Your nighttime respiratory rate is a primary vital sign and a key indicator of your health. An elevated respiratory rate usually means that something is challenging your system.
Learn more about your respiratory rate and how monitoring changes can alert you to changes in your physical fitness, health, or hormone cycle.
Respiratory rate, or breathing rate, is the number of breaths you take per minute. A typical respiratory rate for healthy adults is 12–20 breaths per minute. Your respiratory rate is highly individualized and may change over time, so be sure to compare your rate to your own averages and avoid comparisons to those around you.
Your respiratory rate can be affected by:
Tracking your respiratory rate trends over time allows you to spot an abnormally high or low rate. Typically, changes in your average respiratory rates are quite small (within 1–2 breaths per minute).
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Your respiratory rate is closely tied to your heart rate variability (HRV). Your heart rate increases when you inhale and decreases when you exhale, allowing your body to prioritize passing blood through the lungs when they are full of oxygen.
Monitoring your long-term respiratory rate can reveal insights about your recovery tendencies and help you develop a better understanding of your overall health.