Most Basic Physiological Need, Disrespected

At the base of the pyramid in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the physiological component. Without the sustenance of our basic physiological needs, nothing else matters. In other words, self-actualization seems silly when you’re starving.

If we zoom in on that physiological foundation, however, I bet you’ll be surprised at what our biggest priorities really are. The thoughts that come to mind for me are all of the hypothetical examples of being out in the dessert without food or water. Believe it or not, we can survive without food for three week (plus or minus). Gandhi cranked out 21 full days without food. Could he have lasted another day? Who knows?

One thing we do know is that our boy Gandhi did have water. In fact, experts believe that three to four days without water would be lethal. Of course, conditions matter, but no one is lasting 21 days without water.

Is water, then, the cornerstone priority in what Maslow would call our most basic physiological needs? Nope. Just 48 hours without sleep and our bodies begin shutting down the system with unavoidable micro-sleeps, which, if I’m the referee, I call that technically sleep and the end of the experiment. If we let that slide as technically life-without-sleep, I’d like to argue the real point, which is at just 48 hours without sleep we are rendered generally useless humans.

Sleep trumps even water as a basic human need. Furthermore, we are generally poor at getting enough of it. All of the aforementioned arguments were in the context of what would kill you first, but that is just hyperbole. In real life, we’re going to sleep, drink water, and eat some meals here and there, but the extreme example does let us peek inside of priority. I’m here to tell you that your sleep (or likely lack thereof) is more critical than you could ever imagine.

Go to bed.


Logan Gelbrich



PS – Want more on the topic? Dr. Kirk Parsley, former SEAL, is driving the current conversation on sleep.

5/4/16 WOD

In 10 minutes, complete the following:

800m Run


8 Double KB Swings (53/35)

4 Burpees