Women are suffering from sleepless nights due to financial worries and fears about their own and their family’s health, a survey by a medical organisation shows.

Nearly half of women say pressure in the workplace and worrying about money means they are stressed in their everyday lives, compared to four out of ten men.

According to the survey by British United Provident Association (Bupa), half of women are experiencing an increase in stress at work, compared to a third of men.

Dr Paula Franklin, deputy medical director for Bupa Health Insurance, said the credit crunch is making the impact of stress on women even worse.

"Know your body and read the stress symptoms – take regular exercise, try to eat a healthy, balanced diet, reduce alcohol consumption and learn to relax," she added.

The survey also showed a third of women take some form of regular daily exercise while one in eight do not do any at all.

Employers are also being warned they need to be aware of the signs of stress in their workers and deal with them before it is too late, according to ergonomic consultancy System Concepts.