Why Cheese Makes You Sleepy
- 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
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
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
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:
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).
Robert "Notmilkman" Cohen