Causes Of Low Heart Rate Problems
The most common cause of a low heart rate is a malfunction in the hearts sinus node, its natural pacemaker. This area sends our electrical signals telling the top and bottom heart chambers the timing of when to pump blood through the body.
Other causes of low heart rate include an atrioventricular block, age, and certain conditions such as inflammation of the heart muscle, low thyroid function, electrolyte imbalance, obstructive sleep apnea, or heart attack due to coronary artery disease.
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Sleep And Coronary Artery Disease
People with obstructive sleep apnea have been shown to have higher rates of coronary artery disease . There are two main reasons why this may occur:
CAD limits the flow of blood due to narrow arteries. This prevents the right amount of oxygen from reaching the heart. Sleep apnea also causes the blood oxygen level to drop during pauses in breathing. This leads to a rise in the heart rate and blood pressure. An extra strain is put on the heart. The amount of oxygen sent to the heart decreases at the time when the heart needs more oxygen. Studies have shown that the presence of OSA increases the risk of death from CAD. But if the sleep apnea is treated, death due to CAD is reduced.
Heart Rate While Sleeping
During sleep, your average sleeping heart rate will go down to 40 to 50 BPM, but again, this can vary. Its not uncommon to have a heart rate in the 30s while sleepingand Jean says it can briefly drop as low as 30 BPM while sleeping in a healthy individual.
Noting that your sleeping heart rate will typically be lower than your daytime resting heart rate, Jean says a normal sleeping heart rate depends on several factors, such as age and physical fitness.
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What You Can Do For Your Heart Rate
Additionally, you should visit your doctor regularly for physicals. Not only is it good practice, but it can also help with the early detection of high cholesterol or blood pressure abnormalities.
If you already have heart disease, you should carefully monitor your condition and stick to your treatment plan. Take all medications as instructed by your doctor. Be sure to promptly report any new or worsening symptoms.
Other heart health tips include:
- Find ways to reduce stress. Examples include things like yoga or meditation.
- Limit your caffeine intake when possible. Using too much caffeine can increase heart rate.
- Limit intake of energy drinks.
- Moderate your intake of alcohol. Women should only have one drink or less per day while men should have two or fewer drinks per day.
- Quit smoking. Smoking increases your heart rate, and quitting can help bring it back down.
- Avoid cannabis. Cannabis use
Your Heart: An Impressive Muscle
The heart is a remarkable muscle. It never stops beating from the day you are born to your final moment. According to some estimates, that means your heart muscle will beat over four billion times across your lifetime.
But while it never stops, your heart does slow down. And that, in part, is what sleep is all about. During sleep, all of your bodys processes save energy and your heart adopts a slower sleeping heart rate to do just that.
So, what is a normal sleeping heart rate? And when should you be worried? Lets take a look.
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How Do I Check My Pulse
You can check your heart rate by taking your pulse and counting how many times your heart beats in 1 minute .
Your heart rate varies depending on what youre doing for example, it will be slower if youre sleeping and faster if youre exercising.
To get your resting heart rate, you need to have been sitting still before checking your pulse.
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What Happens To Your Heart Rate While Sleeping Normally
Okay, first things first: lets find out what happens to your heart rate on an average night. The key thing to remember is that your sleeping heart rate is going to be lower than your normal resting heart rate. How much lower? Well, on average, heart rate while sleeping decreases by around 24 beats per minute in young adults, while people over 80 see a 14 BPM decrease. Nocturnal heart rate can also vary significantly between individuals by up to 70 beats per minute.
So, why do people have a lower heart rate while sleeping? The nerve signals that raise heart rate decrease during sleep while the signals that lower heart rate increase. While there are heart-rate variations throughout the different sleep cycles, the headline news is that sleeping heart rate should be lower than your resting heart rate.
But why is an elevated heart rate during sleep a potential problem? Sustained elevation of heart rate tends to cause wear on the heart, says Dr. Douglas P. Jeffrey, family medical specialist and medical advisor for eMediHealth. The chronic workload imposed by a higher heart rate over the baseline could eventually lead to heart attack, congestive heart failure, and premature death. Essentially, your heart works during sleep but should not work as hard, and if it is, then this could be a sign of an underlying problem.
