Sleeping Versus Converting: Some Thoughts

09/01/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

We here at My Brain have offered great advice before. Here is some more. You're welcome.

If you're thinking of converting to Christianity and possibly harming other people as a result, maybe take a nap instead. It is hard to do damage when you are mid-REM cycle. On the other hand, if you are sleeping away your life because you are depressed, try becoming a Christian. It will get you out of the house, offer you a new way to think about things, and you will make friends in Church. Added bonus: none of these things slows your metabolism.

According to to an article in Thursday's New York Times, one in three American adults naps during the day. Some people nap more than others. Here are the people who nap: women, poor people--especially those making under $20,000 a year--black people, older people, unhappy people--including "those who, regardless of their income, were dissatisfied with their personal financial situation."

These are also the people who convert to Christianity and with whom it is popular. (This is according to My Brain, not the Times). Christianity promises a better life after this life, so it makes sense that those with the hardest time would be drawn to it. Pie In The Sky When You Die sounds a lot better than Pie You Have To Cook For Your Whole Family Oh Also You Have No Time To Make It In Or Money With Which To Buy Ingredients Because You Work Long Hours At A Minimum Wage Job. It also beats No Pie Because You Are Too Poor To Buy Pie.

It's especially true in nations where evangelical Christianity is introduced. In South Africa, early 20th century missionaries appealed to women by giving them a place that they had not had before--as mothers of Christian children, wives of Christian husbands, and keepers of a Christian home. They now had responsibilities that were important and valued--an especially important one was to pray for the safety of their male family members working in the mines.

Christianity has caused a problem or too. Since often the same people are drawn to Christianity are today drawn to napping, maybe if everyone had taken a nap, there would have been no inquisition.

However, sometimes it's better to go to the other way around. I know life is not going well for me when I start sleeping a lot. I usually never nap, as it is a tool for the weak. But one week this fall, life was really sucking for me. You could not get this girl out of bed, or out of her red Wesleyan sweatpants. I also stopped showering, which was not fun for anyone involved.

In this situation, my life might have been better if I had converted to Christianity instead of sleeping. I would have been more active, because you actually have to get out of bed and put shoes on to get to Church. I also would have started bathing, because Christianity says cleanliness is good. (I'm paraphrasing.)

Here is how you should think of it: whichever is doing harm, do the opposite of that thing. If you are thinking of going on a crusade, take a nap instead, and see how you feel after. Naps are wonders for curing a case of the grumpies or just a regular Monday UnFunday. If you are unhappy and sleeping all the time, consider church instead.

A final answer to a slump is some advice from my dad. This past year at school, my housemates and I tried to keep Sophie's Dad's Guide To Life in mind. Dad says when you're feling sad, you should sweat and do something that makes people tell you you're really good at at. For him that means exercise (riding his bike in central park) and giving a speech. For me, sometimes that means walking to the kitchen to get more Kettle Corn and then sending a mass email that includes a funny joke. Either way, he's right: Motion (walking to church? running in the park?) and praise (the lord? people telling you that you are talented?) can help you feel better.

In conclusion, remember this rhyme: Sleep Aid, not Crusade. Friends and guidance instead of sleeping away your depression.