9 Ways to Keep General Conference from Becoming Nap Time


One of the best things about Conference weekend is being able to eat a loaded breakfast, curl up on your couch, or relax into a padded seat, sit back with a snack, and spend four hours each day listening and absorbing the wisdom of spiritual authorities.

However, there has never been a Conference weekend when I haven’t gotten a little too comfortable and fallen asleep during a talk or two. Let’s make this the session when we don’t fall asleep. Here are the best ways to try to avoid falling asleep this Conference:

1. Get Creative

young daughter putting makeup on her dad for general conference
Maybe not this creative

Research shows that giving your eyes a break from the TV, or working on other projects while listening, can actually help you stay awake longer and increase listen skills. Doodling, coloring, or working on your latest knitting project might be something to look forward to while listening to General Conference.

2. Make it a Competition

Kelly and Michael having a push up contest
See who can do the most push ups during the hymns.

Another study showed that taking a ten-minute walk can increase your energy for up to two hours. Staying physically active in between General Conference talks will help keep your heart rate up and boost your attentiveness.

3. Work the Leverage of Bribery

Candy bribery
Add sweet incentives for paying attention

Candy can be a great incentive for kids (or adults) that struggle to focus on the meaning of the talks. At the end of each talk, ask questions about who spoke, what the talk was about, or personal thoughts about the talk. Any kind of reward helps to provide a stronger purpose for concentration. A little sugar doesn’t hurt to keep your energy up either.

4. Invest in Scotch Tape

The cat from Tom and Jerry taping his eyelids open to stay awake
Tape on your eyelids might not be the best idea, but a temporary face lift does help you stay awake.

Heightening your senses is key to staying awake. One way you can do this is massage your muscles or use your hands to lift the skin of your face. A lot of nerves run through the frontal part of your head. Pulling back and holding your skin can help to stimulate those nerves and wake them up.

5. Make a Game Out of It

Siblings staying awake by playing the slugbug game in a car
Playing slug bug–based on certain words or phrases that general authorities say–will be sure to keep you awake.

There have been plenty of games made specifically for General Conference. Printable mix-n-match pictures of the authorities and spiritual topics, Coloring pages and word searches, and even a downloadable “Guess Who?”: Conference Edition. If all else fails, slug bug will always keep you alert.

6. Take Speed Naps

Boo, from Monsters Inc, instantly falling asleep
As soon as the hymn starts…

Just resting your eyes can help you to stay awake longer. A power nap should last at least 15-20 minutes. Taking a quick nap right before the first session and between  the two sessions should assist in keeping your eyes open for a longer period of time.

7. Let There Be Light

Friends, Phoebe, my eyes GIF
Hopefully the light won’t have the same affect on you as it does on Phoebe.

Your body is regulated by an internal clock that is stimulated by natural daylight. Thus, opening the blinds, or curtains certainly brightens things up and reminds you that it is time to wake up.

8. Just Keep Drinking

Chugging water
It doesn’t need to be this extreme, but drinking water regularly does wake your insides up.

Drinking lots of cold water or munching on a small healthy snack every hour is sure to keep you awake. The sharp chill of refrigerated water keeps your brain alert because it is constantly preparing the body to eat and working to help your body bringing down its temperature.

9. No Pain, No Gain

Hitting yourself in the face
I’m sure we’ve all done this at least once when we’ve started to fall asleep. There’s a reason for it.

Studies have shown that acupressure has helped full-time students stay awake during long class hours. This includes squeezing on high stimulation points like the skin between the forefinger and the thumb, behind your earlobes, and the bottom of your feet. Try it for yourself.

Have any other suggestions for staying awake during conference? Have you tried any of these tricks? Let us know in the comment section below.

Nicole is a Technical Writer from BYU-Idaho, working as a content writer for LDS.net. A California girl married to a native Italian, Nicole has become quite cultured in the last few years. She has hiked to the top of Half Dome once, traveled to Italy and Switzerland twice, loves to run, and believes in the power of lavender-salt baths and yoga.