Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Let me preface my comments here by first noting that sleeping in church is really, really, wrong—but it’s not like it is one of the 10 Commandments or anything. In fact, I don’t think sleeping in church even makes the top 100 list of LDS “don’ts”—unless you squeeze it into the broadly defined “don’t give offense” category. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf once noted that he was “pretty sure that church sleep is among the healthiest of all sleeps.” For the most part, an occasional Sacrament meeting nap is harmless, however, sleep sometimes brings her ugly roommate, snoring. Pretty much everyone thinks snoring during a church meeting is disrespectful and disruptive, so it's best to try to avoid it.
Once upon a time when I was single and attending college, I was a member of the 136½ Ward. Our congregation met in a large auditorium-style classroom. The Bishopric and speakers were seated on the floor, the congregants sat in ascending rows of chairs. Everyone could see everyone else. One Sunday, I was attending and sitting all by myself. All alone. Not long after the meeting started, my late-night Saturday caught up with me and I was soon comfortably asleep. After some unknown time period, I gradually awakened, only to notice that everyone seated in front of me had turned around in their seats and were looking in my direction. I believe I may have also turned around to see what it was in the back of the room that had everyone so enthralled. No one was anywhere near me. Weird, I thought. Later I was informed that my deafening snoring had attracted the attention of everyone in the auditorium. Funny thing, it turns out that loudly snoring in church is not looked at approvingly by the single ladies. No one wants to date the infamous church-snorer. “But he snores just like my dad!” Nope.
After a long workweek, a quick nap during church can be very refreshing but it must be done without snoring. According to Dr. Internet, the best way to sleep without snoring is to wear a nasal strip or an anti-snoring mouthpiece. The trick is applying these remedies without your family noticing. If you can do this, here are a few tips that might help you sleep in Heavenly peace:
· Wear sunglasses: Sunglasses conceal your eyes and make it less noticeable if you close them to nap. To avoid suspicion, you must wear sunglasses every week—just not on Napping Sundays
· Find a good spot: Hard to do in the chapel but back or side rows work best and are less noticeable to speakers and the bishopric.
· Keep your head down: If you're napping, keep your head down and try to position yourself so that your face is not easily visible to others. I like to rest my face in my hands. You can also rest your head on the pew in front of you. Just make sure you don’t sit behind a family with toddlers, or there will be more picking up toys and hair pulling than napping.
· Use props: You can hide your napping by holding your scriptures or a lesson manual in front of your face.
· Keep your napping short: Try to keep your napping short, no more than one speaker so that you don't fall into deep sleep and become harder to rouse.
· Do Not Snore: Snoring will get you poked in the ribs, and you’ll wake up grumpy.
Now, lest it seem like I’m whole-heartedly endorsing napping in church, remember this story. When Jesus, Peter, James and John went to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Savior asked them to wait while He went to pray. Peter, James, and John promptly fell asleep. Jesus came and found them sleeping. He awakened them and asked them to stay awake. Jesus went again to pray, and the Apostles again dozed off. Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.
Morale? Like my wife, Jesus is also against sleeping in church, but if you must doze, keep it on the downlow—and please don’t snore.