Resting Heart Rate - Baseline, Recommended Value
Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Resting Heart Rate
The heart rate is one of the ‘vital signs,’ or the important indicators of health in the human body. It measures the number of times per minute that the heart contracts or beats. The speed of the heartbeat varies as a result of physical activity, threats to safety, and emotional responses. The resting heart rate refers to the heart rate when a person is relaxed.
While a normal heart rate does not guarantee that a person is free of health problems, it is a useful benchmark for identifying a range of health issues.
Normal Heart Rate
As per NIH (National Institutes of Health, USA) and AHA (American Heart Association) the normal resting heart rate can be between 60-100 BPM based on lifestyle and physiology.
Though there are generic values for normal resting heart rate (60-100 BPM), every person’s vitals are different and vary as per their routine and health. For example, an athlete’s resting heart rate can be between a range of 45 BPM to 55 BPM while a person with mild diabetes might have a resting heart rate in the range of 65 BPM to 75 BPM. Dozee learns from your data, personalizes and builds these baselines for you, and alerts you if your vitals show variations from the baselines. These baselines are updated every week. It takes approximately 5 nights of data for Dozee to compute the baselines.
Minor fluctuations in heart rate because they are completely normal and expected especially in the REM stage of the sleep.
Females tend to have slightly higher heart rates than males. Females also tend to have a higher heart rate in the second half of the monthly menstrual cycles.
For athletes, it's normal to have slow heart rates, as low as 40 BPM. Read the bradycardia section for more details.
Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
Tachycardia is a fast or irregular heart rhythm, usually more than 100 beats per minute. At these elevated rates, the heart is not able to efficiently pump oxygen-rich blood to your body. Tachycardia can occur in either the upper heart chambers (atrial tachycardia) or lower heart chambers (ventricular tachycardia).
Heart-related conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension)
Poor blood supply to the heart muscle due to coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis), heart valve disease, heart failure, heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy), tumors, or infections
Other medical conditions such as thyroid disease, certain lung diseases, electrolyte imbalance, and alcohol or drug abuse
Emotional stress or drinking large amounts of alcoholic or caffeinated beverages
Certain conditions can increase your risk of developing tachycardia:
Coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis)
Heart failure (poor pumping heart)
Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
Congenital heart defects (condition you are born with)
Inflammatory or degenerative heart conditions
Chronic lung disease
Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
Bradycardia is a slower than usual heart rhythm, usually less than 50 beats per minute. If you’re an athlete or someone who exercises often, a lower resting heart rate isn’t usually anything to be worried about, unless you’re dizzy, tired, or ill. In fact, it typically means you’re in good shape.
However, if you do feel any of the above coupled with low heart rate it may be because of following underlying causes:
Heart tissue damage related to aging
Heart disorder present at birth (congenital heart defect)
A complication of heart surgery
Damage to heart tissues from heart disease or heart attack
Repeated disruption of breathing during sleep (obstructive sleep apnea)
Medications, including some drugs for other heart rhythm disorders, high blood pressure, and psychosis
Inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatic fever or lupus
Infection of heart tissue (myocarditis)
Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)
Imbalance of chemicals in the blood, such as potassium or calcium
Athlete’s Heart Rate
An athlete’s resting heart rate may be considered low when compared to the general population. A young, healthy athlete may have a heart rate of 30 to 40 bpm. That’s likely because exercise strengthens the heart muscle. It allows it to pump a greater amount of blood with each heartbeat. More oxygen is also going to the muscles. This means the heart beats fewer times per minute than it would in a nonathlete.