What Is a Normal Sleeping Heart Rate?

April 2, 2024 | Casper Editorial Team

Fact checked by Jonathan Eilenberg, CPE

A normal sleeping heart rate for adults is typically between 40 and 50 beats per minute, although variations can occur due to factors such as age and fitness levels.

Our heart rate is an ever-present indicator of our health—measuring it can provide us with helpful information, such as how efficiently our blood travels, how stress affects us, and even how well we’re sleeping.

This begs the question, what is a normal sleeping heart rate?

During deep sleep, our heart rates generally drop 20-30% lower than our resting heart rate, falling to between 40 and 50 beats per minute due to decreased stimulation to the nervous system and slowed body processes. In light sleep, the heart rate starts to slow down but remains above the resting level. During REM sleep, the heart rate fluctuates significantly, increasing during intense dreams and decreasing during calm ones, reflecting the nature of the dream activity.1 However, sleeping heart rates vary by individual, and your exact sleeping heart rate will depend on factors like your fitness level, health status, and quality of sleep. 

In this article, we’re exploring everything you need to know about sleeping heart rates so that you can address factors that may be impacting yours.

What is a Normal Resting Heart Rate?

Before diving deeper into sleeping heart rates, it’s helpful to understand resting heart rates. A normal resting heart rate ranges between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM) for adults.2

When it comes to a normal heart rate, lower is generally healthier. That’s because a lower resting heart rate comes from regular vigorous exercise and high activity levels. When you exercise your muscles, you exercise your heart muscle, too. With training, the heart can pump more blood with each heartbeat, making your cardiovascular system much more efficient.1

In fact, some extremely athletic people can have resting heart rates as low as 30 to 40 bpm—half as fast as the average resting heart rate.3

Why Your Sleeping Heart Rate Matters

For certain cardiovascular conditions, like peripheral artery disease, maintaining healthy blood circulation during sleep is important for relieving symptoms and improving sleep quality. Learn more about the best sleeping position for peripheral artery disease in our blog. Your sleeping heart rate can also indicate potential health issues that are important to identify early.

For instance, an irregular sleeping heart rate could point to any of the following health conditions2:

  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Tachycardia (resting heart rate consistently above 100 bpm)
  • Bradycardia (resting heart rate consistently below 60 bpm and not a trained athlete)

When monitoring your resting heart rate or sleeping heart rate, keep in mind that the following factors can all influence heart rate2:

  • Age
  • Fitness and activity levels
  • Smoking
  • Air temperature
  • Body position
  • Emotions
  • Body size
  • Medications

How to Track Your Sleeping Heart Rate

So, measuring your sleeping heart rate can be incredibly illuminating. But how can you measure your nocturnal heart rate if you’re asleep? 

One solution is to use common wearable technology, like pedometers and smartwatches, that can track data in convenient, easy-to-use apps for you to review when you wake up. If you’re old-fashioned, you can also have a partner check your pulse while you’re asleep.

How to Maintain a Healthy Heart Rate

Want to give your ticker a performance boost and simultaneously sleep better at night? Many influential factors on resting heart rate, such as lifestyle choices and stress management techniques, can also influence our sleep quality. 

To that end, here are our top tips for maintaining a healthy resting and sleeping heart rate:

  • Exercise more – It may seem counterproductive to raise your heart rate with a brisk activity like walking, playing a sport, or bicycling, but as stated earlier, daily exercise gradually lowers your resting and sleeping heart rate in the long run by strengthening your heart muscle.4
  • Avoid tobacco products – Smokers have higher resting heart rates, and smoking has been linked to heart palpitations.5Quitting smoking can lower your resting heart rate and reduce your risk for cardiovascular conditions and heart palpitations.
  • Reduce stress – Certain stress-management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and journaling, can lower your resting heart rate over time.4 If you typically suffer from stress or anxiety at night, you might also benefit from our sleep anxiety tips to calm nighttime anxiousness and achieve a low heart rate. 

As an added bonus, most of the above tips can also help you fight restlessness at night and contribute to healthy sleep hygiene. In turn, experiencing deep, restful, and rejuvenating sleep can do wonders for your heart health, lowering your risk of heart attacks and other harmful conditions like asthma and depression.6

When to Consult a Healthcare Professional About Heart Rate

If you experience a resting heart rate regularly lower than 50 bpm and aren’t a trained athlete, or a maximum heart rate regularly higher than 100 bpm, it could be a sign of trouble that’s worth mentioning to your doctor.

While there’s a wide range of normal heart rates, you should contact your healthcare provider if you feel your heart rate swings from an abnormally elevated heart rate to a slow heart rate. You should also be especially cautious and call a doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms alongside an abnormal heart rate2:

  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath

Embrace Better Sleep for Better Heart Health with Casper

To promote better cardiovascular health and experience restful sleep night after night, enhance your sleep environment with a high-performance mattress from Casper. And, for the most innovative new technology built by people who love sleep, make sure you complete your setup with a supportive Casper pillow or luxurious, cooling bed sheets.

With a little help from Casper, you can treat your heart to the healthy sleep it deserves.


  1. Harvard Health Publishing. How does sleep affect your heart rate? https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-does-sleep-affect-your-heart-rate
  2. Mayo Clinic. What’s a normal resting heart rate? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/heart-rate/faq-20057979#
  3. Healthline. Why Do Athletes Have a Lower Resting Heart Rate? https://www.healthline.com/health/athlete-heart-rate
  4. Harvard Health Publishing. How to lower your resting heart rate. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/increase-in-resting-heart-rate-is-a-signal-worth-watching-201112214013
  5. Heart & Vascular Institute. Most Common Causes for Heart Palpitations. https://www.heartteam.com/blog/most-common-causes-for-heart-palpitations
  6. CDC. How Does Sleep Affect Your Heart Health? https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/sleep.htm