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Why Cheese Makes You Sleepy

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  • Robert Cohen
    Over the years, I ve heard from many hundreds of people that, after eating cheese, they get sleepy. Each case in itself is remarkable, and would be considered
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2004
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      Over the years, I've heard from many hundreds of
      people that, after eating cheese, they get sleepy.
      Each case in itself is remarkable, and would be
      considered to be an "anecdote" by doctors and
      scientists. Hundreds of cases would be called
      "anecdotal evidence." To my understanding, there
      has been no study linking cheese consumption
      to "sleepiness."

      In the best interests of science, I am revealing why
      cheese eaters get tired. Since I am the first to report
      this, it is my option of naming this phenomenon after
      myself, so from here on, please refer to this as the
      "Notmilkman Effect."

      It has been well established that people get sleepy
      after eating Thanksgiving meals. Scientists place
      the blame upon an amino acid in turkey flesh called
      tryptophan.

      There was a time when tryptophan supplements were
      used by insomniacs. Pop a pill and go right to sleep.
      In 1990, the food and drug administration took
      tryptophan products off the market after a few
      dozen deaths were reported. More than 5,000 people
      got seriously ill after ingesting tryptophan. Some
      were diagnosed with eosinophilic-myalgia, a syndrome
      in which extreme muscle pain leads to serious swelling
      of arms and legs.

      I obtained data for the average tryptophan level in all
      cuts of turkey by accessing the United States Department
      of Agriculture Nutrient Database:

      http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp

      A 100-gram portion of turkey contains 0.31 gram of
      tryptophan. For the sake of comparison, that number
      will be our baseline.

      You might ask yourself if Gouda is good for sleep.
      Does Wisconsin's finest Cheddar cause more drowsiness
      than a group of cheeseheads talking about the Green
      Bay Packer football? Will Parmesan cheese at dinner
      put you to sleep an hour later while watching a
      performance of Figaro? How about goat cheese?

      Here's what you need to know about tryptophan levels
      in 100 gram portions of food:

      Turkey (all cuts) = 0.31 gram of tryptophan
      Cheddar Cheese = 0.32 gram of tryptophan
      Hard Goat Cheese = 0.32 gram of tryptophan
      Parmesan Cheese = 0.482 gram of tryptophan

      Advice for car owners: Don't eat cheese and operate
      a motor vehicle. If you do, have one member of your
      party assigned to be the designated non-cheese driver.
      If you know of any person falling asleep at the
      wheel and causing an accident, please call somebody
      from MACC (Mothers Against Cheese Consumption).

      Pleasant dreams!

      Robert "Notmilkman" Cohen
      http://www.notmilk.com
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