A slow heart rate or heartbeat is known as brachycardia. Generally it is considered that if your heart beats slower than 60 beats per minute you have brachycardia although there are non medical reasons for a slow heart rate such as athletes with a fitness level that gives a slow heart rate. Heart rate really depends on how you are affected.
During sleep the heart rate drops quite a bit and this is normal. A young, healthy athlete can have a sleeping heart rate of 40 beats per minute or even lower but this is considered normal. Many people have a low pulse rate but do not notice symptoms. Brachycardia is of concern when it starts to affect the person’s health.
Symptoms of brachycardia include weakness, difficulty when walking, ascending stairs or exercising, tiredness, shortness of breath, feeling light headed and passing out. There are many reasons for brachycardia including changes to the heart from aging, coronary artery disease, heart attack, and heart infections. It can also be from hypothyroidism or elevated potassium levels. The other cause can be from certain medications.