Nourishing Heart Health: The Importance of Understanding Normal Sleeping Heart Rates

After all, your heart is one of the hardest-working, serving 24/7 pumps in your entire being. Cardiovascular health depends on more than just diet and exercise; it also depends on sleep. 

When you sleep, your body goes into repair mode, and your heart rate drops appropriately. Understanding normal sleeping heart rates is crucial for gauging cardiovascular health and identifying potential issues.

Sleep Matters to the Heart

Sleep is not a restful state but rather a time of restoration for the body — particularly the heart. As you sleep, your energy expenditure and heart rate decrease. This gives your heart muscle time to recover and prepare for the day’s stress.

And studies repeatedly show that people with sleep disturbances are more likely to develop heart disease. Not getting enough sleep over the long term can raise stress hormones that may increase your heart rate and strain your heart. Inversely, quality sleep helps regulate blood pressure and decreases inflammation in the body — two play a big part in good heart health.

Understanding Normal Sleeping Heart Rates

But even during sleep, it typically dips no lower than a normal range for resting heart rate. The normal resting heart rate (heart) ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute in the average adult. These ranges may vary slightly due to several factors:

  • Age: As you age, your resting heart rate generally increases slightly. This is called age-appropriate physiological change.
  • Exercise Regularly: Doing exercise regularly strengthens your heart muscle so it can pump more blood with fewer beats. This could result in a decreased sleep heart rate.
  • Medicines: Some medicines that control high blood pressure or heart rhythm problems, such as certain beta-blockers, can slow down your heart rate, even when you sleep.

Recognizing Deviations from the Expected

While a small change from the 60-100 bpm sleep rate does not necessarily mean that it is a big alarm, if this value is very far from the average, it is better to go to the doctor and be sure of your health.

  • Tachycardia: A term for a heart rate of over 100 beats per minute (bpm) during sleep. That could be a sign of an underlying health condition that has taken root, such as anemia, hyperthyroidism, or sleep apnea.
  • Bradycardia: A normal resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats a minute. Most elite athletes have a resting heart rate lower than the general population, but you could also have an electrolyte imbalance or heart conduction issue if your heart is too slow.


Knowing what a typical heart rate for sleep is and keeping an eye on yours, you’re being proactive in keeping your heart healthy. Good sleep hygiene, stress management, and keeping healthy are some of the keys to ensuring a healthy and robust heart.