A new study suggests that people who naturally get more REM sleep may be less sensitive to frightening things, reports The Atlantic.

“REM is very unique because it’s the only time that area of the brain is completely silent,” said Shira Lupkin, one of the study’s authors and a researcher with the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University. “One theory is that this allows you to wipe the slate clean before you start again the next day. If you have less REM, then you have less of an opportunity to reduce your overall levels of norepinephrine, which will make you more reactive the next day to a given stimulus.”