Last updated on May 29, 2024

What is a Normal Sleeping Heart Rate By Age?

Have you ever wondered what your heart does while you sleep? It’s not just keeping you alive—it’s also revealing essential clues about your health. Knowing your normal sleeping heart rate at different ages can give you important insights into your cardiovascular well-being and help you spot potential health issues early on.

 In this blog, we’ll explore the details of normal sleeping heart rates across different age groups, from babies to seniors. Whether you’re a parent concerned about your child’s heart, a young adult focused on physical fitness, or an older adult monitoring your health, understanding these benchmarks is vital. We’ll discuss what factors affect heart rate, like how fit you are, any medical conditions you have, and your lifestyle choices. Plus, we’ll explain how these rates change as you get older.

 By the end of this blog, you’ll have a clearer idea of what a healthy heart rate should be during sleep and how to maintain it. Let’s dive into the fascinating rhythm of our resting hearts and learn how it can lead us to better health and more restful nights. 

What Is a Normal Sleeping Heart Rate?

A normal sleeping heart rate varies depending on several factors, including age, fitness level, and overall health. Generally, during sleep, your heart rate decreases as your body enters a state of rest and recovery. This drop in heart rate is a sign that your heart is working efficiently and that your body is relaxed. Besides, during light sleep, your heart rate will not be as low as during deep sleep.

What Is a Normal Resting Heart Rate?

Heart rate is often measured when you’re at rest and relaxed. this is called your resting heart rate. For adults, a typical resting heart rate (RHR) is generally considered to be between 60 and 100 beats per minute (bpm). However, in most cases, a healthy adult will typically have a resting heartbeat rate between 60 and 80 bpm. Besides, some people may have a resting heart rate that’s lower than 60 bpm and is still considered normal. To maintain your resting heart rate, prioritize restful, deep sleep, and get enough sleep in all the sleep stages. If you have a lower resting heart rate, your sleeping heart rate is likely to be lower too. You don’t usually need to worry if you have a fast heart rate or a slower heart rate while sleeping.

What Is a Normal Sleeping Heart Rate by Age?

The average resting heart rate for individuals varies by age and physical condition. Here is a typical heart rate variability chart by age:

  • Newborns (0-1 month): 70-190 bpm
  • Infants (1-11 months): 80-160 bpm
  • Children (1-2 years): 80-130 bpm
  • Preschool children (3-4 years): 80-120 bpm
  • School-age children (5-12 years): 70-110 bpm
  • Teenagers (13-19 years): 60-100 bpm
  • Adults (20+ years): 60-100 bpm
  • Athletes: 40-60 bpm

These values represent the typical range for a resting heart rate by age and gender, not specifically during sleep. 

Average Sleeping Heart Rate

During sleep, your heart rate typically drops by about 20-30% compared to your resting heart rate. Here are the average heart rate while sleeping for different age groups: 

  • Newborns: 60-120 bpm
  • Infants: 60-100 bpm
  • Children: 50-90 bpm
  • Teenagers: 50-85 bpm
  • Adults: 40-100 bpm

It’s important to note that various factors, including the stage of sleep and overall health, can influence these rates. Well-trained athletes and people who exercise regularly often have lower heart rates during sleep due to their enhanced cardiovascular efficiency.

What Is an Average Resting Heart Rate?

The resting heart rate (RHR) for adults typically ranges between 60 to 100 beats per minute (bpm). However, for most adults, a normal resting heart rate is usually between 60 and 80 bpm. Factors such as age, fitness level, medications, and overall health can influence an individual’s resting heartbeats. Athletes and individuals who are physically fit may have resting heart rates below 60 bpm, which can be a sign of good cardiovascular health.

What Is an Unsafe Heart Rate When Sleeping?

 An unsafe heart rate when sleeping typically refers to rates that are unusually high or low, outside the normal ranges for a specific age group. For adults, their heart rate when sleeping consistently above 100 beats per minute (bpm) or below 60 bpm can indicate potential health risks.

High Heart Rates

A consistently elevated heart rate during sleep, known as tachycardia, may suggest underlying conditions such as:

  • Sleep Apnea: Where episodes of paused breathing cause the heart to work harder. 
  • Arrhythmias: Irregular heart rhythms that disrupt normal heart function. 
  • Stress or Anxiety: Psychological factors can elevate heart rate during sleep. 
  • Cardiovascular Health: High blood pressure and heart disease can contribute to a faster heart rate.

Lower Heart Rates

Known as bradycardia, a sleeping heart rate consistently below 40 bpm (especially in adults) can be concerning, indicating:

  • Athletic Conditioning: Very fit individuals may naturally have lower heart rates, but sudden drops can still be alarming. 
  • Heart Conduction Issues: Problems with the heart’s electrical system. 
  • Certain Medications: Some medications can slow heart rate as a side effect.

Regardless of the cause, an unsafe sleeping heart rate warrants evaluation by a medical professional. Monitoring heart rate trends during sleep can help detect potential issues early and ensure appropriate treatment to maintain optimal cardiovascular health.

What Is An Average Heart Rate During Heart Attack?

During a heart attack (myocardial infarction), the heart rate can vary widely depending on several factors such as the extent of damage, individual health status, and any pre-existing conditions. There isn’t a specific average heart rate during a heart attack because it can range significantly based on these variables.

