London: Struggling to sleep at night? Well, you are not alone, more than half of adults are unable to get a good night's rest, a major British study has found.

The largest ever study which looked at sleep patterns of more than 12,000 adults in Britain found that almost 51 percent struggle to nod off or remain asleep.

And women suffer far more than men, with 75 percent reporting insomnia, or trouble sleeping, compared with 25 percent of men.

"Insomnia affects people's quality of life during the day, not just their sleep at night," Professor Colin Espie, a sleep expert at the University of Glasgow, said.

"Living with poor sleep and its consequences is not only very common, but it is in all likelihood degrading Britain's health," Prof Espie was quoted as saying by a mail.

The survey found that 55 percent of adults reported relationship difficulties as a result, it affected the concentration of 77 percent, 64 percent said they were less productive at work, 83 percent had mood problems and 93 percent lacked energy.

Professor Espie, who believes better treatment for sleep deprivation should be available on the NHS, added, "This is not a trivial matter. Persistent poor sleep elevates the risk of developing new illnesses.”

"This has been shown in disorders such as diabetes, but also very convincingly in depression," he said, adding that a quarter of those with insomnia had suffered for over 11 years.

Another survey of 3,000 adults found that 70 percent of people believe they don't get enough sleep and 57 percent lie awake at night worried about work or money.

The result is that one in ten check work emails, six percent wake up their partner if they can't sleep, 26 percent listen to music and 18 percent believe having sex helps.

The study also found that half of people blamed a poor mattress for a bad night's sleep. But more women seemed to avoid any problems, with 21 percent regularly getting more than eight hours' sleep compared to just 14 percent of men.

(Agencies)