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New Survey Highlights the Significant Impact of the Economic Downturn on Europe's Sleep

COPENHAGEN, March 20 /PRNewswire/ --

- On Average a Quarter of Europeans Surveyed From UK, Portugal, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland Claim Worsening Quality of Sleep Thanks to the Economy(1)

- Portuguese are Most Affected, With 42% Making the Admission, Compared to 17% of the UK(1)

- 66% of European Adults on Average Have Experienced Problems Sleeping Over the Last 12 Months, but Only 19% of These Have Visited the Doctor(1)

- Debilitating Next-Day Side Effects Associated With Sleep Deprivation Could be Costing Europe Billions of Euros, Increasing Traffic Accidents and Seriously Impacting on the Health and Well Being of Those Affected

Lundbeck today announced the results of a new sleep survey of 6,694 Europeans (aged 18+) across seven countries to mark the second annual World Sleep Day, which falls today, 20th March. World Sleep Day is an international event organised by the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) and is aimed at raising awareness of the burden and impact of sleep disorders. The survey was conducted online by YouGov.

Of the 66% of Europeans in these 7 countries who have experienced sleep problems over the past 12 months, on average nearly half have experienced poor concentration during the next day, one in five feel their work has been affected and 68% suffered from sleepiness during the day1. Not only do next-day side effects from poor quality (non-restorative) sleep have a serious impact on an individual's health and well-being, they also create a significant burden on society. While little information is available about the direct and indirect cost of sleep problems in Europe, in the US it is estimated that insomnia costs society up to $107 billion a year(2).

Through World Sleep Day, WASM is also highlighting the dangers of drowsy driving, caused by people suffering next day effects of sleep problems. WASM claims that improved diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders could help to cut fatal or serious road traffic accidents by up to one third(3).

"This survey highlights that despite the availability of a broad range of treatment options for the significant number of people across Europe suffering from sleep problems, very few people are seeking support from their doctor," said Professor Colin Espie, Professor of Clinical Psychology Director, University of Glasgow Sleep Research Laboratory . "There is no need for people to suffer in silence when lifestyle changes and treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapies and medications can all help to tackle sleep problems."

Interestingly, the survey reveals that Polish adults are the worst affected with sleep problems, with over three quarters (76%) experiencing difficulties sleeping over the last 12 months, compared to just 57% of UK adults. It's also not good news for European women who on average suffer from more sleep problems than their male counterparts (73% of women vs. 59% of men)(1).

As demonstrated by this survey, sleep habits and patterns are different throughout Europe, and reported sleep quality differs from nation to nation. No clear reason exists why some nations sleep better than others; however some links have been made to cultural behaviours and differences towards sleep.

"Sleep disorders affect some 238 million people worldwide. In the US alone, almost 60 million complain of insomnia(4)," said Executive Vice President Anders Gersel Pedersen, Head of Drug Development at Lundbeck. "Sleep is a basic human need and is as important as eating or drinking. A lack of sleep or poor quality sleep leads to long and short-term health risks."

In the short-term, people with the most common sleep disorder, insomnia, suffer from poor alertness, impaired efficiency, difficulty in concentrating and excessive daytime sleepiness(5). They also suffer from increased irritability and mood swings that can have a negative impact on relationships(6). In the longer term, there are a number of serious health implications that can be linked to sleep disorders and insomnia, including depression and anxiety, obesity, glucose intolerance leading to type 2 diabetes, weakened immune system, heart attacks, stroke and falls(7,8,9).

Notes to Editors

About the Survey

The survey polled a total of 6,694 adults (18+). Total sample sizes were 2194 adults in the UK, 1000 in Germany, France and Poland, and 500 in Czech Republic, Hungary and Portugal. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29th January and 10th February 2009. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults (aged 18+) in each individual country. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Where 'European adults' have been referenced, an average figure was taken from all 7 countries.

A breakdown of the survey results can be requested from the contact provided above.

About World Sleep Day

World Sleep Day is an annual event to raise awareness of the importance of sleep for good health. This year's slogan is 'Drive alert, arrive safe'. The event is organized by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Association of Sleep Medicine (WASM) and aims to lessen the burden of sleep problems on society through better prevention and management of sleep disorders. Lundbeck is a gold sponsor of World Sleep Day 2009.

About Lundbeck

H. Lundbeck A/S, gold sponsor of World Sleep Day is an international pharmaceutical company engaged in the research and development, production, marketing and sale of drugs for the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. In 2008, the company's revenue was DKK 11.3 billion (approximately EUR 1.5 billion or USD 2.2 billion). The number of employees is approximately 5,300 globally. For further information, please visit

In support of World Sleep Day, Lundbeck is undertaking insomnia awareness activities in countries across the world and has launched to provide more information to patients suffering from insomnia. Additional information along with video footage is also available at


1. Data on file. YouGov sleeping problems survey. All figures unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Fieldwork undertaken between 29th January - 10th February 2009.

2. Reeder CE, Franklin M, Bramley TJ. Current landscape of insomnia in managed care. Am J Manage Care 2007; 13(Suppl 5): S112-6

3. Department for Transport, Sleep related vehicle accidents. accidentsno22?page=2 . Last accessed 18/12/08

4. Neurotech Insights. The neurotechnology industry newsletter. February 2009. Volume 5: 2

5. Ohayon MM et al. Correlates of global sleep satisfaction in the psychiatric diagnosis categories. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2002; 56: 239-240

6. Pilcher JJ. Sleep quality versus sleep quantity: relationships between sleep and measures of health, well-being and sleepiness in college students. J Psychosom Res. 1997; 42(6): 583-96

7. Taheri S, Lin L, Austin D et al. Short sleep duration is associated with elevated ghrelin, reduced leptin and increased body mass index. PLoS Med 2004; 1(3): e62

8. Gottlieb DJ, Punjabi NM, Newman AB et al. Association of sleep time with diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance. Arch Intern Med 2005; 165(8): 863-7

9. Gumustekin K, Seven B, Karabulut N et al. Effects of sleep deprivation, nicotine and selenium on wound healing in rats. Neurosci 2004; 114: 1433-1442

    For further media information, please contact:

    Mani Reel at The Red Consultancy on +44(0)20-7025-6584 or email

    Mads Kronborg, Communication Specialist, Corporate Communication,
    Lundbeck on +45-3643-2851 or email

SOURCE H. Lundbeck A/S
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