Why is my heart rate below 50 bpm when I’m sleeping?

A heart rate below 50 bpm while sleeping is considered bradycardia. It can be caused by a variety of factors including certain medical conditions, medications, or even genetics. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the cause and appropriate treatment for your individual case.

Heart rate and blood pressure drop during sleep. It’s a normal part of human physiology. It conserves energy and reduces demand on the heart.

If your heart rate is 50 bpm and you have no symptoms of low cardiac output (chest pain, shortness of breath, hypotension, altered mental status, etc), there is usually nothing to worry about.

Our patients on the telemetry unit have heart rate monitored 24-hrs a day. Sometimes a new nurse would call night float with concerns about bradycardia (slow heart rate). We would ask if the patient is symptomatic. The answer was almost always that there were no symptoms, patient was sleeping comfortably. Excellent. Let them sleep. There is normal nocturnal variation in heart rate. No symptoms, no problem.

If you have concerns about low heart rate, you should speak with your doctor. This answer is not a substitute for professional medical advice from your doctor.

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