September 23, 2013 | Jasmine

I sometimes dream of large frying pans sizzling with bacon, only to wake up and find someone in my kitchen is actually frying bacon. But smells can affect us in more profound ways than the odd dream.

Participants in a sleep study at Northwestern University were exposed to smells they associated with fearful memories. Surprisingly, the participants became less and less afraid the more they were exposed to the smells while sleeping soundly. Will psychotherapy sessions in the future involve a warm, snuggly duvet?

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Fear in the test subjects was measured by seeing how sweaty they were.

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Image: Flickr/danielfoster437

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