The Relationship Between Sleep and Heart Rate in Adults - Inn Mattress

Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, but have you ever wondered how your heart rate during sleep affects your health? In this article, we’ll explore the relationship between sleep and heart rate in adults – including what’s considered a normal range of heart rate during sleep, factors that can affect it, and how it impacts your overall health.

Understanding Heart Rate During Sleep

Sleep is essential for overall health, and understanding your heart rate during sleep is a key aspect of this. The normal sleeping heart rate for adults typically ranges between 40-60 beats per minute (BPM), a decrease from the 60-100 BPM range seen while awake, as noted by the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA). This reduction in heart rate is a part of the body’s restorative process during sleep.

Research by Dr. Michael Breus from The Sleep Doctor Institute highlights that during the deep stages of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) or slow-wave sleep (SWS), which predominantly occur early in the night, the heart rate can dip below 40 BPM. This is a normal part of the sleep cycle and should not be cause for concern. As the night progresses and you enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep or lighter stages of NREM, the heart rate will naturally increase again.

So if you’ve ever woken up feeling rested but noticed your Fitbit says your overnight HR was below or above what’s considered “normal,” don’t panic – these fluctuations are normal throughout a typical night’s sleep cycle!

Factors Affecting Heart Rate During Sleep

Several factors can affect heart rates during different stages of sleep as well as throughout nightly cycles:

  • Age: Older people often have slower resting rates due to changes related to aging.
  • Physical fitness level: People who exercise regularly may experience lower resting HRs than those who do not.
  • Body composition: People with more muscle mass may also experience lower RRs at rest.

In addition, some external factors, such as caffeine or alcohol consumption or use of certain medications, can also impact heart rate during sleep. It’s worth noting that these external factors can also disrupt normal sleep patterns and affect the overall quality of your sleep.

Why Is Heart Rate During Sleep Important?

Monitoring your heart rate during sleep is crucial as it can be an indicator of your cardiovascular health. A study in the journal “Circulation” by the American Heart Association found that higher overnight heart rates are linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension, coronary artery disease (CAD), and stroke. Conversely, a lower overnight heart rate can be a sign of good cardiovascular health and fitness, but it’s important to note that extremely low rates can also be a cause for concern.

For those looking to improve their sleep quality and potentially their heart health, considering a best mattress for motion isolation might be beneficial, as it can lead to a more undisturbed sleep, allowing the heart to maintain a stable rate throughout the night.

Researchers believe that elevated nighttime heart rates may be indicative of underlying health problems such as chronic stress or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – a serious condition in which breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep. In some cases, these issues may even lead to sudden cardiac arrest syndrome – when the heartbeat stops completely- especially when combined with other risk factors like obesity

On the other hand,a low overnight HR may not necessarily mean there is something wrong either.Put simply,sleeping below 40 BPM at times generally does not necessarily cause harm.It could actually reveal success in managing modifiable contributing factor including physical fitness levels,diet habits,and regular exercise routine.

An optimal resting HR should depend more on what feels good to someone on a daily basis rather than just any number alone.If you feel well-rested after waking up and have no history combined with symptoms then perceiving the lowest range falls under expected findings if it isn’t accompanied by any clinical disease

It’s essential for people who notice fluctuations outside their own baseline values over multiple night’s measurements alongside abnormal symptoms like chest pain,palpitations,fatigue,to seek medical attention sooner than later.

For this reason, monitoring your overnight heart rate using wearable technology may provide useful insights into your overall health status according to Dr.Breus adding : “heart-rate variability provides early indicators about possible changes in wellness”. By better understanding how different lifestyle factors impact our nightly restorative processes we’re able to make small changes that can lead to much larger results.

For individuals concerned about their sleeping heart rate and overall sleep quality, it’s advisable to explore lifestyle changes that can have a positive impact. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and managing stress are all factors that can contribute to a healthier heart rate during sleep. Moreover, for those with specific conditions like sleep apnea, which can significantly affect heart rate, exploring solutions such as the best mattresses for snoring could make a considerable difference.

It’s also important to differentiate between sleeping heart rate and resting heart rate. While they are similar, the resting heart rate is measured while you are awake and calm, whereas the sleeping heart rate is measured during sleep. Both are important indicators of health, but they can differ due to the body’s varied demands during sleep and wakefulness.

If you’re experiencing consistent abnormalities in your heart rate during sleep, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider. They may recommend using a sleep tracker to monitor your heart rate patterns over time, which can provide valuable insights into your health. Additionally, selecting the right sleep environment, including a best mattress for fibromyalgia if you have chronic pain, or a best mattress for seniors with arthritis, can aid in achieving restorative sleep, which in turn may help regulate your heart rate.


In summary, understanding the relationship between sleep and heart rate is vital for maintaining good health. By paying attention to your heart rate during sleep and addressing any concerns with lifestyle changes or medical advice, you can take proactive steps towards better cardiovascular health. Remember, a normal sleeping heart rate is generally lower than your daytime resting heart rate, and fluctuations are normal. However, persistent irregularities should be discussed with a healthcare professional. For those looking to enhance their sleep experience, consider the ultimate guide to choosing the best mattress for your Airbnb guests, which can also contribute to a better night’s rest and, consequently, a healthier heart rate.


Does sleep have an impact on heart rate?

There is evidence that sleep can have an impact on heart rate. One study found that people who slept less than six hours per night had a higher heart rate than those who slept more than six hours per night.

What is the relationship between sleep and heart rate?

There is evidence that sleep can have an impact on heart rate. One study found that people who slept less than six hours per night had a higher heart rate than those who slept more than six hours per night.

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