The Dream Recovery System calls for wearing a wrist bracelet opposite of where you’d usually wear a watch when you go to sleep.
It’s a totem to help you distinguish between sleep and wakefulness. Wearing the bracelet leads to a greater number of dreams recalled. More dreams recalled means more success at dream journaling.
It’s extra, however. It’s not essential.
Are you better off wearing it?
But maybe not.
Plenty of people remember their dreams at least every now and then without taking this step.
In her widely respected books on dreams and dream journaling, Ann Faraday doesn’t ever call for this.
She has led hundreds of dreaming workshops. Regarding dreaming and sleep, we’d be the first to say she knows what she’s talking about.
The bracelet is a bother sometimes. Omitting it means one less step to do before you go to bed. Rubber bracelets get lost. They fall off your nightstand. Sometimes the plastic snaps — especially if it winds up in a pocket and goes through the washer, then the dryer and you try to put it on the next night.
Of course, a lot of things can serve as a bracelet. A stray rubber band you’ve found and appropriated, the left over wristband you pulled off from your last visit to an emergency department.
Anything that fits on the wrist, really.
Main thing is that it can’t be something you wear on your wrist all the time. Something you wear regularly defeats the distinct feeling a less-worn bracelet will give. Worn too much, it won’t work as a reminder. You’ve got to take it off, put it on, and then take it off again every day.
Moreover, wearing one doesn’t lead to 100 percent perfect dream recall. You can still be so tired you sleep right through your dream and forget all about it upon waking. You can still dream a bunch of gibberish. Both of these things seem to happen when you are the most overtired, and your body is catching up on sleep or you’ve taken some sleeping pills. Sometimes, too, sleep gets interrupted.
However, during a brief three-day test in January, our dream group recorded zero to only one dream after omitting the bracelet at bedtime. That’s a very small sample size. You could hardly call it a scientific study, but, at least for some people, wearing it makes a difference between recalling no dreams and some dreams. Presumably, we had dreams during the test period. We all just slept through them.
As the size of the dream group grows, we will revisit this question.
While the bracelet seems to make a big difference in the dream group, it may make no difference to you in your dream journaling practice.
It also seems possible that as you get more used to dream journaling, it becomes a habit. When you get used to the idea of trying to remember your dreams, the bracelet may not make a difference anymore.
What matters even more to dream recall seems to be how tired you are to begin with. When you’re so tired, you sleep right through everything, your body is trying to catch up and heal. It’s doing what it needs to do. That means you won’t recall any dreams, but that’s not necessarily bad. Sleeping, after all, is the main purpose of sleep! There will be other nights, other dreams for you to remember.
James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life.
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