Indulging in a few Christmas tipples is all part of the festive fun but, if research published yesterday by mobile phone conent firm Zed is anything to go by, you may want to stay off the bottle until you've finished sending your text messages.

The Finnish-owned firm found that over half (59 percent) of UK mobile phone users have sent inappropriate or offensive text messages while inebriated.

Women, according to the survey, were the worst culprits with almost half admitting to sending 'rude' messages and texting their ex-boyfriends while under the influence.

But, when sober, women suffered more guilt for their drunken antics than men.

"We were surprised to find that while women behaved badly with their mobile phones when drunk, men were far more cheeky once they'd sobered up," said Richard Hancock, UK manager for Zed.

Over a fifth of people said they have had to call friends to apologise for their drunken ramblings the morning after.

"It seems that with the Christmas party season in full swing there are going to be a lot of people struggling with what we call the 'mobile hangover'," said Hancock.

Last month 1.2 billion text messages were sent, according to figures recorded by the MDA (Mobile Data Association), a major increase from last November's 673 million.

The MDA is sure things will hot up over Christmas and the New Year, with record figures expected. This, alas, also means there could be a record number of people waking up with 'mobile hangovers' this year.