However, in general terms:

  • Initial Response: Initially, during the onset or acute phase of a heart attack, the heart rate may increase (tachycardia) as the body responds to the stress and reduced oxygen supply to the heart muscle. This increased heart rate is a compensatory mechanism to maintain cardiac output.
  • Arrhythmias: Heart attacks can cause arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), which can lead to fluctuations in heart rate. These arrhythmias can include rapid heartbeats (tachyarrhythmias) or slow heartbeats (bradyarrhythmias), depending on the extent and location of heart damage.
  • Vagal Response: In some cases, particularly with a significant heart attack affecting certain areas of the heart, there can be a vagal response leading to a decrease in heart rate (bradycardia). This is less common but can occur as a result of the body’s attempt to protect itself during the acute phase of a heart attack. 

What Is an Average Walking Heart Rate? 

The walking heart rate average can vary based on several factors, including age, fitness level, and individual health. Here’s a general overview:

Average Range

For most adults, the average heart rate during walking typically ranges between 50-100 beats per minute (bpm). This range can vary widely depending on factors such as walking speed, terrain (flat versus uphill), and environmental conditions (temperature, humidity).

Moderate Intensity

A brisk walk that qualifies as moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking) usually elevates the heart rate to about 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. For many people, this translates to a heart rate of around 100-120 bpm, but it can be lower or higher depending on individual fitness levels.

Fitness Level

Individuals who are more physically fit may have lower average heart rates during walking because their cardiovascular systems are more efficient at delivering oxygen to muscles.

Age Considerations

Generally, younger individuals tend to have higher average heart rates during physical activity compared to older adults due to differences in cardiovascular function and fitness.

Walking Speed

Faster walking speeds typically result in higher heart rates, while slower, leisurely walks will result in lower heart rates.

Health Conditions

Certain health conditions or medications can also influence heart rate responses to physical activity.

To determine your target heart rate zone for walking based on your fitness goals, you can calculate it using a formula involving your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age) and the percentage of intensity you aim to achieve. However, you can achieve a good walking heart rate by monitoring it through the best heart rate monitor watch. 

Low Heart Rate Symptoms

 A low heart rate, or bradycardia, during sleep, can be normal for some individuals, particularly athletes. However, if you experience the following symptoms, it may indicate an issue:

Fatigue

Persistent tiredness or feeling unusually tired even after a good night’s sleep.

Dizziness or Lightheadedness

Feeling faint or unsteady, which may increase the risk of falls.

Shortness of Breath

Difficulty breathing or feeling breathless with minimal exertion.

Chest Pain

Discomfort or pain in the chest, which may be mild or severe.

Confusion or Memory Problems

Difficulty concentrating, confusion, or forgetfulness.

Fainting (Syncope)

Sudden loss of consciousness due to inadequate blood flow to the brain.

Weakness

The general feeling of weakness or lack of strength.

Exercise Intolerance

Difficulty or inability to perform physical activities that were previously manageable.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can cause your sleeping heart rate to run slower.

Monitoring your heart rate during sleep can help you detect any irregularities. The best heart rate monitor watch and home monitoring systems can provide valuable data, but they are not a substitute for professional medical advice. Seek medical attention for undefined symptoms.

Which Side Is the Best Side to Sleep on For Heart

The left side is typically considered the best side to sleep on for heart health. Here are the key reasons why:

  • Improved Blood Flow to the Heart: Sleeping on the left side can enhance circulation because it allows gravity to facilitate blood flow toward the heart. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with heart conditions or those prone to swelling in the legs.
  • Reduced Cardiac Workload: By sleeping on the left side, you may reduce the workload on the heart. This position can help the heart pump more efficiently, especially for individuals with heart conditions or congestive heart failure.
  • Enhanced Lymphatic Drainage: The lymphatic system, which helps remove toxins and waste from tissues, can function more effectively when you sleep on your left side. This can aid overall immune function and reduce inflammation.
  • Digestive Benefits: Sleeping on the left side can promote better digestion by facilitating the natural movement of waste through the intestines. It may also help alleviate symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn by keeping the stomach acid lower and away from the esophagus.

While sleeping on the left side is generally recommended for heart health, individual comfort and preferences play a role. Sometimes lying on your left side can aggravate heart palpitations at night due to the heart’s position and pressure on the vena cava. So, some people may find sleeping on their back or right side more comfortable. It’s important to choose a sleeping position that allows you to rest well and wake up refreshed.

How Can Sleeping Disorders Affect Heart Health?

Sleep disorders can significantly impact your heart health and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease if left untreated. So, managing and treating sleep disorders is essential for maintaining a healthy heart.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a good heart rate variability?

A good heart rate variability (HRV) generally ranges above 50 milliseconds, indicating a healthy and responsive autonomic nervous system. Higher HRV is associated with better cardiovascular fitness and stress resilience.

Why is my sleeping heart rate higher than resting?

During sleep, your body goes through cycles, including REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, where heart rate increases naturally compared to resting levels.

Why does my heart beat fast when I wake up from a nap?

Upon waking from a nap, your body transitions abruptly, causing a surge in adrenaline and cortisol, leading to a temporary increase in heart rate.

What does a low heart rate mean?

A low heart rate (bradycardia) can indicate good fitness or issues like heart conduction problems, electrolyte imbalances, or side effects of medications.

– Disclaimer –

This blog is for informational & educational purposes only and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health-related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

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