How can a character not have to breathe, eat, drink, or sleep?

Undead Nature and Undying Nature seem nice, but becoming undead for Undead Nature seems to have a lot of negative consequences for one's mind (such as Liches becoming insane, ghouls becoming savage, zombies being mindless, etc.), and Undying Nature requires 10 levels in warlock.

Is there any other official way in the books?

Perhaps a different way of gaining Undead nature, Undying nature or even perhaps Immortal nature (like what a Bone Naga has).


4 Answers 4


Most of your constraints are solved with the updated Mystic class

With the March 3rd Unearthed Arcana Mystic class, you can, among other features, focus on one psionic discipline to gain a passive benefit. The Adaptive Body discipline says the following:

While focused on this discipline, you don’t need to eat, breathe, or sleep. To gain the benefits of a long rest, you can spend 8 hours engaged in light activity, rather than sleeping during any of it

This doesn't solve the problem of not needing to drink, but you can get this benefit as a first level Mystic, meaning you can get most of want you want very early. Additionally, unlike most of the other options below, the requirement for sleeping is removed entirely, instead of just worked around with something like trancing. Ultimately, a Monk 15/Mystic 1 gains Timeless Body (described in detail below), which will remove all requirements for eating, drinking, breathing, and sleeping. Additional options are provided below:

The new Sorcerous Origins are an option

The Sea Sorcery Origin in the Feburuary 6th Unearthed Arcana has the Water Soul feature at 18th level:

Starting at 18th level, your being is altered by the power of the sea. You gain the following benefits:

• You no longer need to eat, drink, or sleep...

Combine this with a wish (described more below), and problem solved. Though you will likely spend more time without this power than with it, and you don't grow into this condition steadily, like some other options.

If you wish to avoid playtest material, the following options are available with just the core rulebooks.

Petrification Solves all your problems:

Turning yourself to stone, or other such material, means that you don't need to sleep, eat, drink, or breathe. Though, it's basically like being dead. This can be useful if you have a very reliable way to remove the petrification and you need to entomb yourself for an extended time span. Like magical cryo-sleep.

Move to the Astral Plane:

The Astral plane is described on Pg. 46-7 of the DMG.

The Astral Plane is the realm of thought and dreams where visitors travel as disembodied souls...Creatures on the Astral plane don't age or suffer from hunger or thirst.

Since this plane is described in spiritual terms, a sea of thought rather than matter, it could be assumed that the need to sleep or breathe is also removed while you inhabit the plane. Though this is up to your DM, since the DMG says nothing about those two processes. Also, in previous editions, if you return from the astral plane to any non-timeless plane, the effects of time will accumulate retroactively upon entering the new plane. For example, returning to the Prime Material plane after ten Prime Material years in the Astral plane will cause you to age 10 years, and the hunger, thirst, and sleeplessness of 10 years all take effect instantaneously. Basically, you will die if you leave the Astral plane without taking some serious precautions. This is omitted from the 5e description however. Finally, you will likely have to actually shift yourself into the Astral Plane. Projection, as with the Astral Projection spell, will leave your body limp and helpless on whatever plane you originated from.

True Polymorph yourself into an intelligent undead or construct

True polymorph allows you to change yourself into another creature. There is no rule that you can't change yourself into an undead, which will give you undead nature. You could also change yourself into a construct. However, all your stats, including your mental stats, are replaced by the stats of whatever you choose, and its CR must be less than or equal to your level. Also, literally change into whatever undead/construct you decide. You will be subject to all of the limitations of that form. That is: don't turn yourself into something that cant speak or doesnt have arms to cast spells

Assuming the new form is suitable, you can polymorph yourself and concentrate for the full duration to make the change permanent.

Timeless Body solves hunger and thirst

A 15th level monk gains the timeless body feature. You no longer feel the crippling effects of old age, and no longer need to eat or drink as ki sustains you. You will still die of old age though, and you still need to breathe and sleep.

Elven Trancing is not sleep:

Elves can get the benefits of 8 hours of sleep by Trancing for 4 hours. The trance is just deep meditation; the Elf never loses consciousness. And so, elves technically do not need to sleep.

Wish that you no longer need to respirate to live

Assuming you can get your hands on a Wish you could wish that you no longer need to respirate. You will need to word this very carefully as to avoid any potential twisting of the words. And ultimately, the DM still has the authority to turn the wish down. You will also suffer the stress of a wish from not replicating a spell of the 8th level or lower.

Combining these gets you what you want

So, if you are an Elven monk and you find a way to cast a Wish spell (example, find a Luck Blade), you will be technically sleepless, and have no requirement for food, water, or respiration. All without being undead or a construct.
Additionally, gaining these benefits in this manner will keep them active at all times, not only while you are conscious.

Immortality Too?

If you make it to 20th level, you could potentially get the Boon of Immortality (DMG pg.232).

If combined with the options described above, you will also stop aging all together, become immune to all aging effects, and you will no longer die from old age. At which point, you will be effectively timeless, sleepless, and have no need to eat, drink, or breathe.


Play a Warforged from the 5e Unearthed Arcana Eberron article.

So long as you are not trying to create a character for the Adventurer's League (all UA article material is not legal in the League) you should not have any issues creating a Warforged PC.

WarForged have the Living Construct Racial Trait:

Living Construct. Even though you were constructed, you are a living creature. You are immune to disease. You do not need to eat or breathe, but you can ingest food and drink if you wish. Instead of sleeping, you enter an inactive state for 4 hours each day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surroundings and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal.

  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth updating this answer to reference the latest version of the race in the Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron, as also represented in this UA; they have a similar trait that prevents them from needing to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 15, 2018 at 2:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ It might be worth updating this answer now that the Warforged race option is published (WGtE, E:RftLW). It still has a relevant trait. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 15:25

My current character has the option, however, it's more like a temporary effect/spell.

With 5 levels of Mystic, you can grab the Energy Adaptation Greater Discipline. Using your Psychic Focus, you keep up the base ability as a Concentration ability. You just keep it up and focused, and you'll have no need to eat, sleep, or breathe.

The downside, however, is you can't use any other concentration spells or abilities. *shrug*

So perhaps not the "best" or "all the time" option... but I figured it's worth mentioning!

Based on the latest v3 updated of the Mystic, this option just become more viable: 1 level dip of Mystic, you can pick up Energy Adaptation, giving you no need to eat/breathe/sleep as well as only needing light activity to benefit from long rest. Psychic Focus has been reworked, so it's not the same mechanic as Concentration .. so it's not as risky to keep up, and doesn't interfere with other Concentration checks.


WotC has has just released a new Unearthed Argana: the Mystic (including a caveat that this is "Playtest Material"). At level 1, a Mystic gets to choose a Discipline (you can choose more, at higher levels). If you choose Adaptive Body, you can then use its Psychic Focus, which grants:

While focused on this discipline, you don't need to eat, breathe, or sleep. To gain the benefits of a long rest, you can spend 8 hours engaged in light activity, rather than sleeping during any of it.

There is the limitation:

As a bonus action, you can choose one of your psionic disciplines and gain its psychic focus benefit... This benefit lasts until you are incapacitated or until you use another bonus action to choose a different focus benefit.

So if you get knocked out, you won't get this bonus any more until you wake up and restart it.


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