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Irregular Heart Rhythms And Risks
While irregular heartbeats can be caused by a variety of factors, more studies are revealing the direct relationship between cardiac arrhythmias and sleep disorders such as OSA. One of the most common types of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation is marked by irregular contractions of the upper heart chambers.
According to a clinical study conducted at the University of Ottawa, researchers found that OSA may increase the risk of atrial fibrillation with secondary symptoms including palpitations, lightheadedness, weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Atrial fibrillation is also associated with stroke, heart failure, and other cardiovascular conditions.
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Sleep And Congestive Heart Failure
Damage to the heart that hurts its ability to pump blood is called congestive heart failure . Sleep disorders can be both a cause and an effect of CHF. The low oxygen levels and high blood pressure related to obstructive sleep apnea can cause the kind of damage that leads to CHF. The heart muscle is unable to handle the stress caused by the OSA. People who have CHF from another cause will see it get worse if they then develop sleep apnea. If sleep apnea is treated, however, patients with CHF will see their heart function improve.
About 40% of people with CHF have a sleep disorder called central sleep apnea . CSA occurs when the brain fails to tell the lungs to breathe. As this signal is lost, the lungs do not take in the oxygen that your body needs. This happens most often as people are falling asleep. CSA also causes people to wake up many times in the night. When they wake up, their heart rate and blood pressure both rise.
The low levels of oxygen that result from CSA are very harmful. The result is that CSA may worsen heart failure. In return, the heart failure may promote CSA. This causes a horrible cycle of declining heart function. Properly treating the heart failure is the best way to prevent CSA. If CSA still develops, there are treatments that can be used to keep it from occurring.
Have A Regular Schedule
Sticking to a daily sleep schedule is a key part of getting enough sleep, which means waking up and falling asleep at roughly the same time every day. Yes, that includes days off, too. Taking steps to reset your inner clock can help you start a healthy sleep schedule.
You can double-check if youre falling asleep at a good time by using our sleep calculator. By entering the time you plan to wake up, you can see a set of several potential bedtimes, ranging from acceptable to ideal.
One important step to take to ensure youre sleepy at bedtime? Turn off your screens as it gets late into the evening, at least an hour before bed. Blue light exposure from screens can feel like daylight to your eyes, can
How Do I Improve My Hrv Score
A high HRV score is tied to good overall heart health, so take steps to make sure youre keeping your heart in peak condition. Naturally, you should strive to eat healthily and exercise regularly. Along with your HRV scores, watch your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels to make sure youre in the healthy range.
Lastly, you should practice methods for coping with stress to keep yours at manageable levels. If need be, speak to a doctor about ways to get conditions like anxiety under your control.
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Measuring Resting Heart Rate
Though there are a number of products, like smartwatches and heart rate monitors, that can measure resting heart rate, all you need is a watch with a second hand.
To measure your heart rate, place a finger over the radial artery or carotid artery. The radial artery is found at the base of the wrist on the side of the thumb. The carotid artery is found on the neck, to the side of the windpipe, just under the angle of the jaw.
Once you have located the artery, place your index and middle fingers over it and count the number of pulsations in one minute. A quicker method is to count the number of beats over 15 seconds and multiply this by 4 to determine beats per minute.
Your Resting Heart Rate Can Reflect Your Current And Future Health
One of the easiest, and maybe most effective, ways to gauge your health can be done in 30 seconds with two fingers. Measuring your resting heart rate the number of heart beats per minute while youre at rest is a real-time snapshot of how your heart muscle is functioning.
Its easy to do. Place your index and middle finger on your wrist just below the thumb, or along either side of your neck, so you can feel your pulse. Use a watch to count the number of beats for 30 seconds and double it to get your beats per minute. Repeat a few times to ensure an accurate reading. While a heart rate is considered normal if the rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute, most healthy relaxed adults have a resting heart rate below 90 beats per minute.
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Low Sleeping Heart Rate Learn Whats Normal
Your sleeping heart rate may be lower than your resting heart rate, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It may drop below 60 beats per minute. For most people, that is not a problem. However, bradycardia is a heart rate below 60 while you’re awake and active, and that could be a problem.
