May 18, 2020

Sleep is what we all do to end our day, and quite frankly, something many of us look forward to. The purpose of sleep is to give our bodies the opportunity to recover and rejuvenate so we have the energy to do it all over again the following day. When we sleep, our hearts are in what’s called resting heart rate (RHR). Our sleeping heart rate can help identify potential health problems and says a lot about our overall wellbeing. It’s important to check it daily and ensure we’re getting an adequate amount of sleep.


How do I check my heart rate?

Measuring your resting heart rate is done by checking the number of heart beats per minute while you are resting. This number represents how your heart muscle is functioning. Your heart rate can be measured by placing your index and middle finger on your wrist just below the thumb, or on either side of your neck. Once you feel a pulse, count the number of beats for 30 seconds and double it to get your beats per minute. There are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube or Google if you need further assistance.


What happens to my heart rate during sleep?

During the first sleep cycle, your body relaxes and your blood pressure and heart rate drop significantly. However, your RHR is at its lowest point in the middle of the night when your level of melatonin is at its highest. Towards the end of sleep, your heart rate increases as your body prepares to wake up.


What is a normal sleeping heart rate?

A normal heart rate ranges anywhere from 60 to 100 beats per minute, however when you are in a state of rest, it will be lower. Your resting heart rate varies based on each individual. A number between 40 to 100 is considered normal. It can also fluctuate depending on your hydration level, elevation, exercise, and temperature. Many factors during the day can also play a role in your RHR. When you have a lower resting heart rate, it’s a sign of good health.


What does it mean if my resting heart rate is high?

There are a number of reasons why your RHR may be high and usually there are simple solutions to combat that. Metabolism is a key indicator in an increased heart rate so try eating or exercising earlier in the evening. If your heart rate goes up right after you fall asleep, chances are you’re overly tired. Keep your bedtime consistent to help you get a better night’s sleep.


What can I do to improve my heart rate?

  • Try sticking to a steady sleep schedule by waking up at the same time every day, including weekends
  • Pay attention to your meal timings as late meals may have a negative effect on your body
  • Analyze your activity throughout the day to ensure you’re getting enough water and exercise

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