This company will pay you $1,000 to eat cheese and then fall asleep

Woman looks happy while eating cheese
Does cheese really give you nightmares? This study is aiming to find out.
Sigrid Gombert—Getty Images

It’s an age-old myth: Don’t eat cheese before you go to sleep or you’ll get nightmares.

And now one rest research company is seeking to test the theory and will pay you $1,000 for the privilege. Not only will the project seek to verify or discredit the idea but it will also analyze which cheeses impact consumers’ energy levels to the greatest extent.

The five “dairy dreamers” will be hired by Sleep Junkie for a three-month period and will eat a range of products before nodding off. Not only will they be able to expense their cheese purchases but they’ll also be given a lump sum at the end.

Starting in March, the participants will be given a list of cheeses to buy in the coming months. They will test one type of cheese every week and will need to eat it at the same time every evening before heading to bed.

After a week with one type of cheese they will break for a week in order to verify their findings. The cheeses they will test range from blue, hard, soft-ripened, and processed all the way through to lactose-free and vegan.

The participants chosen for the trial will also have to keep track of their findings. They will be asked to log their sleep quality via a tracker as well as to provide a written evaluation of how they slept. They will need to describe their energy levels throughout the week and provide notes on whether they had any dreams—or nightmares.

Ideal candidates

Sleep Junkie has set a list of requirements for their ideal candidates. The individuals must be a minimum of 21 years old; have a smartwatch or fitness tracker that evaluates sleep; and have a consistent sleep schedule already. They must also sleep alone for the duration of the trial.

The company added it was looking for people who are “self-starters, honest, with good writing skills and enjoy both sleeping and eating.”

“Everyone knows the old wives’ tale that eating cheese before bed can give you nightmares, but we really wanted to know just how much truth was in that. Here at Sleep Junkie, we stay committed to ensuring that everyone can get a good night’s sleep, but what happens if it’s a cheese addict that needs some good rest?” Dorothy Chambers of Sleep Junkie said.

“We’re also aware that it isn’t just nightmares that can play havoc on a good night’s sleep, as other factors like not having one of the best mattresses can keep you awake,” Chambers added. “So we wanted to see if there was a link between the different types of cheese and other symptoms that can leave you feeling unrested.”

Is it healthy to wake up early?

The study comes after experts said that people who wake up at 5 a.m. to jump-start their day may see improvements in their life. Samantha Snowden, a mindfulness teacher at Headspace, the popular meditation app, said getting up earlier can improve confidence because it can feel like an accomplishment.

She added that being up earlier allows people to spend 10 extra minutes slowing down (even walking a bit slower to the shower in the morning); to not check emails right away; and to practice a kindness message. A few examples she offered include “May my day be filled with ease; may I see possibility today; may I enter my first meeting with an optimistic attitude.” 

“You’re checking in with your body sensations, your mood that morning, and you’re observing it with non-judgment, with openness,” Snowden said. “That sets the tone; that sets the rhythm, the speed, [and] the pace of your morning.” 

This isn’t the first time Sleep Junkie has forked out for test subjects to help bolster its research. Earlier in the month Sleep Junkie said it would pay one lucky candidate $2,000 if they agreed to test and review a range of sleeping devices.

The person had to be a self-confessed insomniac, will be paid the equivalent of $250 an hour—and will get to keep all the high-tech sleeping devices. The individual involved in this eight-week project has been announced, and applications have closed.

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