How Long is a Long Rest in DnD 5e


Everyone needs a good long rest, be it in real life or in-game. Rest is important to recuperate and regain our strength. It’s also important for the continued normal function of the body – this remains true for Dungeons and Dragons also.

But what is the long rest mechanic in DnD 5e exactly? And what rules govern it?
This is what we will explore today in this article. Let’s get right into it.

What is a Long Rest?

A long rest is a period of time no less than 8 hours. That’s the basic principle behind it. Any strenuous activities you do during this 8-hour period will cancel it, and any benefits you may have gotten from it.
I repeat. A long rest is a period of at least 8 hours of downtime, during which a character regains all their spell slots and any can possibly get cured of most status effects.

Activities like walking for at least an hour, getting into a fight, or casting a spell are all considered strenuous and should be avoided.
Activities like reading, talking, eating and drinking & standing watch for no more than 2 hours are not considered strenuous – as such, they will not cancel your benefits.

But what are the benefits?
The benefits of a long rest are that you regain any Hit Points that you may have previously lost in your adventures. On top of that, you also regain any spent Hit Dice, up to half of a character’s maximum pool for Hit Dice that is. So if you have a maximum pool of 6 you get 3 back at the end. The number of Hit Dice regained cannot be less than one.

Important things to note about resting. You cannot rest if you have less than 1 Hit Points. The benefits also do not stack, so don’t think that you can rest for a week and gets a week’s worth of hit points and hit dice.

Got that? Let’s recap. 1. A long rest is a period of extended downtime at least 8 hours long. 2. If the rest is interrupted by an activity that is considered strenuous, or any adventuring activity then the benefits are lost. 3. To gain any benefit from resting you must complete this full cycle of at least 8 hours.

And that’s about all there is to long rests and how they work. But, they don’t have to be a boring part of the adventure. In fact, in my experiences and games that I’ve played; the resting periods were the most crucial for character development and crew bonding.

Activities to do While Resting

Depending on the amount of roleplay you have in your campaign, your DM might require of you to do different activities. Here are just some of the activities you can do to help build out your character and world.


This is one of the biggest activities you can do while resting. I use big here, not in the sense of size – but in the sense of the scope of activities.
You can craft things like adventuring gear, works of art, and all sorts of other non-magical equipment.

There is however one mechanic with crafting that needs to be mentioned. No work of art is created in a day, and the same is true with crafting. As such, each character can only craft items up to a market value of 5gp per day. If you want to create something that costs more than 5gp, then you must contribute progress into it every day in 5gp increments. The good news is that any member of your party can help you as well, 5gp at a time though…


Sometimes you just need more rest. And after 3 days of resting, you can make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. If successful you can choose one of the following effects.

  • End an Effect that prevents you from regaining your Hit Points
  • For a period of 24 hours gain an advantage on saving throws against one disease or poison afflicting you.

Doing Work

Say you’re a thief part of a guild. No sense sitting around all day – go out and “earn” some money. This is true for other money-making professions as well.


Between adventures, you can learn new skills and languages for a predetermined amount of GP and time. All of this is decided by your GM though so ask him if there are also Ability Checks associated with the process.


Researching isn’t just pondering over a book all day. It can be a captivating mini-adventure within the overarching story of your group’s adventure. Consult your GM about any activities you want to undertake as these may require different Ability Checks. Things like convincing someone to spill a secret, or digging through an old dusty library are equally classified as “research”

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