Sex or Sleep? You Gotta Ask the Question

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After a day at the office, what are you most looking forward to? A hard day's night, or a good night's sleep?

Americans work hard, but maybe we don't have the energy left to play hard. (C'mon we're all adults here.)

Earlier this month Furniture Today pointed out a survey by the Sleep Council which said people prefer sleep over sex by a 3-2 margin (61 percent versus 39 percent). "It has been said that sleep is the new sex," claims the trade publication. "Sleep is such a precious commodity that it's even more highly valued than sex."

Think pillow talk without much talk.

Women prefer sleep to sex more than men--79 percent of women versus 42 percent of men (wait, that means only 58 percent of men prefer sex to sleep?).

The proof may be in the bottom line. Temper-pedic reported better than expected earnings this week, sending shares higher, while Select Comfort disappointed. An article last year inBarron's suggested that Temper-pedic beds, which mold themselves to the body, are not very conducive to anything other than, you know, sleeping.

(Read More: Herb's Take on Both Sides of the Bed)

Furniture Today suggests retailers keep that in mind. "Some bedding veterans don't believe that sex should be discussed on the sales floor...sales associates should talk about how a new mattress delivers a better night of sleep. That's what most consumers want."

Well, hold on a second.

Sealy raised a few eyebrows with a very sexy commercial called "Afterglow." In the commercial, couples clearly don't have sleep on their minds, and they have the mattress springs to support it.

However, in a very clever move by Sealy, the "encounters" are staged to look like they happened in the morning...after a good night's sleep. It's the best of both worlds. And perhaps that is why Sealy's stock has soundly outperformed both Temper-pedic and Select Comfort over the last year.

Sweet dreams.

—By CNBC's Jane Wells; Follow her on Twitter: @janewells