SLOUGH, England, March 19, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- As a committed supporter of World Sleep Day, UCB has joined forces with the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) to raise awareness of the importance of sleep for health, and to encourage those with sleep-affected conditions to pay as much attention to the amount and quality of their sleep as they do to their diet and exercise.

Up to a quarter of Britons have a clinical sleep disorder which can include; insomnia, sleep apnoea and restless legs syndrome (RLS).(2) More than 80% of those diagnosed with RLS have sudden uncontrolled limb movements while they are asleep(3) - leading to disturbed sleep for them and their partners.

Sleep is vital to good health - just as much as cutting out processed foods high in salt, sugar and fat. says Dr Adrian Williams, Founder of Sleep Disorders Centre at St Thomas's Hospital, London. For some conditions such as Parkinson's disease and restless legs syndrome, symptoms have to be under continuous control during sleep, so that disruption to morning activities and exhaustion can be kept to a minimum.

Lifestyle and environmental factors are increasingly causing difficulties sleeping, and sleep deprivation can result in physical repercussions, cognitive impairment and mental health complications. These can include fatigue, hypertension, performance and attention deterioration, diminished concentration and intellectual capacity, and an increase in the likelihood of accidents at work and while driving. (4)

We are delighted to be supporting World Sleep Day this year - it is a real opportunity to highlight the health benefits of a good night's sleep, said Rupert Haynes, Head of Movement and Sleep Disorders, UCB. Many conditions that are properly controlled at night can have a positive impact on a person's quality of life.

Notes to the editor

About World Sleep Day(5)

World Sleep Day is an international annual event, intended to be a celebration of sleep and a call to action on important issues related to sleep, including medicine, education, social aspects and driving. It aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders. World Sleep Day 2010 is being held on March 19th, under the slogan Sleep Well, Stay Healthy.

This marks the third World Sleep Day event organised by the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM).

As a committed sponsor of World Sleep Day, UCB is supporting the WASM in its aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of these disorders.

About Restless Legs Syndrome(6)

Restless legs syndrome is a neurological disorder characterised by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move when at rest in an effort to relieve these feelings. RLS sensations are often described by people as burning, creeping, tugging, or like insects crawling inside the legs.

About UCB

UCB, Brussels, Belgium is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development and commercialisation of innovative medicines with a focus on the fields of central nervous system and immunology disorders. Employing approximately 10,000 people in over 40 countries, UCB generated revenue of EUR 3.1 billion in 2009. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels .

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and beliefs of management. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to be materially different from those that may be implied by such forward-looking statements contained in this media alert. Important factors that could result in such differences include: changes in general economic, business and competitive conditions, effects of future judicial decisions, changes in regulation, exchange rate fluctuations and hiring and retention of its employees.


1. Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E (2004) Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Med 1(3): e62 2. BBC Online. 'A hard night's sleep'. Science nature: Human Body Mind. (02/03/2010) 3. Trenkwalder C, Paulus W,Walters AS. The restless legs syndrome. Lancet Neurol 2005; 4: 465 4. World Health Organization, European Sleep and Health Report, 2004 5. - [accessed 3rd March 2010] 6.


CONTACT: For further information: Freeha Rafiq, UK Communications, UCB,Tel: +44(0)1753-447573, Email:; Media enquiries,Joanna Dixon, Tel: +44(0)207-395-7111,