What Is Resting Heart Rate?
Resting Heart Rate (RHR) is the number of times your heart beats per minute when you're at rest. It can be used as a gauge for your sleep quality, recovery, and overall health. Normal RHR in adults can range anywhere from 40-100 BPM.
Oura monitors your RHR throughout the night by detecting changes in your Blood Pulse Volume (PPG) and displays your lowest 10-minute average each morning when you wake up.
Oura interprets an RHR below your average as a sign of good recovery and physical fitness, whereas an exceptionally high or low RHR is a sign of an increased need for recovery. If your RHR reaches its lowest point during the first half of your night, it can be a sign you've recovered well from that day.
Keep in mind that Oura doesn’t track heart rate during exercise or other activities during the day. The only exception to this is the use of Moment, which allows you to meditate or check in with your body. Certain Moment sessions, upon completion, show you a snapshot of your resting heart rate during the day.
What Affects Your Resting Heart Rate?
Your RHR is affected by many things, including physical activity, nutrition, and environmental factors (e.g., heat or humidity).
During the day, caffeine can cause heart palpitations which lead to increased RHR. At night, alcohol, heavy meals before bed, and late exercise speed up your metabolism and keep your RHR elevated, delaying your recovery.
One of the most reliable ways to keep your RHR low is exercise. If you begin to exercise with consistency and factor in rest days when your body needs them, your RHR should lower and stabilize after time.
For women, the menstrual cycle can cause a small increase in RHR during the second half of the cycle (ovulatory and luteal phases).