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I seem to have a lower RHR on days I sleep 5-7 hours than when I sleep 8-9?

I also seem to have a higher HRV when I sleep less.  Browsing around the forum, the higher HRV seems relatively normal, for guys with irregular sleep schedules.  

Is the lower RHR also normal?  Mine RHR is relatively high...its normally 72 to as high as 82 (actually on one day I see an 84!), but a few days its been 68, when I woke up unusually early, after 5-6 hrs of sleep, probably from going to sleep especially early (which would mean 10-11pm on those nights), so those were taken at 5:44am, 7:53am, and this morning 5:27am (my earliest measurements, which were all "interrupted sleep" where I couldn't stay in bed, whereas early measurements where I "forced myself out of bed" didn't seem to really be too different from usual measurements).  

My sense is that this is being awakened due to early morning cortisol, like described on this page:

So yeah, I'm just curious about whether it makes sense that my RHR is slightly lower on those (potentially?) higher cortisol mornings, to get some understanding on how to get my RHR below 60 bpm.  

I lift 4 days a week, one of those being "complexes", do intervals on the rower once a week, and now am adding 2-3 days of 45 minutes of cardio at 130-140bpm to start, which translates to a slight inclined walk on the treadmill, and I'll slowly push those up into the 140-150bpm range 3-4 weeks in (I started with the cardio last week).  

Thanks for any thoughts and feedback here guys!  I know this is simply heart rate focused instead of HRV, but looking at the numbers every day makes me realize I should finally address this somewhat higher HR rather than focus on body composition goals forever :-)


Hi Tom.


I don't believe the fact that you have a high resting heart rate equates you being in poor cardiovascular health. HR is a variable that differs between individuals, just like maximal heart rates. Generally, if you are active, your heart should be in good condition.


Just because you have a high heart rate, doesn't mean your heart's going to run out of its alloted number of beats (hypothetical), and stop earlier than everyone else's.


Additionally, there is a lot of research going into analyzing how long-duration cardio is detrimental to the heart. Of course, 'long-duration', in this context, and much longer than 45-minutes. Regardless, my point is that cardiovascular health is not always correlative to your resting heart rate. No reason to increase the amount of physiological stress you subject yourself to every week simply because you have a higher than normal resting HR.





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