Majority of New Zealanders use mobile phones just before bed, ignoring health advice - research

Majority of New Zealanders are using mobile phones just before bed, ignoring health advice, according to Vodafone Consumer Insights.
Professionals advise not using a screen for at least 60 minutes before sleep. Photo credit: Getty

Despite advice from health professionals to not use mobile phones just before going to sleep, the vast majority of New Zealanders do, according to new research.

A survey conducted this month by Colmar Brunton of 1000 mobile users in Aotearoa found 80 percent used their phones less than 60 minutes before going to bed.

Twenty-one percent of participants admitted to using their mobile phone "immediately" before sleeping.

The research, commissioned by Vodafone NZ, shows most Kiwis are making it more difficult for themselves to get a good night's sleep.

According to, using mobile phones and other screens like laptops or TVs before bed "delays your body's internal clock (aka your circadian rhythm), suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and makes it more difficult to fall asleep."

An article on Psychology Today listing six ways using your mobile phone at night will leave you "sleep-deprived and exhausted" recommends ditching all screens 90 - 120 minutes before going to bed.

The Vodafone Consumer Insights research, which surveyed customers from multiple mobile telecommunications customers, found that younger New Zealanders were more likely to ignore the advice from professionals.

Sixty-one percent of Kiwis aged 18-34 said they used their mobile phones within the 15 minutes before they go to sleep.

The research also found that 10 percent of respondents confessed to "always" using their phone while sitting on the toilet, while only 35 percent said they "never" did.

It's also now normal for Kiwis to use their devices while watching TV, according to the survey. Three out of four respondents admitted they are on their mobile phones whilst also watching television on another device.