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Heart Rate in Cold Temperature?

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  • Heart Rate in Cold Temperature?

    I recently picked up a used Apple Watch that measures my heart rate. Figured I’d test it’s limits while pushing mine and took it out with me on a camping trip the other week. It seemed pretty accurate tracking activity during the day.

    It might have hit zero degrees during the night. It was a bit colder than I was expecting and I was a little chilly in the system I brought, but not super uncomfortable. The watch, however, kept waking me up with a low heart rate warning starting I was dropping below 40 beats per minute. It’s not unusual for me to hit in the 50’s at home in my sleep, but 30’s seems too low.

    Anyone else experience anything like this?

  • #2
    Could it be that when your sleeping cold the sensors are less accurate? The body constricts the blood vessels in our extremities when we get cold, that is part of the reasons feet can be hard to keep warm when sleeping. For the hands, they may not feel as cold because they are heated by the core but the blood flow might be dropping below the sensor’s limits at times.

    Just a guess, I would love to hear of anyone else has seen this.


    • #3
      if those are your "normal" heartbeats, I'd suggest getting to a cardiologist, you may have bradycardia, which can be magnified by the cold and lead to a stroke.


      • #4
        I have noticed a drop in my samsung watch while outside or when the watch is cold. Possible it's the technology that has an error factor at a given temp.

        Possible it doesn't read a pulse as well either when it's cold.


        • #5
          I’m pretty active, but was a bit worried about bradycardia. Long story short, don’t think that’s the issue. I also kept my hands and arms down inside the sleeping bag and pod system next to my body, and it seemed to be working well outside all of that during the day. Will test again, but this weekend is a bit to cold for such a test (sunny afternoon, but -11 with wind chill of -35, tonight is sure to be even colder). But


          • #6
            Been out several times since. Although I’ve changed my set up a bit and likely has a few problems adjusting and whatnot, I feel like I have everything working the way it should. However, still dropping below 40 bpm heart rate by the morning if the temp gets low. No other physical symptoms, or recognizable mental defects; besides continuing to sleep outside in a hammock while others are worried about their cars starting!