially those evening meals.

What is National Cheddar Day?

Cheddar is a hard cheese. The traditional shape of cheddar is a cylinder, but it is also produced as a block. Its crust is smooth and hard. The middle of it is of uniform straw-yellow colour, firm, compact, and without lumps unlike Cheshire cheese or Lancashire cheese. The taste is mild, but it can also be powerful for those who don't eat cheese often. Due to the wide distribution, the cheese quality varies from area to area. It dates back to ancient times and was first made in the village of Cheddar, southwest of England.

An image of Cheddar cheese.


Many consumers recognize this cheese by the orange colour that is traditionally added to it. The actual colour of Cheddar cheese is actually cream or white, although a bit of orange has become more common. It differs from other cheeses by the production process known as “cheddaring”. In this process, the cheese is processed to obtain a specific moisture level and a unique texture.

Tips for celebrating National Cheddar Day

Make your favourite food with this delicious addition. Depending on the manufacturer, you can make different specialities. Be creative because there are many ingredients you can combine with cheddar. That way, you will achieve an even better result and mark this day. Some spicy additions are chilli and jalapeño mixed with onions, bacon, or ranch. Organize a get-together with friends if you want to take the party to a higher level. For example, have everyone bring their food or have a little competition.

An image of Cheedar cheese.

A themed party is always a good choice. To invite as many people as possible, join groups on social networks. Plan interesting content with karaoke, board games, or dancing. Suppose you and your friends like a challenge, then create a cheddar quiz competition. We are sure that it will be uncertain! However, if you are not in the mood to socialize, you can still celebrate this day at your home. Play your favourite cooking TV show to learn new recipes, or Google them.

Influence of cheese on your sleep

Low-fat cheeses are particularly rich in the essential amino acid tryptophan, which stimulates the release of the hormone serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that encourages the body to relax and is integral to managing the sleep cycle. It is also rich in calcium, which protects our bones, but its contribution to our overall health is also immeasurable. It also positively affects the nerves, muscles, digestive organs, blood flow, and metabolism. The end result of eating cheese late is a calmer nervous system and relaxed muscles helping you fall asleep faster and improving sleep quality.

An image of many different types of cheese.

Cheese – nightmares and the sleepwalking myth

If you eat cheese before bed, will you have nightmares? The cheese dream hypothesis has not been scientifically proven. However, cheddar and cheese consumption can affect what you dream about due to several compounds. Tryptamine and tyramine are believed to affect the chemical systems of the brain. Do not forget that nightmares can cause emotional or physical problems. For example, people with anxiety have a higher risk of nightmares and strange dreams which disrupt sleep. Medicines for high blood pressure can also cause restless dreams. They occur in the morning hours, in the phase of sleep before waking up. They suggest you tackle something that scares you, but it's not cheese. Vivid dreams or nostalgic dreams may interrupt your sleep patterns. The same goes for cheese-induced sleepwalking.

Foods to eat before sleep

Good sleep reduces the risk of developing certain chronic diseases, keeps your brain healthy, and strengthens your immunity. Several strategies you can use to promote sleep, each involving careful menu selection. Almonds should be on that list together with eating cottage cheese before bed. They are a source of melatonin and the sleep-enhancing mineral magnesium, two properties that can make them a great food to eat before bed. Turkey can be an equally good food due to its high amount of protein and tryptophan.

It is recommended that you also eat foods rich in serotonin and antioxidants, such as kiwi, before going to bed. An excellent source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are fish; they contain properties that will surely improve the quality of your sleep. Eating at least two hours before bed is essential, and choosing foods that do not burden the stomach. Light meals stabilize morning blood sugar.

Foods to avoid before sleep

While some foods can help you sleep, others can cause nightmares, stomach aches, insomnia, or night trips to the bathroom thus preventing quality sleep. Avoid fatty and spicy foods, red meat, and sweets like ice cream. Unhealthy fats and sugar cause cravings and overeating, leading to obesity. Avoid easily digestible food. Otherwise, the calories passing through your system will give the body a large influx of energy in a short amount of time.

Since the body does not need that much energy at that time, it will store a large amount of fat. If you are craving something sweet, have blueberries or a bar of good-quality dark chocolate. Pairing carbohydrates with protein or a little fat can help keep you full and sugar stable. Stick to the established hourly schedule, and sleep at approximately the same time. Establish your own biorhythm and determine the time for sleep.

Conclusion

Cheddar is a food that the body digests more slowly, which makes it an excellent choice before bed. Unlike refined carbohydrates and sugar, it will not turn into fat so it can be part of a healthy diet. Eating the right food before going to bed will help your body rebuild and preserve muscle tissue. So feel free to treat yourself to cheddar on this day together with other foods for healthy sleep. Considering that cheddar is rich in calcium. Not only does your body relax after you eat it, but so does your brain.

This will help prevent any awkward tossing and turning from hunger. If you are into late-night snacking, add some crackers to your midnight snacks to provoke serotonin release and a restful night. This combination of protein and carbohydrates will ensure a good night's sleep. But avoid blue cheese, stilton cheese, and above all spicy food which increases body temperature too much. Even more than energy drinks and some other heavy meals.

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About the author

Connie
As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant I know how important sleep is. And as a combination sleeper, I have found it difficult to get products to suit my sleep style. I have more than 2 years product testing experience with The Sleep Advisors which means I have slept on, with and under more than 500 products with varying degrees of success. This is added to more than 2 years experience as a product reviewer for Closer, Heat and Grazia magazines, so I've got a rigorous process. I love sharing my sleep testimonials with our readers and hearing their experiences too.
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