One thing to understand is that the word "hell" has been (inaccurately) translated from 2 different Greek/Hebrew words. You have "Hades/Sheol (same thing), and you have Gehenna.
Hades/Sheol is simply "the grave or underworld". We see this in The Parable of The Rich man and Lazarus (which was not an actual event, mind you, it was a reiteration of a popular belief/fable of that time period). Gehenna is what we see as the lake of fire mentioned in Revelation.
Now Sheol/Hades being the grave or underworld, is more like a 'holding' area. I believe the individual will not be conscious, but in a type of suspended animation state (whether this is "sleep" or not, not sure). But there is definitely some consideration to be had for it.
Gehenna is the lake of fire mentioned at The Great White Throne. The Bible is clear at the throne judgement there are 2 sets of books. The books (plural) of deeds, and the Lamb's book of life. It tells us the books of deeds are opened and judgement issued. However, if you name was found in the Lamb's book of life, you would receive eternal life (which is a gift for believers). Hope this helps explain it a bit for you.