Panier | Your account |

Heart rate variability

Your limbic brain is the seat of your emotions - the autonomic nervous system connects it to the heart.

Heart rate variability

Your heart never beats at an even, steady rate. Heart rate changes constantly - in adults, the heart beats at 70 beats per minute. But this is only a mean rate. Heart rate is subject to constant variation, and the time period between each heart beat is never the same: this is called instantaneous cardiac variability.

Your autonomic nervous system is made up of two branches: the sympathetic nervous system, and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic and parasympathetic systems play opposite roles :

  • The sympathetic nervous system increases your heart rate. It causes the organism to go into a state of alert, and prepares it for activity.
  • The parasympathetic nervous system causes your heart to slow down. It brings about a state of rest, allowing you to relax and to preserve energy.

Heart rate variability describes how the time period between two given heartbeats varies over time. Heart rate variability levels depend on age, gender, but also on the posture of your body, on the way you breathe, on whether you are actually doing something or not.