As far as I can tell a long rest is "a period of extended downtime, at least 8 hours long, during which a character sleeps or performs light activity: reading, talking, eating, or standing watch for no more than 2 hours." Conversely a short rest is "a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds."

If I do not intend to sleep for this specific long rest can I avoid gaining the benefits of a long rest by assuming I took 8 consecutive short rests instead?

My example was the Aspect of the Moon Invocation

The question does originate from the sorcerer points into spell slots mechanic using the above invocation. However, after deliberation this would immediately qualify as a long rest at 8 hours and thus reset any additional spell slots created. My question is no longer relevant at that point.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I do not understand the question. Do you want to get the benefits of 8SR at the same time of a LR? \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Sep 19, 2017 at 9:47
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ recommend you check out these related questions about long and short rests 1, 2, 3. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2017 at 12:16
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm just curious why you want to avoid the benefits of gaining a long rest in favor of the benefits of a short rest. I believe the former is all around superior, but maybe there's something I'm missing. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2017 at 13:59
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical Main thing that comes to mind is reusing features that recharge on a short rest, such as warlock spellcasting recharging 8 times instead of once. In particular, this cheese that depends on not taking a long rest comes to mind. \$\endgroup\$
    – CTWind
    Sep 19, 2017 at 14:12

3 Answers 3


Yes, technically you can do this. In the worst case, you could have your character do something strenuous every hour, so that they wouldn't be able to get a long rest.

There are exploits for this -- in particular, technically a multiclass sorceror/warlock can build up sorcery points by short-resting repeatedly, and these don't go away until they take a long rest.

But your DM might assign a penalty. When you do something that's obviously bad for you, like drinking too much ale, or eating food that's old and rotten, or tying a tourniquet around your leg, the DM has the ability to assign a penalty for that. Trying to go without rest is obviously bad for you, and the DM can assign a penalty.

For example, the DM might assign exhaustion levels, and the DM might require Constitution saves to stay awake.

Also, please remember Rule 0. In D&D 5e, the DM tells you what happens; the DM has the ability to override existing rules or to create new ones, especially if they feel that the current rules are being abused.

The reason you're getting "No" answers on this question is because people are worried that you might abuse a "Yes" answer. People are worried that you might sit down at your gaming table and tell your DM: "I can totally go without long rest! The people on this Q&A board said it was okay!" That would be super rude and inappropriate. Your DM is the authority on whether you can do this, and your DM can and, in my opinion, should tell you it's not permitted.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The exhaustion rules would probably be good for simulating the effects of sleep deprivation \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2017 at 16:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanPolley good find! Please consider adding that as an answer to rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/69312/…, as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    Sep 19, 2017 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Jeremy Crawford, lead designer, reinforces rule 0 and possibly RAI in a Twitter thread \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2018 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Recent rules changes have made this more explicit. There's an optional rule in Xanathars that requires you to take con saves in order to not accumulate exhaustion when going for too long without a long rest, with each day missed resulting in a harder save to make. The force march rules do the same thing for every hour marched past 8 in overland travel on a given day, where "day" is most clearly delineated by long rests. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Nov 3, 2020 at 14:24

Yes, you can take 8 short rests instead of a long rest so long as you do not qualify for a long rest via your activities over those 8 hours. There is nothing saying what the minimum amount of time is between short rests, unlike long rests.

Recent PHB errata has changed it so that you need to sleep for 6 hours during a long rest in order for it to be considered a long rest. So long as you aren't getting sufficient sleep over those 8 hours, you can disqualify that time from being a long rest. However, you must keep in mind that there can be penalties for getting insufficient rest, and this recent errata's addition of requiring sleep seems to encourage that point of view.

Ultimately, however, it comes down to if your DM would allow you to consider 8 hours of qualifying downtime to be 8 separate short rests (and if they'd allow one minor thing that doesn't fall under the list of things that you can do during a short rest to break them up), or if they'd fall under a single short rest's bucket due to the phrasing of "at least 1 hour long" in short rest's rules- and their willingness to do so probably depends on your intentions. I'd discuss why you want this with them first and see if they're open to it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ See Jeremy Crawford on this twitter thread for clarification on a GM's say in this matter. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2018 at 14:52

Nope, it falls foul in two places;

  1. A long rest is just a long short rest. Conversely a long short rest is still one period rest.

Conversely a short rest is "a period of downtime, at least 1 hour long, during which a character does nothing more strenuous than eating, drinking, reading, and tending to wounds."

So resting for 8 hours is the same as resting for at least 1 hour. One short rest.

  1. RAW is not the same as RAI.

The intention is very clearly about taking short rests during the day and performing a long rest at the end of your long day. Taking the advantage of eight short rests is rather silly.

If you're hoping for a highly optimized and beneficial edge case that only happens when you don't perform a long rest, inform your DM beforehand. I would say "shenanigans" immediately. If the DM somehow goes along with it, also prepare for the inevitable exhaustion you're taking by not sleeping properly.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ RAI somewhat reinforced on twitter by Jeremy Crawford, lead designer. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2018 at 14:51

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .