"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

How does sleep affect your heart rate?

Even for those who don't wear a smartwatch or fitness band to trace your heart rate, you’ll be able to often feel your pulse fluctuate throughout the day. During your waking hours, the variety of heart beats per minute if you find yourself sitting quietly is referred to as your resting heart rate. In most adults, the resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

Once you arise and move around, your heart rate goes up. And exercise makes it worse. Even strong emotions—fear, anger, or surprise—may cause your heart to beat faster. But what happens while you lie right down to sleep? The answer varies depending on the stage of sleep: light sleep, deep sleep, or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

How does your heart rate change while you sleep?

Within about five minutes after you drift off to sleep, your heart rate slowly returns to a resting pace during what’s referred to as light sleep. Your body temperature drops and your muscles loosen up. People normally spend half of the night in light sleep. But in the course of the next stage, deep sleep, your blood pressure drops and your heart rate slows to about 20% to 30% of your resting heart rate.

When you dream, you enter a stage of sleep called REM (also referred to as dreaming sleep). “Your heart rate can vary greatly during REM sleep because it reflects the level of activity in your dream. If your dream is scary or involves activity like running, you “Your heart rate goes up as for those who're awake,” says Dr. Epstein.

Can you alter your resting heart rate?

If you recurrently run or do other moderate physical activity, you’ll be able to lower your resting heart rate. This is because exercise strengthens the center muscle, allowing it to pump more blood with each heartbeat. As a result, more oxygen gets to the muscles, so the center doesn't must beat as often as it will in someone who’s less fit.

As people age, resting heart rate stays roughly the identical unless they’re doping up that slow heart rate, equivalent to beta blockers or calcium channel blockers.

To determine your resting heart rate, try taking your pulse while you get up a couple of days per week over several weeks. With your index and middle fingers, press flippantly on the alternative wrist, slightly below the fat pad of your thumb. Or press gently on the side of your neck slightly below your jawbone. Count the variety of beats in a 30-second period. Double that number to get your heart rate in beats per minute. (Just measuring for 15 seconds and multiplying by 4 can be accurate enough.)

A resting heart rate that is simply too low (lower than 50 beats per minute), or that’s 100 or more, could also be an indication of concern and will call your doctor.