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Lisa Belkin Headshot

Sex? Super Bowl? Or...Sleep!

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"80% of Moms Want to Spend Super Bowl in Bedroom" the headline on the Babycenter.com article read.

Hell yeah, I thought to myself. Then I read more closely. Oh. Those mothers weren't talking about taking a nap.

My mistake was understandable. I mean, pretty much every poll asking mothers what they would most like to do in an available bedroom finds that sex does not top the list.

Last May, iVillage told us that "63 percent of married women would rather catch an extra hour of sleep, watch a movie or read a book than have sex with their spouses." This past October, Socialmoms.com found that 51 percent of respondents said a full night's sleep was the most important thing in their life, ranking ahead of sex... and smartphones. Australian women say the same, with over half preferring an "uninterrupted night's sleep over sex." Women, by the by, are not the only ones telling pollsters they would rather be dreaming. A 2009 survey of 12,500 male and female frequent travelers by Westin Hotels and Resorts found that more than 51% preferred a "perfect night of sleep" to "great sex" (which is 20 percentage points higher than when Westin conducted a similar survey two years earlier).

But I digress. We were talking about the football, right? After all, the headline that caught my eye was about the choice between sex and the Super Bowl, not sex and sleep, and its conclusion seems to be that women are overwhelmingly uninterested in the game.

That doesn't ring true to me either. An obsession for a bunch of grown men in tight pants chasing a ball around artificial turf is hardly limited to males. Scott Adler, Babycenter's global managing editor found that out when he wrote about the "80 percent would spend the game in the bedroom" poll results. His was a retro kind of a post, based as it was on the assumption that only men like football and expanding to suggest that there were other manly things that women hated and that men could promise to forgo in exchange for sex. Things like "not smoking cigars," or not defining "cleaning the house" as "just picking up your socks."

Babycenter.com readers set him straight. Among the things that interested them more than sex, they said in the comments, was... football. Or, as a reader with the screen name Pennie put it "FOOTBALL! If my husband suggested sex OVER the Superbowl I'd have his head checked." And GBP wrote: "No way would I give up the Super Bowl to have sex. I'm female, and my team isn't even in it this year. It's the last game of the season, it will be a long six months with no football and I will enjoy every minute of it."

And there is data that hints that it's not just sex that is trumped by the Super Bowl. According to CouponCabin.com, 20 percent of respondents would play hookey from work, cancel a vacation, and even skip the wedding of a close friend in order to see their favorite team play in the big game in person. A smaller percentage said that they would actually miss the "funeral of a loved one" or "the birth of their child."

Of course they would prefer not to have to make that choice, which is why fingers are being crossed and conversations with unborn children are being had in households where early February due dates are on the calendar. As one commenter, mommyadap, wrote on Babycenter's site: "DH's fav teams are going to the sAuperbowl and he very sweetly asked me not to go into labor that day :). At least we will have something to watch while we are there? Lol. We could use Brady for a middle name :)"

Hey, it (almost) worked for Green Bay Packers defensive end Jarius Wynn last year. His wife gave birth the morning of the Super Bowl, and Wynn made it on time to play in the game. But if your contractions start during rather than before or after, mommyadap, you can always try to hold out for four quarters. Of course if you time it wrong you might have a home birth. And that just might mean you'd be spending the Super Bowl In the bedroom.