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266195 tn?1215314011
respiratory sinus arrhythmia? Heart rate variability. Help me figure this out.
I have not seen much literature about this. respiratory sinus arrhythmia,  Is this a common thing in humans?  I know for a fact when I'm at rest my heart rate changes with how I breath, sometimes.  When I breath in it goes fast and when I breath out it slows down. It sort of feels like this when im taking my pulse.    Beat-------Beat-------Beat---Beat---Beat---Beat-------Beat-------Beat-------Beat---Beat---Beat---Beat---Beat

First time I noticed it it scared me so I had a 24 hour Holter Monitor done, it did that during the test and I marked it as abnormal on the machine I was wearing and the Cardiologist said everything was fine. So I'm not overly concerned about this I just wonder if anyone else has noticed this as well?  And is this actually normal for a human heart to do this?
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Yeah, it's just what the heart does. I'm not exactly sure how it works, but I know that it does it to get the most out of your breath. You'll probably find it does it more when you're paying attention to it, too. It happens to everyone, as far as I'm aware.
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It is considered a normal variation.  I think it is more common in children and younger people, but is completely benign.
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It's normal and a good thing.

Respiratory sinus arryhtmia is, as you noted, a speeding up of the heart rate when inhaling and a slowing down when you exhale.  It is a measure a well functionign autonomic nervous system.

When you inhale you develop negative pressure (lower pressure than normal) in your abdominal cavity.  This is sensed and you heart speed up in repose to it.  When you exhale, pressures rise back to rest and your heart slows.  Your nervous system is set to do this so that the heart speeds up in response to low blood pressure to maintain cardiac output.

It's a good thing.

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266195 tn?1215314011
it doesent do it all the time, i mainly notice it more at night but sometimes i can notice it during the day as well, is that ok?
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266195 tn?1215314011
by the way, just incase it matters i'm a 22 y/o male, so i guess i'm considered a young adult.... so this should be normal for me?  sometimes i'll be at rest though and ill take my pulse and it will be rock solid, very steady no matter how i breath....
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It's NORMAL.  Relax and stop taking your pulse!
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Respiratory sinus arrhythmia is not just normal. It is a sign of good health. It means that your cardio-respiratory system is able to efficiently adapt to sudden changes in blood pressure and maintain adequate blood supply to critical parts of the body like brain.


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There is a way to learn how to increase RSA and thus improve health. This can be done with HRV biofeedback. There are tools available for this, e.g. Heart Tracker.
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