Sleep is a physical necessity for our earthly bodies. Without sleep, our brains stop working correctly, and our bodies refuse to cooperate. The sleep-wake cycle is just another of the many cycles God has put into place on the earth—others include the cycle of the changing seasons, day and night, and the water cycle. These cycles are part of life on this planet. However, the current heaven is in a different realm. Upon death, those who are “in Christ” will be immediately with Him (2 Corinthians 5:8) but will not yet have their completely restored bodies. We must wait for the resurrection to receive those (1 Corinthians 15:40; 2 Corinthians 4:14; John 5:28–29). It is likely that, during the interim period in heaven, after death and before the resurrection, our souls will not need sleep; rather, we will enjoy unbroken worship and joy in the presence of the Lord.
Most people assume that Christians will “live forever in heaven” after they die, but that is not what Scripture says. Heaven is in the spirit realm, beyond our universe, and earthly bodies are unequipped for existence there (1 Corinthians 15:50). Therefore, “sleeping” in heaven may not even be possible or necessary. Jesus described the temporary resting place for the righteous as being “near Abraham” (Luke 16:23). We will have some type of body, and we will recognize each other. We will have some knowledge of the affairs on earth (Revelation 6:9–10). But we should take careful note of the reactions of human beings who saw God in His glory as did Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1–5), Moses (Exodus 33:20–23), and John (Revelation 1:17). Living in the manifest presence of the Lord God Almighty will change everything. The things of earth, including sleep, will no longer have the same value to us.
However, God created human beings to inhabit a physical realm. He intends to restore all things as new (Acts 3:21). At the resurrection our spirits, which have been with Christ, will be reunited with our restored bodies. We will then inhabit the new, completely restored earth with Jesus (Isaiah 65:17; Revelation 21:1–2). Eternity will be spent living in perfect bodies on a perfect earth with Jesus as our undisputed King. In the eternal state, sleep may again be part of our experience, as will eating and drinking (Luke 14:15; Revelation 19:9). But sleep will not be necessary due to exhaustion or weakness because our bodies will be perfect like Jesus’ body after His resurrection (Luke 24:41–42). The fact is that we don’t know enough from Scripture to state definitively whether or not we will sleep in heaven or in the eternal state. That’s one of the thousands of questions we will have answered in heaven. One thing is for sure: when we first see Jesus, sleep will be the last thing on our minds.
Prophet Nathan Emol