“Your heart rate slows down during sleep. A normal resting heart rate for adults is anywhere between 60 to 100 beats per minute. During sleep, the normal rate can be anywhere from 40 to 100,” says Peter Santucci, MD, professor of cardiology at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois.
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Does Bradycardia Require Treatment
If your heart rate is slow, but you dont have symptoms, theres no reason to worry. However, its a good idea to know the signs of trouble because bradycardia in some cases does require treatment.
For example, if your heart rate drops into the 30s, you might not get enough oxygen to your brain, making fainting, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath possible. Blood can also pool in your heart chambers, causing congestive heart failure.
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Low Resting Heart Rate
A resting heart rate below 60 bpm is considered bradycardia, but may be common in individuals with good cardiovascular fitness or individuals taking certain medications. According toDr. Jason Wasfy at Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center. In certain cases, a lower resting heart rate can mean a higher degree of physical fitness, which is associated with reduced rates of cardiac events like heart attacks. In the case of individuals with good cardiovascular fitness, the stroke volume of the left ventricle is increased, meaning the heart rate may decrease while still maintaining adequate cardiac output.
In other cases, having a low resting heart rate could be indicative of an underlying health concern. According to the American Heart Association, bradycardia can lead to symptoms including lightheadedness, weakness, confusion, fatigue, and diminished exercise performance. Symptomatic bradycardia may indicate that an individual should seek immediate medical advice.
Iv Sleep And A Healthy Heart
There are many things you can do to keep your heart healthy. You should be sure to do the following:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Watch out for and treat high blood pressure
- Get regular medical check-ups
Another thing you can do is to make sure that you get enough sleep to keep your body well rested. You can often sleep better by simply following the practices of good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene consists of basic habits and tips that help you develop a pattern of healthy sleep. See the Resources section of this site to find out how you can start down the path to better sleep.
Watch for signs that you may have a sleep disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can put great stress on your heart. Men who are overweight and have large necks are most likely to have OSA.
Symptoms of OSA include the following:
- Gasping for breath or choking while asleep
- Trouble staying awake during the daytime
You may not be aware of these signs because they only occur while you are sleeping. Your breathing is normal when you are awake. Ask a bed partner or someone else who has observed your sleep to find out if you snore or stop breathing during your sleep.
If your doctor thinks that you have a sleep disorder, he or she may suggest that you take a sleep study. This is called a polysomnogram. A sleep study is usually done overnight in a sleep center. It charts your brain waves, heart beat, and breathing as you sleep. It also records your eye and leg movements as well as muscle tension.
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Your Heart Rate Is Different From Others: Get Your Baseline
Before we look into the baseline data and determine the average heart rate per minute, lets define what resting heart rate means. Our pulse rates vary depending on our activities. If were exercising, our heart pumps harder to make sure that our body gets enough oxygen during a workout.
On the other hand, when your body is relaxed, and usually in a sitting or lying down position, this is when you can get your baseline data and determine what your resting heart rate is.
On average, the ideal heart rate during your resting period is between 60 100 beats per minute . Some people have a baseline of 60 bpm and reaching 70 doesnt feel quite right for them. On the other hand, there are some others have a normal rate of 70 bpm and feel completely normal with it. To determine your average, place your two fingers on your carotid, or pulse, and count how many beats.
You have to make sure that you are doing this while youre in a relaxed state. Do not take your heart rate immediately after working out, or after youve had your meal. Choose a time where youre not doing anything, usually sitting or reading your favorite book.
Once youve had your first reading, repeat it two more times. This can be done the following day, or after a couple of hours. Add the values and divide it by 3 to get your average resting heart rate. From there, youll be able to learn what your baseline is.
Medications That Can Raise Your Heart Rate
Medications can also raise your heart rate. These include:
Levothyroxine, the replacement thyroid hormone for people with low thyroid function
Check in with your pharmacist or healthcare provider if youre concerned your medications are affecting your heart rate.
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Can Fitbit Give False Heart Rate
Wearable technology is all the rage these days, with devices like Fitbit and Apple Watch becoming more and more popular. These devices are supposed to help us track our activity and health, but a new study has raised questions about their accuracy.
The study found that Fitbits can sometimes give false heart rate readings, which could lead to people getting inaccurate information about their health. While the study was small and more research is needed, its something to be aware of if youre using a wearable device to track your health.