By Dr. Michael Cooney, Clinical Director
Think about the day after you had a really horrible night’s sleep: You couldn’t think as clearly, you were in a bad mood, perhaps you had a headache and there was no way you were going to exercise. You didn’t feel like eating right and were too tired to socialize.
What if you felt like this every day?
As many of you know all too well, living with chronic pain has a plethora of symptoms and negative side effects. In addition to the physical and emotional pain, may people don’t even remember what it feels like to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Chronic Pain and Sleeping Problems
For people with RSD, fibromyalgia or pain after surgery, cancer and cancer treatment, sleep problems and insomnia are often nightly occurrences. In fact, up to two-thirds of patients with chronic pain conditions suffer from sleep disorders. If that’s not bad enough, insomnia has been proven to exacerbate chronic pain systems.
Sleeping problems can range from difficulty falling asleep to staying asleep or being unable to enter a deep REM sleep stage. As a result, the normal sleep pattern is disrupted; as a result, in a state of exhaustion, many people sleep during the day (and then awake all night).
Many prescription pain medications can also disrupt or inhibit sleep, in addition to the laundry list of additional negative side effects from these drugs.
When I talk with new Calmare patients about their quality of life before treatment begins, the majority tell me that their inability to get a proper night’s rest is one of the main causes of their mental and physical debilitation.
Lack of sleep can cause mental confusion, inability to exercise or move the body, emotional instability and depression.
How Calmare Helps Patients Sleep Again
Some patients reach out to me after their 10-treatment series concerned about how much they are sleeping—sometimes 12 hours a night or even more. “Is this normal?” I’m asked. “Is something wrong with me?”
No, actually, this a good thing–The improvement in sleep patterns is a response to the calming effect of Calmare MC-5A technology algorithms. “Calmare” in Italian means to calm or soothe. This effect is a result of a reduction of hypersensitivity which caused the chronic pain condition, such as CRPS / RSD. As the brain is retrained, it can also reset its healing priorities.
I respond by asking them how long it’s been since they slept through the night without awakening. Most respond in terms of years, not weeks or months.
“Your body is just catching up on all that missed sleep,” I respond. In most cases, those who report needing extra sleep after scrambler therapy eventually resume normal sleep patterns within a few months.
Six Calmare Patients Share Their Sleep Stories
I posed a query on my Facebook timeline last week inviting people who underwent Calmare Therapy to share their feedback about how their quality of sleep changed after their treatment cycle.
The responses were insightful and enthusiastic:
“I remember the best sleep after my first treatment of Calmare as I had not slept comfortably and I was in constant pain even with high doses of meds for nearly 8-10 months since being diagnosed with CRPS. After my Calmare treatment, I was able to sleep throughout the whole night in any position with even linen and blankets touching my skin.”
“Whenever I get the Calmare treatment, I sleep better than ever. I can sleep for hours at a time and still be tired. Too bad Calmare therapy can’t be used as a treatment option for insomnia!”
“I haven’t been a patient of yours but I’ve had 2 sets of Calmare treatments, once for 10 days and once for 5. I could sleep through the night without waking every 3 to 4 hours to take pain pills. Your articles and efforts help so much. Thank you so, so much for all you do!!”
“Prior to Calmare treatment, I would go days without sleeping and then when I did manage to sleep, it was broken and interrupted. Now… I can sleep all night and sometimes that’s even with an afternoon nap. 💤😘”
“Not only sleep–but dream !! When you take pain meds ( at least for me) I don’t remember dreams and in my dreams I am healthy and pain free so to not only get sleep but dream❤ Thank You Calmare NJ for all you do ! :)”
“I can now sleep on my right side which I haven’t been able to do in over 10 years! So yes! Sleep has improved for sure!!”
Improving Quality of Life
Since we introduced scrambler therapy in 2011, one of the resounding benefits, in addition to lessening chronic pain and other related physical symptoms, is the resumption of the quality of life for patients, including just being able to sleep.