National Sleep Foundation Co-sponsors RLS Educational Initiative with Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation

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Monday, September 22, 2008

New Educational Initiative Aims to Raise Awareness about a Medical Condition That Affects Millions of Americans

ROCHESTER, Minn. and WASHINGTON, Sept. 18— For the first time, the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation (RLS Foundation) and National Sleep Foundation (NSF) have joined together on a new national initiative about restless legs syndrome (RLS) to help increase awareness and understanding of the condition. The initiative, which includes the first-ever public service announcement to address RLS and a unique educational website, will launch in time for RLS Awareness Week, taking place September 21 -27.

Approximately 10 percent of American adults have RLS, a common neurological condition. Despite years of research and increased disease recognition, RLS is still often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. RLS is characterized by an urge to move the legs, making it difficult to relax, sit, or even sleep. As a result of the creepy, crawly uncomfortable sensations common with the condition, many people are unable to get good sleep, and therefore, experience daytime sleepiness, mood disturbance and difficulty performing daily activities.

The initiative, which is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., features people living with RLS who describe how their daily activities and overall quality of life are negatively impacted by the condition. Each person’s experience with RLS is different and their symptoms vary in severity, frequency and duration.

Lynne, age 44, is featured in the initiative. "My RLS symptoms are painful, severe and can only be relieved by moving around. RLS impacts my life dramatically and prevents me from getting the sleep I need, having a career and even being the wife and mother I want to be."

"The RLS Foundation and National Sleep Foundation are proud of their partnership to bring a face, and a voice, to RLS, a real, yet manageable medical condition. It is crucial that people realize RLS seriously impacts the lives of those who have it, and their families," said Georgianna Bell, executive director of the RLS Foundation.

"RLS can dramatically impact sleep, and lack of sleep greatly affects health, safety, productivity, mood and overall well-being. We hope that the public service announcements and


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