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Exercise & Fitness

How does sleep affect your heart rate?

January 29, 2021

About the Author

photo of Julie Corliss

Julie Corliss, Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

Julie Corliss is the executive editor of the Harvard Heart Letter. Before working at Harvard, she was a medical writer and editor at HealthNews, a consumer newsletter affiliated with The New England Journal of Medicine. She … See Full Bio
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Dr. Naseem Akhtar Qureshi MD, PhD
February 2, 2021

Point to be noted: Heart rate during sleep and waking also differs according to the age of the normal person, other factors already discussed in this blog.

James W. Ziccardi, DO, FACC
February 2, 2021

I am a retired cardiolgist and have had a resting heart rate that varies between 34 and 46 since I first started to record it when I was a fellow in 1974. I am an avid exerciser and ran 3 marathons in the past. I have never had any apparent ill effects, although had one episode of micturation syncope in 1974. At aged 78, I am able to attain a heart rate of 155 at peak exercise (12-13 mets) suggesting a normal chronotropic response to exercise. Bradycardia without symptoms can be benign and may be related to increased parasympathetic tone especially in well trained fit individuals.

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